- [ Team LiB ]
After several months of using Outlook, you'll have a lot of older information that you no
longer need in your day-to-day work, but that you don't want to delete either—you never
know when you'll need to reference it later.
It's Archive to the rescue by providing an easy, automated way to move your older items
to another PST.
By default, after you use Outlook for a couple of weeks, it will ask whether you want to
use AutoArchive. Select the AutoArchive button to view your AutoArchive settings,
choose Yes to archive or No to cancel (see Figure 19.1).
Figure 19.1. AutoArchive offers to archive your old messages about two weeks after
creating your account.
Whether you choose Yes or No, you can choose Tools, Options, Other, AutoArchive at
any time and enable, disable, or change your settings (see Figure 19.2).
Figure 19.2. Use the AutoArchive dialog to configure your global archive settings.
Many of the settings can be set per folder by opening each folder's property sheet.
- Among the settings you can configure are the following:
• Run AutoArchive Every 14 Days— Determines how often you want to archive. In
most cases, one or twice a month is often enough.
• Delete Expired Items (E-Mail Folders Only)— Deletes messages that expired.
• Archive or Delete Old Items— Archives or deletes old items based on the default
folder settings for archiving.
• Show Archive Folder in Folder List— When enabled, the archive folder is listed in
the folder list and you can browse old items.
• Clean Out Items Older Than 6 Months— Select how many days, weeks, or months
you want to keep items in your message store.
• Move Old Items To:— By default, the archive folder is C:\Documents and
Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst.
You can browse to create the archive PST in a new folder and change the name of
the PST, if desired.
• Permanently Delete Old Items— Choose this option to delete items instead of
moving them to the archive folder. Items deleted using this setting are not
- Choose Apply These Settings to All Folders Now to set the global settings. You can
change the settings for individual folders as needed. For example, you might want to keep
older journal items or not archive some folders at all.
Configure AutoArchive on the Deleted Items and Junk E-mail folders
to delete older items and you won't have to empty those folders.
Retention policy settings are used for Exchange Server accounts only. Configured by the
Exchange administrator, the retention policy controls how long messages remain in users'
mailboxes. It's usually done to control mailbox sizes.
After it's enabled, AutoArchive runs immediately and, in the future, on the schedule you
Should you want to archive one folder or archive your items between the selected archive
times, you can force an AutoArchive on all folders or a selected folder at any time by
choosing File, Archive (see Figure 19.3).
Figure 19.3. Use Archive to archive any folder or your entire message store at any
time. When you select a single folder, you can choose any date for the archive.
- Use Advanced Find to find items to delete because you cannot use File,
Archive to delete items from an individual folder. Select the items in
the Advanced Find window and delete them. Use Modified as the field
name on Advanced Find's Advanced tab. Choose on or before as the
Condition and enter a date in the Value field.
Archive looks at the last modified date on an item and uses that to determine what to
back up, based on the premise that if you haven't touched the item in months, it can safely
be archived. This often causes unexpected results when you expect items to be archived
and they aren't. In addition to opening or editing an item, Import and Export changes the
modified date and will cause Archive to fail.
Working with Archived Folders
When you need to read the items in your archive folder, use File, Open, Outlook Data
File to open the file in your folder tree. Don't use Import—you'll just need to archive
them again, which is difficult because the modified date is the date of the import.
If the archive was moved to a CD-ROM for storage, you'll have to copy it to your hard
drive and remove the read-only flag by right-clicking on the archive file in Windows
- Explorer, choosing Properties, and then removing the check from the Read-Only box.
To remove an archive PST from your folder list, right-click it in the Navigation Pane and
choose Close from the context menu.
Alternatives to AutoArchive
Although AutoArchive makes it easy to keep your message store compact, it might
archive items you don't want archived. Plus, by default, it archives items to just one file:
AutoArchive doesn't work with IMAP or HTTP accounts.
You can control the items you want to archive and choose to move them to different
PSTs by moving the items yourself.
Task: Create Your Own Archive PST
When you want to group items by project, date, or other criteria, or need to archive your
HTTP or IMAP messages, you'll have to move the messages yourself.
This enables you choose the messages you want to move out of the message store and put
them in any PST you choose. You can use this method to store all files associated with a
project, including documents from your file system, in one PST.
1. Add a new PST to your profile by choosing File, New, Outlook Data File and
select the file format for your personal folders. Choose Unicode unless you need to
retain backward compatibility with older versions of Outlook.
If you plan to store documents in the PST, remember that the
Outlook 97–2002 PST format has a maximum size of 2GB.
3. Browse to the location you want to store the folder in, usually your My
Documents folder, and enter a filename such as Johnson_2003 or 2003_2Q. This
helps you find the right archive set if you need it months later.
4. Enter a short but descriptive name for the folder set, such as Johnson Project or
2003 April-June (see Figure 19.4). Click OK and Outlook creates the personal
- folder and adds it to your folder list.
Figure 19.4. Create a new personal folder to use for your archive. Use a name
that describes the contents and add a password if desired. Remember: If you
forget the password, you won't be able to recover your data.
5. Create new folders in the PST, if necessary. You can move folders (and their
contents) from your message store to the PST.
6. Select the item(s) or folder, choose Edit, Move to Folder, and then select the folder
in your archive PST. Use move, not copy, to preserve the message ID, which is
what Outlook uses to track messages and replies.
Use Advanced Find or Find All (on the context menu of a selected
message) to help you locate all the messages you want to move to your
You can store files as well as Outlook items in the PST, including documents,
spreadsheets, or graphics. This enables you to create archives by project and store all the
related material together. If the PST exceeds 2GB, use the Unicode format to ensure you
can store all of your files together.
After you've moved all the items to the folder that you want to move, right-click on it and
choose Close to remove it from your folder list. When you need to review the items or
- files, use File, Open, Outlook Data File to reconnect it to your profile.
There are a number of third-party utilities to archive your messages and
Outlook items. Look for the list of currently available programs at
[ Team LiB ]