How to Open Archive Data in Outlook – Automatically or Manually

Ritu Roy | Email Conversion How to's Software | 8 minutes read | Last updated on February 8th, 2023,

In this article, we are going to describe how to open archive data in Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 and other versions. You will learn how to configure each folder with its specific auto archive settings or apply the same settings to all folders, how to archive in Outlook manually, and how to create archive folder if it doesn’t access automatically.

In any situation that your mailbox items have become too huge in size, it views to reason to archive old emails,  tasks, journals, notes, and other data to keep your Outlook quick and clean. That is the place the Outlook Archive feature comes in. It is accessible in all versions of Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013 and etc. What’s more, this article will explain to you how to archive emails and other items in different versions automatically or manually.

What is Archive in MS Outlook?

Outlook Archive (and AutoArchive) transfers old email, tasks and calendars items to an archive folder, which is stored in another area on your hard drive. Precisely, archiving moves older data items from the main .pst file into a separate archive.pst file which you can appear from Outlook whenever you require it. So, it supports you reduce the size of your mailbox data and get some free space on your C:\ drive (If you want to choose to store the archive file somewhere else).

Responsible on how you configure it, Outlook Archive can execute one of the following tasks:

  1. Transfer emails and other items from their current folders to an archive folder
  2. Permanently remove old emails and other data as soon as they allowed the specified again period

Few Facts- About Outlook Archive

To avoid some confusion and to prevent problems like- “Why doesn’t my Outlook Auto Archive work?” and “Where are my archived mails in Outlook? Give pleasure to remember the following simple facts.

  • The maximum account types, Microsoft Outlook keep maintains all emails, contacts, calendars, tasks and notes in a .pst file format that called the Outlook Data File. PST is the simply file type that can be archived. As soon as an old item is transferred from the main .pst file into an archive .pst file, it is showed in the Outlook Archive folder, and is no longer available in the original folder.
  • Archiving is not like a exporting. Exporting copies the original items to the export file, but doesn’t remove them from the current folder, nor from the main .pst file.
  • An archive file is not like an Outlook backup. Do you want to back up your archived files, you will have to make a copy of your archive.pst file and store it in a safe location.

How to Archive Emails in Outlook Automatically?

The MS Outlook Auto Archive function can be configured to transfer old emails and other items to a selected archive folder automatically at a regular intermission or to remove old items without archiving. The follow the detailed methods for different Outlook editions.

 Solution to Auto Archive Outlook 2019, 2016 and 2013 Version.

From the time when Outlook 2010, Auto Archive is not enabled by default, however Microsoft Outlook will at regular intervals remind you to do so:

To begin archiving instantly, click on Yes button. To review and probably change the archive options, click on AutoArchive Settings….

Or, if you can press No to close the prompt, and configure auto archiving later at the time most useful to you by execution the following steps:-

  1. Open MS Outlook, and click on File>Go to Options>Click on Advanced option>AutoArchive Settings.
  2. The AutoArchive dialog window appear, and you will notice that everything is greyed out… but only until you check the Run AutoArchive every N days when this box is checked, you can configure other options to your liking, and press OK.
  3. Once archiving is in progress, the status information is showed in the status bar.
  4. Now, the archive process is completed, the Archives folder will access in your Outlook automatically, offered you selected the option display archive folder in the folder list.

How to Archive Outlook 2007 Version?

In Outlook 2007, auto archiving is revolved on by default for the following folders:

  • Calendar, task and journal items (older than 6 months)
  • Sent Items and Deleted Items folders (older than 2 months)

For other folders, like Inbox, Drafts, Notes and items, you can move on the AutoArchive feature in this way:

  1. Run Outlook and click on Tools>Options
  2. Now, in the options the dialog window, click on “Other” option and press the AutoArchive option
  3. After this, configure the AutoArchive settings

How to Create Archive Folder in Outlook?

