How to archive your email in Outlook

Modified on Fri, 07 Feb 2020 at 01:44 PM

[Note: The following instructions apply to the Outlook desktop program, not Outlook Web Access (OWA).]

Archiving mail is a process of moving mail off the Lesley e-mail server to your local computer, thus freeing up space toward your mail storage. This is an especially important task for users who have already received notifications from the System Administrator that they have exceeded their email quota. However, most likely you won't have to archive at all because of the mailbox sizes that Lesley allows.

Outlook saves archived mail to a .pst file which can be saved to external media, such as CD, flashdrive, etc.. Archived mail preserves the same folder structure as your existing mail, and is accessible within Outlook under Mail Folders.

There are two ways to archive your mail in Outlook:

  1. You can set up AutoArchiving so Outlook will automatically archive mail on a schedule, according to rules you have specified.
  2. You can manually archive mail which will allow you to:
    • Archive mail whenever you want
    • Archive specific folders and subfolders
    • Override AutoArchive settings

Auto Archiving

1. Click on the File tab.

2. Click on Options from the menu, then Advanced when the Outlook Options menu pops up.

3. In the AutoArchive section, click on the AutoArchive Settings button.

4. The AutoArchive window will open.

5. Check the box in front of Run AutoArchive every... section, and choose the number of days that you wish.

6. Make sure that the box in front of the Prompt before AutoArchive runs is checked if you want to be notified first.

7. Change Clean out items older than to less than 6 months to archive more mail during each archive process.

8. Under Move old items to, you can specify where your archive folder will reside.

9. When you have finished configuring your AutoArchive settings, press Apply these settings to all folders now.

10. Click OK.

Folder Settings

Sometimes the general AutoArchive settings do not suit your needs. For this reason, you have the ability in Outlook to specify AutoArchive settings for individual folders, as well. This will give you the flexibility to never archive certain folders, or to archive them according to different rules than those you specified in the general settings above. To set specific folder rules for AutoArchive, do the following:

  1. Under Mail Folders, right-click on the folder for which you want to customize archive settings.
  2. Select Properties and click on the AutoArchive tab.
  3. Configure the settings to suit your needs.
  4. Click OK.

The next time AutoArchive runs, the it will archive your folders according to your customized settings.

Manual Archiving

1. Click on the File tab.

2. In the Mailbox Settings section, click on the Tools button, then click on Clean Up Old Items from the pop-up menu.

3. The Archive window will open.

4. Click on the button for Archive this folder and all subfolders. 

5. In the Archive items older than section, choose a date from the date picker.

6. You can leave the Archive file field untouched. However, if you would like to name your archive file, or archive your mail to a different location, click Browse, and then specify a file name, such as Saved Work Mail Archive.pst, and a location, such as My Documents.

7. Click OK.

The items in the folder are moved out of the folder and into the .pst file that you specified. To view the folder items again, open the .pst file from Outlook.

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