A Complete Guide on the Best Ways to Archive Emails in Outlook

Yogesh Pant
May 15, 2023

It is reasonable to assume that a tidy mailbox creates a positive atmosphere for the rest of the day. However, keeping it up to date is essential since your most recent emails should be at the top of your inbox. However, if your inbox begins to swell, it may be challenging to locate important messages when you need them. A full inbox often causes you to miss a timetable, which causes a great deal of uncertainty and loss. Archiving outdated emails is an effective way to clear up your inbox. Moving outdated and inactive email messages to a different storage place is the best way to archive outlook. It may assist with email organization, clear up space in your inbox, and make it simpler to discover specific messages.

You may utilize the Archive folder in your Office 365 inbox to save older, no longer-used email communications. A message is moved to this folder when it is archived. All the letters are still accessible and do not go against your storage allowance.

Turning on email archiving to boost speed is often one of the first things people think to do when Microsoft Outlook becomes unusable and sluggish. How, though, should you archive Outlook email?

Let's first define email archiving and discuss its significance.

Email archiving is a systematic way to save your emails so you can search for and read them later. Archiving is essential for regulatory compliance and lawsuit protection, which is crucial in highly regulated sectors.

Yes, archiving DOES fix the issue with your slow Outlook performance, but you must make sure you archive properly!

Be careful what you do before entering into Outlook and playing around with the Outlook Auto Archive function for the following reasons:

  • All your emails will be saved in folders on your computer, which will gradually slow down your computer’s performance.
  • It’s dangerous to archive email on your computer. What would happen if you computer failed, lost, or stolen? All of your archived data will be gone.
  • If you start storing your archived email on your local device and your industry requires that you follow email compliance regulations, you will violate those laws.

Before we get started, let’s look at the outlook default settings you probably already have. There is a far better method to archive your Outlook email for Office 365.

Microsoft Outlook's Auto-Archiving Feature

Several folders are lined up by default for the auto-archive functionality in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. The following folders have auto-archive enabled by default:

  • Calendar folder (6 months)
  • The Tasks Directory (6 months)
  • The File for the journal (6 months)
  • The sent items directory (2 months)
  • The Deleted Items directory (2 months)

The AutoArchive function in Outlook 2010 and subsequent versions are disabled by default. However, pay attention! The feature is still active when you update Outlook 2003 or 2007 to 2010 or later versions without turning off the AutoArchive option.

Is Outlook Archive Compatible with All your Email accounts?

You can’t utilize Outlook’s Archive function in two situations.

First, you cannot utilize the native Outlook archive function if you have an Exchange server email account and your company uses Microsoft Exchange Server Online Archive.

Additionally, you cannot archive your emails if your network administrator has turned off the archive function.

  • Talk with the network administrator at your company to receive assistance in any of these situations.
  • The distinction between email backup and email archiving
  • Be mindful that email backup and email archiving are two very different things.

By saving old emails, archiving is an excellent technique to reduce the number of email in your inbox. Furthermore, it offers instant access to corporate data (email files, attachments, calendars, and tasks), which is crucial for companies subject to regulations. Email records will be searchable, retrievable, and tamper-proof in case of an adult HR investigation, or legal action.

However, this is highly unlike email backups.

Email backup makes it possible to quickly restore email files that are not immediately accessible owing to an unexpected data loss. It may occur due to ransom ware attacks. The unintentional destruction of important email files or losing access to emails due to an accident, theft, or sabotage can be restored easily.

Consider the case when an employee phones IT to recover an email unintentionally deleted from their Outlook account. Since it was never archived, this will not be possible. It is gone.  

Another sad possibility is that a frustrated employee would erase recent emails with important information as they leave the building. Once again, retrieving this is not feasible.

The proper email backup solution can shield you against malicious or unintentional deletion, server failure, mailbox damage, and more. As we grow increasingly dependent on data that is often housed in our Outlook email, it is unquestionably something that every corporation should consider.

Why Email Archives Are Important?

You inbox is neither an archive, a bin, a file cabinet, nor a disposal site to give you a fast refresher from our OHIO essay. That is an inbox!

They soon disappear when you have hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox. “Out of sight, out of memory” if you use Outlook or Apple Mail on your phone, it’s far more challenging to search for specific emails, and it slow down your mail client (even if you access your email via a browser like Gmail), and it might consume storage.

