Create and use Personal Folders (Outlook Data Files)

Archive old Outlook items

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Use archiving to free space on your email server, or move mail content to your computer. Archive manually, or use AutoArchive to do all your archiving at one time.

Archiving is typically used to free up space on your email server. But you can also use it if you simply want to move mail content to your computer.

You can archive manually or set up AutoArchive. The manual method makes sense for archiving one-time projects, or if you prefer to do all your archiving at one time.

Click the File tab. Then in Info, click Cleanup Tools and Archive.

Archive this folder and all subfolders is selected by default. Select a folder down here to archive or click the email account to archive everything in the account.

Keep in mind that the content you archive no longer exists in the original location. So if you want to keep current content in your email account, you can choose to archive only items that are older than a certain date.

Check here to archive items that are marked Do not AutoArchive.

And finally, click Browse to choose a location and name for the archive file. Click OK, and OK.

And the content is moved to the archive file. Keep in mind this could take a while if you have a lot to archive.

If the manual archive method doesn’t work for you, you can set up a schedule to have Outlook automatically archive content. And you do that in two steps.

First, turn on AutoArchive. Click the File tab, and Options. Then, click Advanced, and AutoArchive Settings.

Check Run AutoArchive every, and select a number of days.

Check here if you want to be prompted before AutoArchive runs.

Then, go through these options down here to specify how you want Outlook to handle archiving.

For example, you can check here to show the archive file as a Personal Folder in your folder list. This makes it really easy to get to your old email.

Click Browse to choose a location and name for your archive file, and click OK.

Finally, click here if you want to apply these settings to all your folders. Click OK, and OK.

After you turn on AutoArchive and set your default options, you can individualize options for each folder if you want.

For example, let’s say we don’t want to save deleted items. Right-click the folder, and click Properties.

Then, click the AutoArchive tab. As you can see, the folder is already set to use the default AutoArchive settings. If you want to see what they are, you can click Default Archive Settings.

However, we already know what they are. What we want to do is create different settings for this folder by selecting Archive this folder using these settings.

And in this case we want to select Permanently delete old items.

We can also change how often to delete them.

This option is interesting - Move old items to. We could use this option to archive items in this folder to a different data file.

Click Ok when you’re done. Archiving is a good option if you want to remove old content from your server to make room for more. Up next, we’ll look at another way to use Outlook Data Files – to move email to a different email account.

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Archive items manually

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