Staff Email - Outlook AutoArchive
On the PC you can configure Outlook's 'AutoArchive' feature to periodically archive any emails older than a certain date. Note that this feature is not available in Outlook 2011 for the Apple Mac, but you can create a rule to move emails older than a certain date to the Inbox folder on your computer, effectively the same as using AutoArchive in the PC versions of Outlook.
After you archive your data you will still be able to access these archived emails in Outlook via a new folder titled 'Archive Folders'. Archiving reduces the size of your Outlook data file and so helps improve the performance of Outlook providing quicker searching and decreasing the likelihood of corruption leading to data loss.
Those using the Exchange email service are limited to a quota of 1GB (approx. 1000MB) data in their mailbox. For further information on how to check your quota usage please see our web page on email quotas.
Configuring AutoArchive in Outlook 2007 & 2010 (PC)
In Outlook 2007 choose Tools - Options, select the Other tab and click AutoArchive
In Outlook 2010 choose File - Options, choose Advanced on the left and click AutoArchive Settings
- To enable AutoArchive check the first checkbox 'Run AutoArchive every x days' (uncheck this box if you wish to disable the AutoArchive feature). The screen shot below is taken from Outlook 2003 and may differ slightly for other versions of Outlook.
- Beside 'Run AutoArchive every' choose how often you wish the AutoArchive function to run. The default is every 14 days.
- Under 'Default folder settings for archiving' be aware that the default setting is to archive any items older than 6 months. Increase or decrease this setting as you desire.
- Take note of the archive.pst file location under 'Move old items to:' so that you may backup this file. It is recommended that you choose the 'Browse' button here in order to save the archive.pst file to a particular location as in the example above.
- Once you are happy with your settings click 'Apply these settings to all folders now'. Then click OK and OK again.
- You should now run an Archive manually. Please be aware that if your current Outlook data file (.pst file) is large then the initial Archive may take anywhere up to 30 minutes and affect the performance of your computer.
To instigate a manual archive choose File - Archive. Choose 'Archive all folders according to their AutoArchive settings'. Click OK. All emails older than the time specified above will be moved to a new folder called 'Archive Folders'. You can manually run the Archive feature yourself at any time in this manner.
Note that it is possible to change the AutoArchive settings for individual folders within Outlook e.g. Inbox, Calendar, Sent Items, Tasks. To do so, right-click on the folder and choose Properties, then click the AutoArchive tab.
Compacting 'Local' Outlook Data Files
After your email has been archived it is recommended that you perform the following steps to compact your archived Outlook data file in order to optimise the space taken up by it. The Outlook data file is a .PST file saved locally on your computer and contains all your archived Outlook data.
- In Outlook 2007 choose File - Data File Management
In Outlook 2010 choose File - Account Settings - Account Settings and select the Data Files tab
- Click on the relevant file in the list to select it
- Choose Settings
- Click on Compact Now
- Click OK, Close and Close again
Your local Outlook data file has now been compacted, minimising how much space it occupies.
- In Outlook from the Tools menu select Rules
- Select Exchange in the rules window and click the '+' sign to add a new rule
- Name the rule '180 Day Auto Archive', or whatever is suitable.
- Under the If section, define the criterion as Date Recieved, choose is greater than or equal to and then enter 180 for days old
- Under the Then section, define the action as Move message and choose Inbox (On My Computer)
- Click OK, making sure that the Enabled button is selected if you would like to apply this rule to your current mailbox
- Whenever you wish to run this rule then from the Message menu select Rules and then the rule you would like to process. This process may take some time to run depending on how much mail you have in your inbox.