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Setting up Auto Archive in Outlook (2007 & 2003)

Managing your mailboxes storage space is important, so you don't miss important emails due to a full mailbox.

Outlook has clean up tools available under the File tab to help you do this but one really nice feature, the AutoArchive feature, can do this for you routinely and automatically.

AutoArchive takes the oldest items and moves them to a PST file on your local hard drive to free up space in the mailbox. 

  1. Select Tools > Options and then select the Other tab.

  2. Select AutoArchive.


  3. Select the Run AutoArchive every XX days check box, and then specify how often to run AutoArchive.

  4. Select the options that you want.

  5. Click OK


Options Explained:

  • 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 good to choose a period of time that shortens the AutoArchive process. Consider how many items that 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 ageing period has expired. The default period for your Draft and Inbox 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.

  • Archive or delete old items   You must choose this option if you want AutoArchive to delete some or all items when they expire. This option activates other options that enable you to decide which items are archived and which are deleted when they reach the end of the ageing period. Then choose additional settings to apply to both archiving and deletion.

    Note: In the AutoArchive dialog box, "folders" refers to your main Outlook feature areas, such as the Calendar folder and Task folder, and individual e-mail folders. This is because your Calendar and Task items are stored in their respective Calendar and Task folders.

  • 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 setting for when you want your items archived, in days, weeks, or months. You can set 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 specified that setting for the folders elsewhere.

  • Move old items to    The default setting for this location is different for computers that are running the Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows XP operating systems.

    Windows Vista: C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst.

    Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\user \Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst.

    If you want to set another destination for the archived items, you can browse to and set a different location. Items will be moved to this location after their aging period.

    Note: Items archived in a custom location will not be deleted unless you open the folders and delete them manually.

  • Permanently delete items   This option immediately deletes the expired items instead of moving them to the default location, another folder that you have 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. These instructions are also included in the following section, "Change the AutoArchive settings for an individual folder." Changes made to specific folders apply only to those folders.

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