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How to Use the Archive Feature of Outlook 2016 to Manage Your Mailbox


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With the form of communication always made through the Internet, it doesn’t take time before your mailbox becomes a cluttered mess and the size of your Outlook file increases. To keep your mailbox from growing out of control, you can use the archive feature of Outlook 2016. When you archive mail, it saves the messages in another Outlook data file (.pst), which you can open any time. Meanwhile, the Outlook file that you work with every day stays intact.

By default, Outlook automatically archives old items on a regular basis. You can, however, change how often Outlook archives, where the archive file is stored, and other options. Below are the steps on how to adjust the AutoArchive settings of Outlook 2016:

STEP 1: Click on File, then go to Options.

STEP 2: Click on the Advanced section on the left panel, click the AutoArchive Settings button.

STEP 3: Choose the AutoArchive options that you want or don’t want.

NOTE: In this window, you can turn off AutoArchive by unchecking the box next to Run AutoArchive every [x] days, or change its frequency, determine how old items have to be before they’re archived, and set old items to be deleted instead of moved to an archive .pst file.

STEP 4: Click OK once you’ve made your preferred settings.

Manually Archive Email in Outlook 2016

Whether or not you have AutoArchive enabled in Outlook, you can manually archive items, which is a good way to clear out your inbox while still saving messages in case you need them later. In order to do this, follow the steps below:

STEP 1: Click on File, then go to Info.

STEP 2: Click on Cleanup Tools next to Mailbox Cleanup, then select Archive.

STEP 3: Select the folder you want to archive.

NOTE: Outlook will save that folder and all the sub-folders beneath it. If you choose Outlook (the highest folder level), all of the items in Outlook will be moved to a new data file.

STEP 4: Select your archive options, such as the item date.

NOTE: You can change how old emails (or other items) have to be before they get archived and also choose or create a different .pst file.

STEP 5: Click OK and Outlook will begin archiving your mail and other items, depending on the folder you have selected.

NOTE: You can archive mail in Outlook whenever you want and move the archive .pst file to a different drive to save space. When you want to access those old emails again, simply open the .pst file.


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