How to Archive Outlook Emails?


Most of you must be thinking about the right procedure for archiving Outlook emails and how to access archived emails. If you are wondering deleting and archiving are same or not, do not think hard, just stick till the end of the article to find your queries answered. You will be able to understand what does Outlook archive mean and why is it even important.

Archiving Outlook emails is one of the best choices to keep your Outlook email application out of load and error-free which in turn increases its performance.

Archive Outlook emails

Table of Contents:

What is Archive Outlook Email mean?
What is the purpose of archiving Outlook emails?
How to archive emails in outlook Manually?
How to Auto Archive the Outlook Emails?
How To Access Archived Emails In Outlook?

What is archiving emails in Outlook?

Archiving emails in Outlook means saving or backing up the items of Outlook such as messages, contacts, tasks, calendars and other items. An Outlook email archive is created to reduce the size of an Outlook data file that is too large to increase its performance.

What is the purpose of archiving Outlook emails?

Archiving Outlook emails benefits you in many ways such as reducing storage requirements, increasing server performance, quickens the search capabilities, helps in recovering Outlook emails.

The default Outlook’s AutoArchive setting for the deleted items folder is to delete the old emails permanently. An Archive.pst file is automatically created even if you did not specify it to be created. Hence, your PST file won’t be queued up with unnecessary files and take much of the storage space.

How do you archive emails in outlook?

There are several methods to archive emails in Outlook and those methods depend on the types of email account you have.  Archive folder is just like one of the default Outlook folders like inbox, sent and etc. All accounts on your profile will have access to the archive folder and you cannot delete the archive folder

The main reason behind archiving the emails is to reduce mailbox size. If you just move messages to the archive box will not reduce the mailbox size.  you either have to Manually archive the emails or use the AutoArchive setting.

Note: If your organization uses a different email server account than the account you are using, the Archive command and feature doesn’t appear in your Outlook profile. 

How to Archive Outlook Emails Manually?

Archiving emails manually has its own benefits like controlling which items to archive, where to store them and how old an item needs to be before it is archived. Follow the steps given below to archive the Outlook emails manually.

Step 1

In Outlook 2016, 2019 and 2021: Click File > Info > Cleanup Tools > Archive

In Outlook 2013: Click File > Info > Tools > Clean up old items

Step 2: Click the Archive this folder and all subfolders option, and choose the folder you want to archive.

Step 3: At the end of the Window, you have an option called Archive items older than, enter a date to mention how old messages you need to archive.

Step 4: Check the Include items with “Do not AutoArchive” checked box for selected items to exclude from automatic archiving. Click OK.

How to use AutoArchive to back up or delete items?

AutoArchive is a setting, which is turned on by default and automatically moves old items to an archive location at scheduled intervals. Follow the steps to set up the AutoArchive feature.

Archiving Outlook emails by AutoArchive

Step 1: Go to File->Options

Step 2: Select Advanced->AutoArchive Setting…..

Step3: Above displayed window appears. Schedule the period in terms of days for AutoArchive. 

Note: To specify different archive settings for any other folder, right-click on the folder and choose Properties, then go to the AutoArchive tab. 

Outlook emails are generally archived to provide quick access to your important emails. What if those archived emails are lost because of any PST file corruption or damage? In such situations, make use of the Outlook PST repair tool that fixes PST corruption and recovers all Outlook data items including contacts, emails, calendars etc.

Once you have successfully archived your Outlook emails, the next question would be how to access those emails? The next section holds few manual accessing methods to access archived emails in Outlook.

How To Access Archived Emails In Outlook?

There are two ways to access archived emails in Outlook-

Access archived emails from Navigation Pane 

If you have opened the archived .pst file already in Microsoft Outlook, just go to the Mail view and click on the Archives folder or its subfolders in the Navigation pane. You can see the archived emails.

Access archived emails whose folders are not in the Navigation Pane

If you have not opened the archived .pst file in Microsoft Outlook prior, use the archive folder before accessing archived emails. To open the folder follow the below-mentioned steps.

Step 1: Click on the File > Open & Export > Open Outlook Data File in Outlook 2013 and the newer version.

Note: In Outlook 2010 and older versions: Click on the File > Open > Outlook Data File

Step 2: Outlook Data File dialog box appears on the screen, find out and select the archived .pst file and then click on the OK button.

Step 3: Now, go to the mail View and click on the Archives folder or its subfolders in the Navigation Pane. Then you can access all archived emails easily.

Note: Not only archived emails, but you can also get the archived calendars, contacts, items, notes, etc. by pressing Ctrl + 6 keys to show the folder list and then click corresponding folders under Archives in the Navigation Pane.


With an increase in flow of spam emails and unlimited mail subscriptions, finding your important emails in your inbox is a tedious task. Outlook archiving helps you declutter your inbox and lets you store emails separately.  All the above-mentioned methods are some of the easiest ways to archive your Outlook emails. 

If you have successfully archived your emails in Outlook or if you have any queries related to archiving Outlook emails, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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