Backing up your data is vital, but one area that many of us overlook is our email accounts. If you use Microsoft’s Office 365 email program – Outlook – there is a way you can collect emails into one folder for easy backup: Archive.
Below are steps on how you can archive your email in Outlook, and how to later retrieve the archived items.
How to archive email in Outlook
Outlook gives you basically two options:
- Open Outlook and click on File.
- Select Options followed by Advanced.
- Click on AutoArchive Settings which is located in the third box down.
- Tick the box beside Run AutoArchive every XX Days. This will turn on AutoArchive. Be sure to set how often you would like it to run.
- Set the location where archived emails will be stored by clicking Browse. Be sure to also set the age limit that determines when old emails will be moved by selecting the options beside Clean out items older than…
- Press Apply these settings to all folders now to apply the changes and then press OK when you have set up the options to your preferences.
Before you manually archive your emails, we recommend creating a new folder in Outlook by clicking on Inbox in the ribbon above the email screen, followed by New Folder. Select the name and location for the folder and press OK. You can then manually move emails you wish to archive into this folder. From there:
- Press File followed by Info.
- Press the Cleanup Tools button and select Archive…
- Tick Archive this folder and all subfolders: and select the folder you recently created from the menu below. Note: If you set up AutoArchive, you can press Archive all folders according to their AutoArchive settings to force an AutoArchive.
- Set the age limit in the box that says Archive items older than:. Email older than the date you selected will be archived while newer ones will remain.
- Select the location for the archive by clicking Browse and picking the folder on your computer where you would like the backup to be saved.
- Press OK and your files will be archived.
A few things to be aware of
We strongly recommend that when selecting a location to store your archived emails that you select the default location suggested by Outlook. We also recommend that you archive emails you don’t need regular access to, because when you archive them, they are taken out of your Inbox.
Retrieve your archived emails
If you navigate to the folder you set for your backup, you will see the archived emails labeled as archive.pst. If you back up your system regularly, we strongly recommend you ensure that this file is also backed up, as if your system crashes and you haven’t backed up this file, you will lose all of your archived emails.
For users of Outlook 2013, you can easily access your archived emails:
- Open Outlook.
- Select Archives and press the black arrow.
- Click on the file you have selected to archive.
- The emails should pop right up.
If you have an older version of Outlook, you can access your archived emails by:
- Press File followed by Open.
- Select Open Outlook Data File.
- Click on the archived file and press OK.
Note: This will move ALL archived emails back into your Inbox and other folders, so you will need to re-archive them.
If you would like to learn more about Outlook and other programs included in Office 365, please contact us today.