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Archive File Settings - Outlook
Gives the location of the archive files for Outlook and includes the aging period of Outlook items.  Also details AutoArchive settings and options.
Quick links to sections in this article: 
Default Archive File Location       Display Folders       Aging Periods of Items     

Default Archive File Location

The archive file is a type of data file and has the extension .PST.
The first time AutoArchive runs, the archive file is automatically created in a new Outlook Files folder in your Documents folders (C:\Users\CurrentUserName\Documents\Outlook Files). 

Display Hidden Folders (if you cannot find the above folders)

Some of the folders might be hidden folders. To display hidden folders in Windows, do the following:

Step 1:Click the Windows icon in the bottom toolbar and select Settings.

Step 2:Type "folder" into the search bar and click Show hidden files and folders.

Step 3:Select the View tab. Under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Click Apply then OK.

Step 4:You may close Settings.

Aging Periods of Outlook Items

Any Outlook item that has exceeded its aging period is included in the next AutoArchive, unless the item has been specifically marked to be excluded. The default aging period for each Outlook folder is as follows:

 Inbox and Drafts  6 months
 Sent Items and Deleted Items  2 months
 Outbox  3 months
 Calendar  6 months
 Tasks  6 months
 Note  6 months
 Journal  6 months

Note:Folders that you create that contain the same type of items as the Inbox, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, or Journal have the same default, six-month aging period. For example, a mail folder that you create for status reports received from a co-worker or a contact folder you create for personal contacts.

Determine the age of an item:


 Email message The received date/time or when you last changed and saved the message, whichever is later. Marking a message as read or unread is an example of a message change. 
Calendar meeting, event, or appointment The date when you last changed and saved the item, whichever is later. Recurring items are not AutoArchived.
 Task The completion date or when you last changed and saved the task. Tasks that are not marked complete are not AutoArchived. Tasks assigned to other people are archived only if marked complete.
 Note When you last changed and saved the note.
 Journal entry The date the journal entry was created, or when you last changed and saved   the entry.
 Contact Contacts are not archived by default. However, you can manually archive them.

AutoArchive Settings and Options

See the following descriptions for the settings and options that you can apply when customizing AutoArchive.

AutoArchive Settings and Options

Run AutoArchive every ___ days:Choose how often AutoArchive runs. Archiving many items at the same time might slow your computer's performance. Therefore, it is better to use AutoArchive more frequently to reduce the number of items processed. To turn off the AutoArchive feature, clear the "Run AutoArchive every..." check box.

Prompt before AutoArchive runs:Choose whether you want a reminder message to appear before AutoArchive processes your Outlook items. When prompts appear, you can click No on the reminder message to cancel that AutoArchive session.

Delete expired items (email folders only) This option is off by default. Select this check box to delete messages after their aging period has passed.

Archive or delete old items:Choose this option if you want to set or change the settings that follow. If this check box is cleared, AutoArchive runs using default settings.

Show archive folder in folder list:Select this check box to have the Archive folder listed with your other working folders in the Navigation Pane. If you do not use this option, you can still open your archive folder — click the File tab, then on the Open tab, click Open Outlook Data File.

Clean out items older than:Specify the age at which you want items to be archived, in days, weeks, or months. You can configure a period of one day up to a maximum of 60 months.

Move old items to:Select this check box to archive old items instead of automatically delete them. The default folder appears in the box. To use a different folder, enter the folder location in the box or click Browse. Selecting this option clears selection of the Permanently delete items option.

Permanently delete items:This option deletes any expired items. They are not moved and no archive copy is kept. Selecting this option clears selection of the Move old items to option.

Apply these settings to all folders now:This option applies the AutoArchive settings, including your changes, to all folders. To specify unique settings for one or more folders, do not choose this option. Instead, right-click the folder, click Properties and then go to the AutoArchive tab to change settings for each folder that you want to change.

For more information on AutoArchive, visit this Knowledgebase article.

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