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Are you archiving your email? If not you’re missing out on a great opportunity to save all mail coming in. I like to have every bit of email especially at work when you can bring up email as support for a variety of reasons. Imagine if you could pull an email quickly and easily from your archive that was 5 years old. If you’re not archiving and still trying to save your email in folders or worse the inbox, your going to run into problems eventually. Microsoft outlook is designed to send and receive email in a moderate volume. Don’t turn it into a database of old emails, it will become slow and unresponsive.

Setting it up. There are several ways to do this, I am going to cover the easiest first and this is the one I recommend. There are many archive setting in outlook, please use only the ones I am mentioning here.

Go to the Tools menu…

Then options

Then go to Other tab

select AutoArchive

Okay you’re going to see the menu screen below. Each piece of this is crucial so pay attention. I recieve so much email and large attachments that I need to archive every few days to stay with in my profiles limitations for outlook data file size. If you’re setting this up at home you won’t have a data limitation other than your hard drive size. Some companies will not allow your outlook data file to grow too large. If you’re like me make sure you and need to set a regular archive setting make sure you read my post on finding email very easily using microsofts desktop search.

Set autoarchive to run every 30, 60 or 90 days.

For you beginners I would select “prompt before…” this way you’ll know when it’s going to happen and you can keep your eye on it.

During AutoArchive

Delete expired items, (probably not unless you’re using this feature)

Select “Archive or delete old items”

Select “show archive folder in folder list”

Select the time frame that you would like your folders to be cleaned out by.

“clean out itmes older than x months” I recommend 3 months that’s the typical time frame we are all referencing emails from.

The next part is very important please pay close attention here. 90% of problems come from this step.

“Move old items to” Locate your default archive file, I can do a whole post on this step and probably will. But if you don’t know where your file is, here are some common locations.

c:\Windows\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Select the location where you want your archive file. You can see below I have a different location.

If you have several archive folders that you have tried through trial and error, stay with me here, we’ll discuss shortly.

Lastely press the “apply these settings to all folders now”. Don’t worry if you don’t want your trash and infected email folder archived. We’ll deal with that in a minute. The problem is that each folder has a archive property. Most people set these steps up and don’t realize that each folder has it’s own settings. So for now we have set everything the same.

Now you have your email set up by default everything is running to your selections listed above. Good job we’re almosts done. Hang in there. Now you say but “I don’t want my trash can to be archived, or my virus folder.” Okay now we need to go back to your inbox and right click on folders you don’t want to archive. Select properties.

Select Auto Archive tab

Select “Do not archive items in this folder”

You can see that I have some custom settings for my trash can, you can go and set folders up as you wish. However, you need to go to your inbox folder and make sure that you’re not archiving that. Unless you want to, but for me, my inbox is where I keep all my current work.

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