Outlook: How to Archive Old Email in Outlook Print

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For most versions of Outlook, clicking on File > Folder > Properties > Storage — or right-clicking on any folder and selecting Properties — will display the total size not only of a chosen folder but also of any associated subfolders.

Outlook’s Auto Archive function is set to automatically back up Deleted Items, Sent Items, and expired tasks and calendar items. 

Follow these five (5) steps to change Auto Archive’s settings:


            1. Create a new local folder or .pst (Personal Folders) file to hold Archived Mail. Right click on the On My Computer heading at the bottom of your folder list and choose New Folder.  Name the folder Archived Mail or something else that is easily recognizable. In older versions of Outlook, you can select File>Archive and change the date under Archive items older than.

            2. Create a new Archiving Rule. Click on Tools > Rules, select Exchange from the On My Computer section, and click the + near the bottom of the window. Name the rule, e.g. “120 Days, Auto Archive.”           

            3. Define the time limit and destination for emails eligible for archiving. Under the When a new message arrives menu, change Date Received (we suggest 120-180 days) and then change Do the Following to a defined action like “Move Message + Archived Mail.” Click the check box for Enabled and click OK. In older versions of Outlook, clicking Tools>Options>Other>Auto Archive brings up a similar set of options.          

            4. Run the new rule on existing email folders. This will ensure messages received before that rule was implemented will archive. Select the preferred mail folder, clickMessages>Rules>180 Day, Auto Archive, and wait patiently while your email account reorganizes itself. Remember, you’ll have to perform this function on each desired folder; also, Outlook uses “Last Modified Date” to archive, not “Received Date.”

            5. To access your archived emails.  They are in the left-hand column of folders — or under the list of .pst files on your computer and no longer taking up space in your mailbox.


If you access your mail via an Outlook Web App, any emails archived on your local computer will not show up online — archiving them means they are no longer hosted on the Exchange server. 


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