Learn How To Archive Outlook 2010 Email & Improve Outlook Performance

Read the advantages of archiving your Microsoft Outlook 2010 email, or scroll down straight away to start your archiving process.

Note: archiving instructions in this article apply to all versions of Outlook, except where stated. The only difference is how to access the Auto-Archiving settings dialog. Otherwise, the instructions are identical.

Advantages of Auto-Archiving Microsoft Outlook Email

Archiving is a very helpful tool for any type of account - POP, IMAP, or MAPI. It is best if archiving is set up automatically, instead of remembering to do it periodically. In this guide, we show how to archive your emails automatically, to make the most of your Outlook email.

The archiving process is not mandatory, but it is crucial to maintain optimal speeds in your Outlook. The larger your Outlook account, the more performance slows down. Many email users have found it helpful to archive when they have a very large account, and when they have many emails that are months, or years old, that they no longer use.

It is important to keep in mind that when you archive, you are removing the emails from your email server. Archiving creates a compressed file in your computer’s hard drive. For this reason, it is STRONGLY recommended that you create a back up copy of these emails periodically. They can be burned to a CD, placed on a flash stick, or any type of memory device that can accommodate the size of the file.

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STEP 1: Access the Auto-Archiving Settings (specific to Outlook 2010)

  • Select the File tab from the main menu bar and click Options.


Outlook 2010 File Tab
STEP 2: Select the Advanced tab from the left column.

Then click the button AutoArchive Settings... ( this button is fifth button from the top on the right side ).
Outlook 2010 Advanced Options

STEP 3: Applying the Auto-Archiving Settings

Run AutoArchive every (x) days

This is where you tell AutoArchiving how often to run. Our example shows every 14 days. Choose whatever value is most appropriate for you.

Prompt before AutoArchive runs

This feature is useful because it gives you the option to cancel this particular AutoArchiving process.

Delete Expired Items

This feature only applies to emails that are defined to expire on a specific date. See the end of this article for an explanation of the difference between expired and older emails.

Archive or delete old items

If this checkbox is selected, then items older than the time specified in Clean out items older than will be archived or deleted.
Outlook 2010 Auto-Archiving Settings

More archiving options

The remaining options are probably the most important. This is where you choose to permanently delete older emails or add them to the archive on your hard disk.

Once an email is deleted, it is removed from both the server and the local machine, and cannot ever be read again. If an email is archived however, that email is accessible through the archive folder.

Show archive folder in folder list

Be sure to place a check next to this option in order to be able to access your archived emails easily.

Permanently delete old items

Selecting this option will permanently remove your older emails from both the server and your local hard drive.

Move old items to

Selecting this option will archive your emails locally on your hard drive. You can use the default archiving folder, or press the Browse button to choose another location.

What is the difference between Expired and Older emails ?

An expired email is an email that specified a date expire when it was created or sent. This might be useful for emails sent concerning a discount or offer that is only valid for a limited time.

An older email is an email sent farther in the past than the number of days specified in the setting Clean out items older than.

Written by: Cody Miller
Staff Writer
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