3 Best Way to Archive Outlook Emails

Here we go with the best way to archive outlook emails. Read through this step by step guide!


Outlook is a personal information manager introduced by Microsoft in 2008. Although most of us use Outlook for emails, it is much more than that. It can manage our calendar, tasks, contacts, notes and even our daily journal. It is like your own personal secretary. 

Microsoft Outlook can be used by individuals and by organisations as a multi-user software. Some of the shared functions it provides are mailboxes, calendars, folders, appointment scheduling and SharePoint lists. 

Since its release in 2008, Outlook has evolved according to the needs of its users. It has released its own applications from iOS and Android users. If you’re using a Windows Phone then you can even synchronise all data from Outlook to your mobile. 

Due to this many functions, it may happen that you get confused about how to do some certain functions. Also there are different ways to do even a single function. To make your life easier, here we are to discuss one of them; the best way to archive outlook emails. 

Why do we need to archive emails? 

As the need for digital communication is rising everyday, more and more businesses are archiving their emails on a daily basis. Outlook can archive any kind of file, but its program can run only those files that are stored in email, for example: a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document, that’s an attachment for an email message. A file that’s not stored in an email folder can’t be archived.

The various benefits of archiving emails that they get are:- 

  • It gives us cleaner inbox that’s easier to manage
  • Archiving certain emails gives immediate access to them no matter when they were sent or received
  • Archiving them provides search functionality that helps to look through their content and attachments.
  • It prevents loss of important data
  • It helps in storage management of emails and their data
  • It helps corporate organization in keeping track of communication with their employees
  • It protects your company or business against potential litigation that may occur.
  • It protects intellectual property of business
  • Automating email index through centralised administration prevents accidental deletion of important data by any employee. 
  • Archiving solutions help in easy following of regulatory compliance given by state and federal government regarding storage of mails.
  • Reduced cost related to IT maintenance. This is more useful if you decide to store third party messages on a cloud service. 
  • Archiving also has this unique feature of tagging and commenting on emails for the ease of outside legal counsel. 

Different ways of archiving emails in Outlook

To find out the best way to archive outlook emails, we need to first go through various ways of archiving outlook emails. They are:

  • Using AutoArchive feature of Outlook

This feature is an alternative to manually going over the archiving process. It is sometimes set by default for some folders and for others it needs to be set by the user. All the outlook files that exceed the predefined time of storage are automatically moved to a PST file. The PST file is created at the following location by Outlook’s default setting- 

C:\Users\ \AppData\Local\MicrosoftOutlook.

The AutoArchive feature contains a two-step process. First, you switch on the AutoArchive feature. Second, you set the properties for the AutoArchive feature for every folder that you simply want archived. 

At the folder level, you’ll be able to determine the things that are to be archived and the way they are frequently archived. you’ll automatically archive individual folders, otherwise you can configure a default AutoArchive setting for all folders then configure AutoArchive settings for individual folders that you simply don’t want to use the default AutoArchive settings. The AutoArchive feature runs automatically whenever you begin Outlook. Outlook checks the AutoArchive properties of every folder by date and moves old items to your archive file. 

The default folders where usually autoarchive is acting are- 

  • Calendars
  • Outbox
  • Tasks
  • Journal
  • Sent items
  • Deleted items
  • Notes

You can change the default autoarchive settings and manually archive your emails by following these steps-

Method 1

  1. (1) If you have Outlook 2013, then go like this- File>info>cleanup tools> archive.
  2. (2) If you have Outlook 2016, then go like  this- Files>info>tools>cleanup old items.
  1. Then you will find an option named Archive this folder and all subfolders, click on it.
  2. Assign a date under Archive items older than.
  3. If you want different settings for different folders, you can create more .PST files. 
  4. If you want to include some individual items without autoarchive settings, just check the “Include items with DO NOT AUTOARCHIVE box.
  5. Click Ok.

To turn off the autoarchive settings- 

  1. Go to files>options>advanced
  2. Go to autoarchive settings
  3. There will be a box that says “run autoarchive for n days”, uncheck it.

Method 2

  1.  Firstly, you need to create a new .PST file or a local folder to store your archived files. You can do so by creating a new folder in My Computer and name it “Archived Emails”. 
  2. Then you need to create a new archiving rule. You can do so by going to Tools then rules. Then select exchange which will be available on On my Computer section. There you will find a ‘+’ near the bottom of that window. You can name the rule anything you want but it should be relevant to the cycle of archiving. 
  3. Then you need to define the time limit for you emails that needs to be archived and their Destination. Go to  “When a new message arrives” menu, change the Date Received (try 120-180 days) and then change Do the Following to a more effective action like “Move Message + Archived Mail.” Once you are done, enable the following settings and click ok. 
  4. You can also change the setting of older folders to have them follow the new rule. This way your Outlook will not get clogged up. 
  5. Access the archived files easily now whenever you want. They are available on the left side column of the folders. 

Method 3

Archiving on Outlook Mobile- From the inbox view, long-press one message and you will see the archive icon. Tap this icon to archive the message. you’ll also set “archive” as a swipe option (Settings -> Swipe Options), then use your finger to swipe on the mail you’d wish to archive. To archive a message from an open email view, tap the archive icon within the top right corner of your screen. An archived message is defaulted to the Archive folder on Exchange / Office 365 / iCloud / Outlook / Yahoo and “All Mail” on Gmail / Google Apps. 


The best way to archive emails is the manual method only. It might take more time but you can program it according to you and can have different settings for different folders. This will help to keep your outlook running smoothly without any storage issues and will give you access to the important files easily. 

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