AutoArchive settings explained

AutoArchive helps manage the space in your mailbox or on the e-mail server you are using by automatically moving items to an archive location. AutoArchive performs one or both of the following actions for items in a folder, depending on the conditions set.

  • Outlook moves items to an archive file, removing them from their original location, generally one of your working folders. (Note: The archive settings specifying the aging criteria will act on the last modified date (ex: 3 months), not the received or sent date)

    The archive file is a special type of data file, a Personal Folders file (.pst). The first time AutoArchive runs, Outlook creates the archive file automatically in the following location:

    C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst

    After Outlook archives items for the first time, you can access the items in the file directly from Archive Folders in your Outlook Folder List, which is located in the Navigation Pane. You can also create your own archive files for individual folders.

    Note: If you don't see the Local Settings or Local folders, they might be hidden.

    To display hidden folders:

  1. Click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab, and then click the Show hidden files and folders option.

Settings and Options for AutoArchive

To view the following settings:

In Microsoft Office 2007

  1. Click Tools, and then select Options...
  2. Click the Other tab, and then click the AutoArchive... button.

In Microsoft Office 2010

  1. Click File, and then select Options...
  2. Click the Advanced tab, and then click the AutoArchive... button.

Run AutoArchive every - Choose how often you want AutoArchive to run. Archiving many items at the same time might slow down your computer's performance. Therefore, it is better to choose a period of time that shortens the AutoArchive process. You should consider how many items you typically receive during a given time and adjust the timeframe accordingly.

Prompt before AutoArchive runs - Choose this option if you want Outlook to display a reminder message before AutoArchive processes your Outlook items. When you see the message, you can click No to cancel that AutoArchive session.

Delete expired items (e-mail folders only) - This option is not selected by default. You can choose to have e-mail messages deleted when their aging period has expired. The default period for your Inbox and Draft items is six months and three months for your Sent Items, but you can change these periods using the Clean out items older than option.

Note: AutoArchive permanently deletes expired items. See What are the aging periods in Outlook?

Archive or delete old items - Choose this option if you want your Outlook items archived, and then deleted when they reach the end of the aging period. Choose additional settings to apply to both archiving and deletion.

Show archive folder in folder list - Choose to have the Archive folder listed with your other working folders in the Navigation Pane. In the main Archive folder, you can open the subfolders and view your archived items. When viewing your archived items, you can verify that the correct items were archived, and you can also drag any items that you need back to a working folder.

Clean out items older than - Choose the default configure for when you want your items archived, in days, weeks, or months. You can configure a period of one day up to a period of 60 months. ""Clean"" means to archive — store — items. It does not mean ""delete"" unless you have selected that setting for the folders elsewhere.

Move old items to - The default setting for this location is different for computers running the Windows Vista and Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. If you want to set another destination for the archived items, you can browse to and set a different location. Items are moved to this location after their aging period.

Permanently delete items - This option immediately deletes the expired items instead of moving them to the default location, such as another folder that you designated or the Deleted Items folder.

Apply these settings to all folders now - This option applies the AutoArchive settings, including your changes, to all of your folders. To specify different settings for one or more folders, do not choose this option. Instead, use the instructions shown below the button that explain how to specify settings for individual folders. Changes made to specific folders apply only to those folders.

Retention Policy Information - In your organization, a system administrator might set retention policies that determine when and how your mailbox items are AutoArchived. You can view the policies here, but you can't change them without the appropriate permissions.


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