MS Outlook is an incredible email client that is used widely for personal and business purposes. The best part of the email client is that it allows not only emailing but also storage of personal information like contacts, notes, messages, journals, and tasks. Thus, the storage problem arises. Microsoft has introduced the Archiving Data feature to provide enough storage.

What is Archiving?

Archiving is the process in which the data of the current PST file is transferred to a newly created PST file in order to provide space. Users have the flexibility to archive their choice databases like emails, contacts and calendars. During Archiving, users can smartly maintain their important data bu seperating them to a new file.

Why Does It Need?

Outlook mailbox size is continuously increasing due to the regular exchange of messages. An oversized file can be corrupted. The performance of MS Outlook also goes down or slow down.

Types of Archiving

Manual Archiving

The type allows users to select the desired folders to archive. It is more liked by users than auto-archive.


The type works automatically once users have specified when archiving is required. It selects complete data instead of specific folders.

Store Location

It is depended on the OS version users are using.

Windows 7 and Vista: Drive:\User\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Windows XP: Drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Setting\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Time Limit of Each Folder in Ms Outlook

Inbox and Drafts: 6 months

Calendar, Tasks, Journals, Notes: 6 months

Outbox: 3 months

Send items, Deleted items: 2 months

Setting of Manual Archiving

Open the MS Outlook, go to the ‘File’ menu and then choose ‘Mail box cleanup option’, from the drop-down menu select ‘Archive.’


The Archive dialogue box will open which has two options-

  • Archive the folder and all sub-folders
  • Archive all the folder according to their auto-archive setting

Choose the radio button according to your choice. Users usually select the second option.

From the box, select the folders needs to be archived

Provide the date that how old the item should be

Put a tick on the checkbox

Then ‘Browse’ to specify the location of your new folder to manage data smartly

And press ‘Ok’ button


Auto Archive Process

OpenĀ  MS Outlook, go to the ‘File’ menu and from the drop-down choose ‘Option’


Select ‘Advanced’ tab and then ‘Auto-Archive’


The Auto-archive dialogue box will be appeared. Put a tick mark on the option ‘Run Auto-Archive every-days’ and then select the days you want auto-archive.


In case you want to be notified for the archive, tick mark the secondĀ  option ‘Prompt Before Auto-Archive runs”


In the Auto-archive, there are three options to mark. Select them as per your choice.


Choose the clean out items date as per month, week or days.


How do you want to move to older items? The default location or the location set by you. Click on the radio tab of ‘Move Old Items To’ to transfer to the default location.


In case, users want to permanently delete old items, they can click the option ‘Permanently delete old items’

To apply the changes click on ‘apply these settings to all folders now’

Finally, press the ‘Ok’ tab.

Note: All versions of Outlook have the same method to apply an archive feature, the only difference is finding the ‘Archive Dialogue box.’

A professional MS Outlook users should set the archiving feature to maintain data smartly. Picking the manual method has advantages over auto-method.

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