If you selected the display archive folder in folder list when configuring the Outlook Auto Archive settings, the Archives folder should appear in the Navigation panel automatically. If the above option was not selected, you can display the Outlook Archive folder in this method:

If you are choose the display archive folder in the folder list option when configuring the Outlook Auto Archive settings, the Archive folder should open in the navigation pane automatically. Follow this steps listed below-

  1. Click on File and go to Open & Export option then click on “Open Outlook Data File”
  2. Now, Open Outlook Data File dialog window will display, you choose the archive.pst file (or whatever name you gave to your archive file) and click OK. If you select to store your Outlook archive in a different location, browse to that location and choose your archived .pst file.
  3. After this, the “Archive” folder will show in the list of folders straight away.
  4. When the Archive folder is there, you can find and access your archived items as usual. To search in Outlook archive, choose the Archive folder in the navigation pane, and enter your search text in the Instant Search box.
  5.  To delete the Archive folder from your list of folders, right click on it, and then press the Close Archive. Don’t worry, this will only remove the Archives folder from the Navigation pane, but won’t remove the actual archive file. You will be capable to restore your Outlook Archive folder any time you need it by performing the above methods.

Solution to turn off auto archiving in Outlook

If you want to turn off the AutoArchive option, then open the AutoArchive settings and uncheck the “Run AutoArchive every n days box”.

How to Open Archive Folder in Outlook Manually?

If you don’t want an automatic archiving solution, then you can archive emails and other items manually method. This solution, you have more control over which items to keep and which to transfer to the archive, where to store the archive file.

Please make sure that unlike Outlook AutoArchive, manual archiving is a one-time procedure, and you will necessity to repeat the below steps each time you need to transfer older items to archive.

  • In Outlook 2016, click on File menu, and click on Tools and clean up old data
  • In Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013, click File>Clean Up>Archive

In the Archive dialog window, choose the Archive folder and all sub-folders option, and then choose a folder to archive. For example, to archive Outlook calendar, select the Calendar folder:

Do you want to archive all emails, calendars, and tasks, choose 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 showed as your email address.

After this, configure a few more settings:

  • Under Archive items older than, type a date specifying how old an item has to be before it can be transfer to the archive.
  • Click the Browse option if you need to change the default location of the archive file.
  • If you want to archive items that are excluded from auto-archiving, choose the Include items with “Do not AutoArchive” marked box.
  • Lastly, click on OK button, and Outlook will start creating an archive instantly. As soon as the procedure is finished, the Archive folder will open in your Outlook.

Important Note-

To archive the some folders with different settings, e.g. keep items in your “Sent Items” folder longer than in Drafts, repeat the above steps for each folder individually, and save all folders to the same archive.pst file. If you select to make a few different archive files, each file will add its own Archives folder to your list of folders.

The Outlook Archive preserves the existing folder structure. For example, if you select to archive just one folder, and that folder has a parent folder, an empty parent folder will be created in the archive.

Where Are Outlook Archive Files Stored?

As you know already, Outlook Archive is a type of Outlook Data File (.pst). The archive .pst file is automatically created the first time auto archive rubs or once you archive emails manually.

Depending on the archive file location on the operating system installed on your PC. If you changed the default location while configuring the archive settings, you can find the archive file in one following places:-

Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010 Versions

  • Vista, Windows 10, 8, and 7 C:\Users\<user name>\Documents\Outlook Files\archive.pst
  • Windows XP   C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

In Outlook 2007 and earlier

  • Vista and Win 7 C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst
  • Windows XP C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Note- When Application Data and AppData are hidden folders. To show them, then go to Control Panel>Folder option, switch to the View tab and choose “Show Hidden Files/Folders” or Drives under Hidden Files/Folders.

Solution to Find Archive File Location on your System

If you cannot find the archive file in any of the above locations, chances are that you select to store it in another place when configuring the auto archive settings.

Here’s a fast way to define the exact location of your Outlook archive files: right-click the Archive folder in the list of folders, and then click Open File Location. This will quickly appear the folder where your archived .pst file is stored.

If you have generated the some different archive files, you can see all the locations at a look in this way:

  1. Click File Account Settings > Account Settings.
  2. In the Account Settings option, switch to the Data Files tab.
  3. Among other files, you will view the current location of the archive.pst file (or whatever name you gave to your archive file).
  4. To get to the folder where a certain archive file is stored, choose the wanted file, and press Open File Location.