How to archive mail

Please keep in mind that manual archiving is a one-time process, and you will need to repeat the below steps each time you want to move older items to archive.

In Outlook 2016, go to the File tab, and click Tools > Clean up old items, while in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, click File > Cleanup Tool > Archive…


In the Archive dialog box, select the Archive this folder and all sub folders option, and then select a folder to archive. For example, to archive items from calendar, select the Calendar folder.

Archive Dialog

If you want to archive all emails, calendars, and tasks, select the root folder in your Outlook mailbox, i.e. the one at the top of your folder list. By default, in Outlook 2010 and later versions, the root folder is displayed as your email address (I've renamed mine to Svetlana as shown in the screenshot below):

Rename root folder


And then, configure a few more settings:

  • Under Archive items older than, enter a date specifying how old an item has to be before it can be move to the archive.
  • Click the Browse button if you want to change the default location of the archive file.
  • If you want to archive items that are excluded from auto-archiving, select the Include items with "Do not AutoArchive" checked box.

Finally, click OK, and Outlook will begin creating an archive immediately. As soon as the process is completed, the Archive folder will appear in your Outlook.

Tips and notes:

  1. To archive a few folders using different settings, e.g. keep more items from your Sent Items folder longer than from Drafts, repeat the above steps for each folder individually, and save all folders to the same archive.pst file. If you choose to create a few different archive files, each file will add its own Archives folder to your list of folders.
  2. The Outlook Archive maintains the existing folder structure. For example, if you choose to archive just one folder, and that folder has a parent folder, an empty parent folder will be created in the archive. 
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