The bottom line: There are many purposes for not retaining all your emails in your inbox, and there is no purpose.

In light of this, you must respond to and forward emails, convert them into tasks, and schedule meetings before deciding whether to delete or archive them. Here’s how you ought to proceed.

Where to Store Email Archives?

You should save your emails in an archive folder. They should be placed in a single Archive folder rather than one of many hundred meticulously arranged folders.

Given how strong the remark is, some explanation is required.

First, creating and maintaining a hierarchy of folders takes time, time that might be better spent managing your emails. Second, it might be challenging to determine where an email belongs. For example, should an email from a colleague explaining why they could miss a project deadline be placed in the project’s folder? The person’s file folder, please? A file for lessons learned?  – And making decisions takes a lot of time and energy. Last but not least, it may be excruciatingly difficult to locate emails later on when they may be spread throughout several folders, each containing hundreds of emails.

You don’t need to expend any thinking or decision-making resources while moving emails from your inbox because of a single archive. All you have to do is assemble the Mail and put it in your library. It couldn’t be easier, and you want your procedure to be as clear and straightforward as possible while attempting to manage an endless stream of emails. Every challenge or aggravation is amplified at scale, so anything that is a little bother or a time waster for one email will be a significant bother and a time waster for hundreds of emails.

Others may need to breathe into a paper bag at the very notion of losing their meticulously built, complicated, logical, beautiful folder system. In contrast, for others, this will be a welcome release from the anguish of a folder structure. If that describes you, it’s sad that you’ll find this difficult to accept. We understand your suffering, even though we are sure that the long-term advantages of single archive will more than make up for the temporary discomfort of altering your system.

We’ll go through how to archive emails in Office 365 here.

What Advantages Does Email Archiving Provide Users?

There are several benefits to email archiving that many consumers are unaware of.

  • If guarantees a distinct partition of each email in the primary inbox.
  • Using Outlook 2013 and later versions, these archived messages may be conveniently viewed from any device and location.
  • Users may utilize the search tool to locate the ideal message at the perfect time.
  • The same protection that safeguards the primary mailbox also applies to archived emails.
  • Since the demand for the email server is lessened, it operates better.
  • The amount of storage is limitless.
  • Either manually or automatically, any email may be archived.
  • There is a distinct storage cap for the primary and archive mailbox.
  • There should be a tidy, well-structured inbox.
  • It prevents any form of misunderstanding.
  • Increased productivity since there is not time lost looking for emails.

 Follow these steps to activate the archive mailbox in Office 365:

First, search the Exchange admin center for this page. If it is not there, you don’t have the correct permissions to make archiving possible. After granting this permission, the Archive page will show up in the Exchange admin center, and administrators may apply the Mail Recipients role to the account (by default, this is allocated to Organization Management and Recipient Management role groups before beginning the method outlined below).

  • Sign in to the email of Protection.Office.com using your Office 365 login information.
  • Then, select "Data governance" from the "Security and Compliance Center," and then click "Archive."
  • Your Office 365 account's mailboxes will all be visible on the "Archive" page, and the archive mailbox column will indicate whether an archive mailbox has been activated or disabled.
  • Click Activate after choosing the mailbox for which you wish to enable "Archive mailbox."

Archive mailbox

  • Click "Yes" to accept the warning on your screen to activate the archive mailbox.


The user can view the archive mailbox after it has been created, which will take a few seconds.

How Do Users of Office 365 Archive Emails?

Users of outlook or Outlook on the Web may archive emails by following these instructions of the archive mailbox in enabled:

  1. Open the folder from which you wish to archive emails after logging into Outlook with an Office 365 account.

Note: You may also complete this step by choosing the emails to be archived, then clicking the “Archive” button on the Office 365 account’s top pane.

Office 365 account

  1. It is necessary to Right-click on the chosen emails to bring up a wizard; select the “Archive” button to transfer the desired emails to the archive mailbox.

Using Outlook 2016 to Archive

Old emails may be preserved using Outlook’s archive function if you have set up an Office 365 account, but keep in mind that emails are stored locally in Outlook’s Archive folder.

  • It selects emails from your inbox or any other folder by launching Outlook on your desktop.
  • To transfer emails to the archive mailbox, right-click on those already chosen emails and choose “Archive.”

Reminder: You may also do this step by choosing the desired emails and choosing “Archive” from the “Delete” group (of the ribbon). The “backspace” key on the keyboard may also be used to archive the chosen emails immediately.

