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An online archive (also called an archive mailbox) is a place where you can store old email messages so they don't take up space in your primary mailbox. An archive mailbox is a specialized mailbox that appears alongside your primary mailbox folders in Outlook for Mac. You can access your archive the same way that you access your primary mailboxes. Your IT or Microsoft 365 admin enables the archive mailbox for you.

If you're an admin, see Enable archive mailboxes in the compliance center for more information.

Important: In order for your online archive mailbox to work with the new Outlook for Mac, your mailbox should be on a Microsoft365 server.

  • For easy online access, you can simply drag and drop messages from your primary mailbox into your archive.

  • To reduce the size and improve the performance of your primary mailbox, you can set Archive Policies that automatically move email items from your primary mailbox to your archive mailbox.

  • Your IT or Microsoft 365 administrator sets your archive and retention policies. Archive policies control how long messages are left in an email folder before they're moved to an archive. Retention policies control how long your messages will be saved. Although admins set these policies for the entire organization, you can override the policies to suit your needs. For more information, see Retention and archive policies in Outlook Web App.

How to Access the Online Archive in new Outlook for Mac

If you have a Microsoft 365 account and your IT or Microsoft 365 admin has enabled the archive mailbox for you, your Online Archive folder will appear in your Outlook folder pane.

  1. Open the new Outlook for Mac.

  2. In the folder pane of your email, find and expand your Online Archive folder.

    Online archive in Outlook for Mac

  3. Explore your Online Archive folders.

    Online archive expanded

Note: Currently, the new Outlook for Mac supports only the Mail module. If you moved folders, calendar items, contacts, tasks, or notes to your archive in any other version of Outlook, such as Outlook for Windows, you won't be able to view them in the online archive mailbox using the new Outlook for Mac.

Known Issues 

  • The Unread count doesn't sync across clients.

  • You can’t successfully send email when attempting Reply, Reply All, or Forward operations.

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