How To Archive in Outlook 365, 2019, 2016, 2013 & 2010?

Using any email provider services consists of a mailbox limit even if you add your account in Outlook, when your Outlook mailbox fills up, you cannot receive new emails without removing unwanted emails. archive icon

Microsoft Outlook is designed to prevent all unwanted emails (which must be part of conversation history) and also keep all inflow emails in the inbox without any restriction.

Here in this article, I will walk you through “How-To Archive in Outlook 365, 2019, 2016, 2013 & 2010” from scratch.

What does archive mean in Outlook?

Most of the users are unaware of “What does archive do in Outlook“, before diving in understand the whole about the archive in Outlook, let’s first go through some basics.

Archiving results in moving unwanted email messages, which may be the element of conversation, to the separate accessible folder to your personal computer. The process of archiving emails regularly helps free space in your mailbox.

Microsoft Outlook allows users to automatically/manually archive folders using specific criteria, using Outlook’s AutoArchive feature, and Permanently delete old emails when they hit a specified time frame.

Here are few spaces in the Outlook application where Outlook archive icons and folders are available, but if you are a beginner you have no idea!, further in this article, we will cover the entire tutorial that explains how to archive emails in Outlook.

Steps to Auto archive email in Outlook 365 – 2010

The Outlook Auto Archive feature is designed to move old emails to a designated archive folder automatically or to delete old items without archiving.

How to archive email in Outlook?

Archiving e-mails in Outlook is a great way to keep your Inbox less cluttered and help you to find the messages you need. You can archive messages in two ways: by moving them to another folder or by using the Delete and Keep features. This guide will show you how to archive e-mails in Outlook.

AutoArchive Settings

This is also a good way to ensure that you can find important e-mails at a later date. To configure your e-mail to automatically archive your e-mails, follow these steps.

  • Lunch Microsoft Outlook
  • Click “File Tab” >> Select “Info” from the left-hand portion of the screen.
  • Select “Options” >> Hit “Advanced Tab” from the left >> Click AutoArchive setting.

Auto Archive Settings

  • Auto archive setting dialog box appears it requires few manual adjustments which result in the outcome


You have to select the checkbox “Run AutoArchive every N days“, which enables all desired options to select or deselect, (until all options are greyed out), by default 2 weeks for auto-archive is given, you can change according to your requirement.

Finally, Click Ok to run, it will trigger auto-archive in outlook, As soon as the archive process is completed, the Archives folder will appear in your Outlook automatically, provided you select the option Show archive folder in the folder list.

outlook archiving status bar

In case Microsft Exchange account Archive Folder is available by default in the navigation section.

Outlook Auto Archive settings and options [Explaination]

  • Run AutoArchive every N days: Adjusting ARchiving activity on auto mode depends upon the inputs how often you want AutoArchive to run. Select a specific time frame to run the archive process automatically. You can select the time period depending upon the flow of emails received in your inbox.
  • Prompt before AutoArchive runs: Outlook is designed to run the archive automatically but still if you want final confirmation before the tire touches the road. You can cancel auto-archiving by clicking No in the prompt.

outlook autarchies cancellation

  • Archive or delete old items. This option allows you to configure your own auto-archive settings. If unchecked, Outlook will use the default AutoArchive settings.
  • Show archive folder in the folder list. This option creates an archive folder separately.
  • Clean out items older than. You can Specify the time period after which your Outlook automatically archives items. You can select one day to 60 months maximum.
  • Move old items to. By default Outlook archive files and save to a specific location C:\Users\<user_name>\Documents\Outlook Files\archive.pst,  instead of deleting them (selecting this radio button clears the selection of Permanently delete items). You can change the location by clicking on the browse button.
  • Permanently delete items. This option is selected to delete old items permanently as soon as they reach the end of the aging period.

Outlook Manual Archive [Step by Step method]

Archiving emails in Outlook manually is another great option that runs a different path: You can control all archiving actions manually. The manual process always keeps all dices in your control, you can decide which items you need to archive and which you don’t.

  • Open Outlook
  • Click File Tab >> Info >> Tools >> Clean up old items

clean up old items

  • In the archive dialog box, two options “Archive all folders according to their auto-archive setting” and “Archive this folder and all subfolders” option, Select the second option, then select the folder you need to archive.
  • Or In case you like to archive the entire email address (root folder), you can directly select the email address.

