Work like a Pro Series – Archiving your Emails in Outlook

Do you have an ever-increasing inbox? Our data shows that on average an organisation's email volume doubles every 18-24 months.

Archiving your emails is a way to manage the overall size of your mailbox. It also allows you to operate your emails in a more manageable and efficient manner. This article provides you with step by step instructions on how to archive email messages in Microsoft Outlook using PST (Personally Stored Data) files. Once emails are archived into PST files, they are no longer stored on the email server (e.g. Exchange). We will also provide guidelines on how to name and store your PST files to ensure they are backed up and easily retrievable.

As always, we are happy to help, any questions please post your question, we are happy to help.

We will use Microsoft Outlook 2010 to show you how to archive emails. Please note that other versions of Microsoft Outlook also follow similar functions and work flow.

When would I archive?

The frequency of archiving your emails depends on your email data volume and your business requirements. In general, it is recommended to perform this task on a quarterly basis to archive emails that are over 12 months old.

Archived emails are stored in PST files. Our normal practice is to create a PST file for each calendar year. Below is an example of how your Office left hand side panel may look like:

carlson inbox

For best practice, we also like to keep PST files under 2G byte in size. To determine the size of your mailbox or an archive PST file, right click on the mailbox or archive and select “Data File Properties …”. In the pop-up windows, click on “Folder Size … “:


Another window will then be displayed showing the size of your mailbox or archive.


In this example, the size of “archive-2010” is about 888M bytes (or 0.889G).

Some users may have very large volume of emails (eg. due to frequent emails with large attachments).  In those cases, it is recommended to have an archive PST file every half yearly or quarterly.

Creating a new archive

To start the Archive process:

  1. Click on “File” on the top menu bar
  2. Then click on “Cleanup Tools” under the “Info” sub menu
  3. Select “Archive…”


Input the following 3 fields of information:

  1. The top folder to archive
  2. The date when emails older than that date will be archived
  3. The name and location of the archive file


In this example, we choose to archive all data from the top of the mailbox.  Also, we are archiving emails that are older than 31st of March 2014.

The archive file location should be:

  1. On the network drive
  2. Under a personal folder where access is restricted to yourself only

You can always talk to your engineer at itconnexion, your engineer will inform you the appropriate location for your archive.  If you work on a laptop that requires off-site access, special arrangements will be made to your copy of the PST file. This is due to the fact that while off-site, your laptop may not have access to the network drive and therefore Outlook may not be able to open your archived file.  The set up for laptops will not be covered in this article.

Finally, click on “OK”.

That’s it.  The archiving will be performed in the background and you can continue to use Outlook as normal.

The status of the archiving will be displayed in the task bar at the button of the Outlook windows.


Please note: Emails that have been archived will appear in the archive folder and will no longer be available in your mailbox.

You can also set up your Outlook to run the archiving automatically using the “AutoArchive” function.

For more details about email archiving and AutoArchive, please visit:

We hope you have found this feature helpful. Stay tuned for more regular updates.

We can help you!

In case you’re still unsure about the process or if you need further assistance, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email. Our team of experts will be sure to offer a helping hand.

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