Using the AutoArchive feature in Ms Outlook – A Primer

In nearly every organization today, emails have become theDisable-AutoArchive-300x231 default means of communication. In a given work day you may receive numerous emails based on your work profile and over time your Ms Outlook inbox would grow huge. Now an increased inbox size is a sure recipe for disaster as it increases the chances of corruption of .pst files. Moreover storing excessively old data slows down your search process unless you set filters. Thus it is always advisable to archive the older emails in a phased manner. While you can obviously select certain emails and click on the Archive option, such a process is time consuming and cumbersome. Using the AutoArchive feature you can automatically set emails beyond a given date to be archived and stored into a separate .pst file.


  • Setting preferences for AutoArchive

To start using the AutoArchive feature you need to first enable it. To do so you need to visit the Tools menu and move on to the Options tab. Next in the Options window, click on the Other tab. In this screen you need mark the checkbox next to AutoArchive and enter the period after which you wish the AutoArchive feature to run. While you can set the feature, individually for each folder, we would suggest that you select a moderate timeframe, say 3 months and apply the AutoArchive feature on all folders. Further you can set the path of the archived files and access them directly at a later stage.

It is interesting to note that Outlook versions 2003 and 2007 comes with AutoArchive enabled for certain folders such as deleted files and sent files. However the latest iteration does not have these default settings and you need to manually enable them as per your need. To set AutoArchive preferences at a folder level, you just need to select a folder and right click and move down and click on Properties. In the subsequent window you need to visit the AutoArchive tab. Here you can either choose to archive the folder or leave it untouched. Again you can also set custom preferences for the folder or exercise the option to use the default settings.

It must be also pointed out that in case you use the Outlook client with an Exchange server then the retention policy applied by your administrator may apply. In such cases the preferences you set may not work and ideally you should get in touch with your IT team.


  • What if even after using AutoArchive your .pst files get corrupted

Large file size is one of the several causes which can potentially harm your .pst files. In case your .pst files have got corrupted it is prudent for you to secure a powerful outlook repair tool such as the DataNumen Outlook repair application. Based on its proven expertise in extracting contents from compromised personal storage folders, we wholeheartedly recommend it as the tool you only need to look at any issue related recovering data from Outlook files.


Author Introduction:

Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and outlook repair software products. For more information visit

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