While it's nice to have e-mail messages available when you need them, having too many affects performance. Professional organizers advise getting rid of things you haven't touched in over a year. Archive items that you haven't opened in a year or two. At least, you can always get them later if a time comes when you need them. Rather than having to do the cleaning, let AutoArchive do the dirty work.
Use AutoArchive to automatically move important but infrequently used items to an archive file and to permanently delete expired items. The following is the default location and name for the archive file:
C:\Documents and Settings\[your user name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst
Archived items appear in the Archives Folder in the Outlook Folder List located in the Navigation Pane.
You may want to backup the archive file the same way as you backup the PST file. Recovering a PST file alone won't recover your archived file. Consider backing up both files at the same time.
You can manually archive items whenever you want by doing the following:
Select Archives from the File menu.
- Select whether to archive folders according to AutoArchive settings or select the folders and subfolders to archive.
- Select the date for archiving items, and click OK.
You can change the settings for AutoArchives using the following steps:
- Select Options from the Tools menu.
- Select the Other tab and click AutoArchive.
- Modify the AutoArchive options to suit your needs and click OK twice to close the windows.
You can turn off AutoArchive to prevent it from running on all folders. Return to AutoArchives options and uncheck the box next to "Run AutoArchive every n days."
You may have folders with items that should stay in your Personal Folders instead of moving into the Archives Folder. To modify Outlook to skip archiving a folder, do the following:
- Right-click the folder and select Properties.
- Select the AutoArchive tab.
- Select Do not archive items in this folder and click OK.