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About Archive and AutoArchive

Your Outlook mailbox grows as items are created in the same way that papers pile up on your desk. To keep yourself organized, ou can manually transfer old items to a storage file by clicking Archive on the File menu, or you can have old items automatically transferred by using AutoArchive. For information on how to configure Archiving. Items are considered old when they reach the age you specify. With AutoArchive, you can either delete or move old items. Outlook can archive all types of items, but it can only locate files that are stored in a e-mail folder, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Word document attached to an e-mail message. A file that is not stored in a e-mail folder cannot be archived.

AutoArchive is a two-step process. First, you turn on AutoArchive. On the Tools menu, click Options, click the Other tab, and then click AutoArchive. Second, you set the AutoArchive properties for each folder that you want archived. At the folder level, you can determine which items are archived, and how often they are archived. You can automatically archive individual folders, groups of folders, or all Outlook folders. The process runs automatically whenever you start Outlook. The AutoArchive properties of each folder are checked by date, and old items are moved to your archive file. Items in the Deleted Items folder are deleted.

There is a difference between exporting and archiving. When you archive, the original items are copied to the archive file, and then removed from the current folder. When you export, the original items are copied to the export file, but are not removed from the current folder. In addition, you can only archive one file type, a personal folder file, but you can export many file types.

When you archive, your existing folder structure is maintained in your new archive file. If there is a parent folder above the folder you chose to archive, the parent folder is created in the archive file, but items within the parent folder are not archived. In this way, an identical folder structure exists between the archive file and your mailbox. Folders are left in place after being archived, even if they are empty.

For information on how to archive a folder immediately or on a schedule visit How to Configure Archive and Autoarchive.


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