Select the product you need help with
- Internet Explorer
- Windows Phone
- More products
Description of the AutoArchive feature in Outlook
Article ID: 830119 - View products that this article applies to.
For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 version of this article, see 239652
For a Microsoft Outlook 2002 version of this article, see 290847
This article describes the AutoArchive feature in Microsoft Outlook 2013, in Microsoft Outlook 2010, in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.
Your Microsoft Outlook mailbox grows as items are created in the same way that papers pile up on your desk. In the paper-based world, you can occasionally shuffle through your documents and store those that are important but that are rarely used. You can discard documents that are less important, such as newspapers and magazines, based on their age.
You can quickly complete the same process in Outlook 2003 and later versions. You 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 the AutoArchive feature. Items are considered old when they reach the age that you specify. With the AutoArchive feature, you can either delete or move old items. Outlook can archive all kinds of items, but it can only locate files that are stored in an e-mail folder, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document, that is attached to an e-mail message. A file that is not stored in an e-mail folder cannot be archived.
The AutoArchive feature has a two-step process. First, you turn on the AutoArchive feature. Second, you set the properties for the AutoArchive feature for each folder that you want archived.
At the folder level, you can determine the items that are to be archived and how frequently they are archived. You can automatically archive individual folders, or you can configure a default AutoArchive setting for all folders and then configure AutoArchive settings for individual folders that you do not want to use the default AutoArchive settings. The AutoArchive feature runs automatically whenever you start Outlook. Outlook checks the AutoArchive properties of each folder by date and moves old items to your archive file. Items that are moved to the Deleted Items folder are deleted.
Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007By default, several Outlook folders are set up with the AutoArchive feature turned on. The following is a list of the folders that have the AutoArchive feature turned on and of each folder's default aging period:
The Calendar folder (6 months)
The Tasks folder (6 months)
The Journal folder (6 months)
The Sent Items folder (2 months)
The Deleted Items folder (2 months)
The Inbox, the Notes, the Contacts, and the Drafts folders do not have the AutoArchive feature turned on automatically. You cannot use the AutoArchive feature with the Contacts folder, as the Contacts folder does not have an archive property.
Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013By default, the AutoArchive feature is turned off in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013. However, by default, the AutoArchive feature is enabled in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. Therefore, if you do not disable the AutoArchive feature in Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007 and upgrade to Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, the AutoArchive feature remains enabled.
The Difference Between Archiving and Exporting ItemsWhen you archive items, you can only archive the items to a personal folders (.pst) file. When you export items, you can export the items to many different file types, including .pst files and delimited text files. Your existing folder structure is maintained in your new archive file. If there is a parent folder above the folder that you archived, the parent folder is created in the archive file, but the items that are in the parent folder are not archived. In this way, the same folder structure exists between the archive file and your mailbox. Folders are left in place after being archived, even if they are empty. You can only archive one file type, a .pst file.
When you export items, the original items are copied to the export file, but they are not removed from the current folder.
How to Turn On the AutoArchive FeatureFor Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013:
Important The Outlook Data (.pst) file that you choose as the default archive file must be located on the local computer. The use of networked .pst files is only supported with Outlook 2010 and under very specific conditions. For more information about the limits to using .pst files over the network, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297019/ )Limits to using personal folders (.pst) files over LAN and WAN links
How to Set the AutoArchive Properties for a FolderFor Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013:
Article ID: 830119 - Last Review: January 29, 2013 - Revision: 7.0