Outlook Archiving

Archive Outlook 2010 (also applies to Outlook 2013)

If you are like most people, email tends to pile up and get out of hand. Your mailboxes continue to get bigger and bigger. When this happens, you can run into problems with organizing your messages as well as quota issues.

To help keep mailboxes manageable, you need another place to store, "archive", older items that you need to reference but are not used all the time. Outlook has a built-in feature called Auto Archive that stores Outlook items (messages, appointments, tasks, notes, etc.) in a different location. Items are moved to an archive file. Auto Archive copies items to the archive file (default - archive.pst) and then removes them from the current folder. It allows you to set up a schedule and archive multiple folders at the same time at set intervals. You can also individually select folders for archiving.

The first time Auto Archive runs, Outlook creates the archive file automatically in the following location:
C:\Users\username\Documents\Outlook Files\archive.pst

We recommend you do not change the name or location of the archive file because it could be hard to locate if you forget the name/location.

The default for Auto Archive is to prompt you every 14 days to archive your items older than 6 months and any expired items. Expired items are messages and meeting items that are not valid after a certain date (e.g., message set to expire 1 month ago that is still in your Inbox).

The default aging periods for folders are:
Inbox, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, Journal, Drafts: 6 months
Sent Items, Deleted Items: 2 months
Outbox: 3 months

Outlook determines the age of an item based on the item type:
E-mail message - The sent or received date or the last modification date/time, whichever is later.
Calendar item - The appointment, event, or meeting date or the last modification date/time, whichever is later. Recurring items are not AutoArchived.
Task - The completion date or the last modification date/time. Tasks that are not marked complete are not AutoArchived. Tasks assigned to others are archived only if marked complete.
Note - The last modification date/time.
Journal entry - The date the journal entry was created or the last modification date/time.
- Not archived.

Finding Archived Items

  1. File | Open | Outlook Data File.
  2. Type the name of the file (archive.pst) and click OK.

This will open the archive file and allow you to locate your message(s).

Auto Archiving Certain Folders

  1. Right click on the folder you want to archive and choose Properties.
  2. Select the Auto Archive tab and configure the options. For example, you may want to keep deleted and junk mail items for 3 days, then delete it. Choose "3" and "Days" for the Clean out items older than fields and select permanently delete.

Repeat this for each folder you want to delete messages from.

Running Auto Archive Manually

If you don't want to run Auto Archive automatically, you can choose to run it manually. This gives you more control of what you archive and when.

  1. Choose File | Archive
  2. Specify whether to archive all folders using their Auto Archive settings (that is, either the default settings, or per-folder settings you specified for individual folders) or whether to archive an individual folder using the options you specify in this dialog box.

Prevent Auto Archive from running on all folders

The following procedure turns off Auto Archive for all folders, including individual folders with Auto Archive turned on.

  1. Choose Tools | Options | Other tab.
  2. Click Auto Archive.
  3. Clear the "Run Auto Archive every n days" check box and choose OK.

Prevent Auto Archive from running on one folder

  1. On the Go menu, click Folder List, right-click the folder you want to AutoArchive, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the Auto Archive tab.
  3. Select the "Do not archive items in this folder" option and choose OK.

How do I archive mail in Outlook 2011 for Mac?

This tutorial will show you how to automatically move mail out of yourTmail/Exchange mailbox, and place it on your local computer’s hard drive. As always, make sure you have a backup plan for your computer in the event of a system failure or theft. Once this mail is moved out of the Exchange mailbox system, you will be the only one who has a copy.

You will first need to make sure you can see the On My Computer folder in Outlook 2011. In Outlook 2011, click on the Outlook menu at the top of your screen, choose Preferences, then General. Uncheck the box that says Hide On My Computer folders. Now we are ready to get started.

1. Right-click (or ctrl-click) the On My Computer heading (probably at the bottom of your folder list) and choose New Folder.

2. Give your folder a name such as Archived Mail.|

3. Next, from the Tools menu select Rules.

4. Under the On My Computer heading, select Exchange in the rules window, and click the "+" sign to add a new rule.
** Remember, rules are processed in order from top to bottom in the list. Use the arrows to adjust the rule order.

5. Rule name: 180 Day Auto Archive, or whatever is suitable.

6. When a new message arrives: define the criterion as "Date Received" + "is greater than or equal to" + "180" ... days old

Do the Following: define the action as "Move message" + "Archived Mail (On My Computer)"
**Note: If you do not see the folder you wish to archive to, you will need to click on the drop down next to "Move Message" and select Choose Folder... then search for the archive folder. Under the folder name, the location "On My Computer" should be displayed.

8. Finally, Click OK, making sure that the Enabled button is selected

9. If you would like to apply this rule to your current mailbox, from the Message menu, select Rules, then select the rule you would like to process.

**Note: This process may take some time to run initially, depending on how much mail you have in your Inbox.
**Note: If you want to archive your entire mailbox, you will need to run this rule on each folder individually.