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

Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Amit Bansal

The archive feature in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007 is among the most useful tools to save your emails in a format you can easily refer to later. However managing email archives can be time-consuming, so Outlook 365 now has a built-in archiving feature.

archive icon

Microsoft Outlook is designed to prevent all unwanted emails (which must be part of conversation history) and 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?

Outlook allows users to automatically or manually archive folders based on specific criteria using the Auto Archive feature and permanently delete old emails after a specified period.

This tutorial will cover the entire process of how to archive emails in Outlook, including locating the archive icons and folders within the application.

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?

You can archive messages in two ways:

  • By moving them to another folder
  • By using the Delete and Keep features.

This guide will show you how to archive e-mails in Outlook.

Auto Archive Settings

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

  • Lunch Microsoft Outlook classic
  • Click “File Tab” >> Select “Info” from the left-hand portion of the screen.
  • Select “Options” >> Hit “Advanced Tab” from the left >> Click Auto Archive setting.
Auto Archive Settings
  • The auto archive setting dialog box appears it requires few manual adjustments which result in the outcome
autoarchive

You must select the checkbox “Run Auto Archive every N Day“, which enables all desired options to select or deselected, (until all options are greyed out), by default 2 weeks for auto-archive is given, you can change it 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 the Microsoft Exchange account Archive Folder is available by default in the navigation section.

Outlook Auto Archive settings and options [Explanation]

  • Run Auto Archive every N Day: Adjusting Archiving activity on auto mode depends upon the inputs and how often you want Auto Archive to run. Select a specific period to run the archive process automatically. You can select the time depending on the flow of emails received in your inbox.
  • Prompt before Auto Archive 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
  • Delete expired items (e-mail folders only). Selecting this option deletes all expired messages from your email folders.
  • Archive or delete old items. This option allows you to configure your own auto-archive settings. If unchecked, Outlook will use the default Auto Archive settings.
  • Show the archive folder in the folder list. This option creates an archive folder separately.
  • Clean out items older than. You can Specify the time 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 them 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 dice 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 are “Archive all folders according to their auto-archive setting” and the “Archive this folder and all subfolders” option, Select the second option, then select the folder you need to archive.
  • 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
  • For archive items older than, select the date that indicates Outlook to archive items older than the specified date.
  • You can checkbox Include items with ‘Do not Auto Archive’ 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 starts archiving the items below the specified date and transfers 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 in a single archive folder until you create a new one for it.

How to Set up a 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 the 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 you’re archived .pst file is stored.

How to find the archive file Stored

Another option to find a saved file location is:

  • Click File Tab >> Account Settings >> Account Settings.
  • In the Account Settings dialog, Click on the Data Files tab.
  • You see all email address data files and among all that archive .pst file is also available.
  • Select the archive file and click on Open File Location.
  • 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?

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 to modify the inputs.

  • Select the folder and Right-click on the folder
  • Click Properties from the list >> Properties dialog box appears
  • Select the Auto Archive 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 default setting while archiving.
archive this folder using this setting
  1. Select the time (in months, weeks & 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 them.
  4. Click OK to Execute.

Difference Between Archive and Delete

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

Outlook Archive vs Delete

There is no such enormous difference between Outlook archive and delete.

One of the major differences is archives are designed to move email messages older than a specific time age. In case of deletion, the user is 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 want to empty your Deleted Items folder from time to time to save space and stay organized.

In the archive, the email stays for an extended period, until it was customized to delete the older email message from the archive folder.

One of the drawbacks of the archive is 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 different from 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 different from 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do archived emails stay in Outlook?

In Outlook, archived emails remain in the archive folder indefinitely, unless you have set up an auto-archive feature with specific criteria for deleting old items. If you use the auto-archive feature, you can specify how long items should be kept before being permanently deleted. Without such settings, archived emails will stay in the archive folder until you manually delete them.

Does Outlook Archive Count Towards Quota?

The straightforward reply to this question is Yes!

Final Words

In conclusion, archiving messages will help maintain your message history. When a message is saved in Outlook, it is removed from the inbox and the message list but can still be found in your sent items folder.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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