Archive this folder and all subfolders

  • Archive items older than, select the date which indicates outlook to archive items older than the specified date.
  • You can checkbox Include items with ‘Do not AutoArchive’ Checked: If you want to archive items that are excluded from auto-archiving
  • Click the Browse button to select the location or leave it as it is, the location is already selected by default.
  • Click Ok and the system start archiving the items below the specified date and transfer them to the archive folder.
Note: You can repeat the process manually for different folders and considering different dates as per your requirement, all the archive items will be stored into a single archive folder until you create a new one for it.

How to Set up One-Click Archive?

Apart from the above method, in case you immediately want to archive a specific email message from any of your folders, select the email message, and click Archive from the home.

archive home tab

The email immediately shifted the archive folder, in case you don’t have an archive folder created, Outlook asks you to create one or choose an existing one.
set up one click archive

How to find the archive file Stored?

Where can I find the archive folder in outlook? This question everybody asking, there are a couple of ways to find archive .pst file in Outlook.

Select the Archive folder from the navigation section, right-click the Archive folder, and then click Open File Location. This will immediately open the folder where your archived .pst file is stored.

How to find the archive file Stored
Another option to find saved file location is:
  1. Click File Tab >> Account Settings >> Account Settings.
  2. In the Account Settings dialog, Click on the Data Files tab.
  3. You see all email address data files and among all that archive .pst file is also available.
  4. Select the archive file and click on Open File Location.
  5. That will also take you to the location.

Archive Open File Location

Outlook 2019 – 2010

  • Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10 C:\Users\<user name>\Documents\Outlook Files\archive.pst
  • Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

How to archive a folder in Outlook?

After activation of auto-archive in Outlook, there must be a specific folder you don’t need to archive or need toHow to archive a folder in Outlook modify the inputs.

  • Select the folder and Right-click on the folder
  • Click Properties from the list >> Properties dialog box appears
  • Select AutoArchive tab
  • Select the radio button Do not archive items in this folder, in case you don’t want to include this folder entirely from archiving.

do not archive items in this folder

  • Another option allows you to customize your own default setting while archiving.

archive this folder using this setting

  1. Select the time period (in months, week & days) for cleaning out items older, after which items should be moved to the archive.
  2. You can select whether you, like to change the location or use the default location. whether to use the default archive folder.
  3. Permanently delete old items without archiving.
  4. Click Ok to Execute.

Difference Between Archive and Delete

Most of the users (including me) unable to differentiate between archive and delete, the question is should you delete or archive email!

Outlook Archive vs Delete

There is no such huge difference between Outlook archive and Delete.

One of the major differences is archive designed to move email messages older than a specific time aged. In case of delete user required to select the individual email message and send it to delete the message.

In some large organizations, the email provider is designed to remove all emails available in the delete folder (often after 30 days), however, you’ll likely want to empty your Deleted Items folder from time to time in order to save space and stay organized.

In the archive, the email stays for a long period of time, until it was customized to delete the older email message from the archive folder.

One of the drawbacks of the archive, that it doesn’t shrink the size of your mailbox. Any email you see in either the trash or archive folder can be moved back to your inbox folder.

Unknown facts about Outlook Archive

  • For most account types, Microsoft Outlook keeps all emails, contacts, appointments, tasks, and notes in a .pst file called the Outlook Data File. PST is the only file type that can be archived. As soon as an old item is moved from the main .pst file into an archive.pst file, it is displayed in the Outlook Archive folder and is no longer available in the original folder.
  • Archiving is not the same as exporting. Exporting copies of the original items to the export file, but does not remove them from the current folder, nor from the main .pst file.
  • An archive file is not the same as an Outlook backup. If you want to back up your archived items, you will have to make a copy of your archive.pst file and store it in a safe location.
  • Contacts are never auto-archived in any Outlook version. However, you can archive the Contacts folder manually.
  • If you have an Outlook Exchange account with an online archive mailbox, archiving in Outlook is disabled.

How long do archived emails stay in Outlook?

Technically archive keep your email in archive folder until you customized to remove or delete from it, just like you keep unwanted email message in your inbox.

Does Outlook Archive Count Towards Quota?

The straight forward reply to this question is Yes!

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