How to Archive a Folder in Outlook?

  • Go to the “File” tab, choose “Tools,” and then select “Clean up old stuff” from the drop-down menu to transfer a whole folder to the archive.

  • A pane containing each of Outlook’s folders will display on the screen. Decide the exact folder you wish to archive. You may choose the date range from which to archive the emails in this section. Select the place on your system where you want to store this archive file and click “OK” to include emails that have “Do not Auto Archive” activated.

 Outlook 2013 and 2010 Archiving

 The archiving procedure is the same in Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010. Follow these procedures to archive emails in Outlook 2010 and 2013:

  • Navigate to the “File” tab in Outlook.
  • Select “Cleanup Tools” at this time, then “Archive” from the drop-down option.

  • Select the specific folder you want to transfer to the archive mailbox from the Outlook folders that will appear on the screen.
  • Choose the range of dates that you wish to archive the emails. Select the place on your system where you want to store this archive file and click “OK” to include emails that have “Do not Auto Archive” activated.

Professional Office 365 Email Archiving Solution

A specialized application like Kernel Office 365 Email Archiving is a good option if you require a direct, practical, and more adaptable way to archive emails in Office 365. It is a well-built application that easily permits exporting either a subset of Office 365 data or the whole of it in a safe file format. Office 365 mailboxes, groups, public folders, shared mailboxes, and archive mailboxes may all have their data archived and saved in the following file types: PSD, EML, DOC, DOCX, HTML, HMT, PDF, and MSG. You can do selective archiving if certain clever filters are available. Users may download and install the tool’s free version from its official website to better understand how it operates.

The list below should be followed to archive Office 365 emails:

  • Open the Office 365 Email Archiving tool, Kernel. To add the Office 365 account to the tool, click the “Add” button on the Welcome Screen.

  • Select use basic authentication, hit “OK.”
  • Next, input your username and password for the Office 365 account login. You may choose between the single and multiple mailbox options depending on your preference. Then, add it by selecting “Add” from the menu.

  • It is added to the Office 365 account. To continue, click “Set Filter and Migrate.”


  • Select “Migrate” after selecting “Mailbox,” “Archive Mailbox,” or “Public Folder” from the originating Office 365 account.

  • Choose the required folders on the “Filter Selection” tab, use the date filter, item type filter, and other settings as necessary. To begin the movement, click “I am OK, Start Migration.”

  • Select PST (Or another alternative) as the archiving file format, then click “OK.”

  • After that, provide the location for the Office 365 emails that will be preserved and press “OK.”

  • In no time at all, the archiving procedure will begin and end.\
  • For the archived email data, look at the designated location.

    It gives you complete freedom and the fastest possible email archiving in Office 365. Emails may be preserved via this approach in various formats, which is a benefit. Visit the tool’s official website to learn all there is to know about it and to get the full version.

    How to Automatically Archive Emails in Outlook?

    You may manually or automatically archive emails in Outlook for desktop. This section covers how to utilize Outlook for the desktop’s automatic archive function. 

    The Outlook app’s AutoArchive function allows you to archive your emails automatically. With this function, your emails are moved from your primary folders to the archive after a specified period of time.

    This feature allows you to adjust a number of settings, and the instructions below explain how to accomplish that:

    • On your PC, launch Outlook.
    • You can select Options from the left sidebar after clicking file in the top menu.
    • Select “Advanced” from the list on the left.
    • Click the AutoArchive Settings button when you see AutoArchive on the right pane.
    • Set the time the function should run in Outlook by selecting the top option to Run AutoArchive Every.
    • You should choose when a document should be archived in the section titled Default folder settings for archiving. In essence, you are indicating the maturity level of your Outlook content.
    • By choosing Browser, choose the location of your archive file.
    • You must do this if you don’t like the default Outlook PST directory.
    • Lastly, click OK at the bottom to preserve your modifications.

     You may turn off Outlook’s AutoArchive function if you ever want to prevent it from automatically archiving your emails.

    How to do it:

    • On your PC, launch Outlook.
    • You can select Options on the left after clicking File at the top.
    • Select “Advanced” from the list on the left.
    • On the right pane, choose AutoArchive Settings.
    • Uncheck the box next to Run AutoArchive Every at the top.
    • At the bottom, click OK.

    How to Manually Archive Emails in Outlook?

    You can manually archive emails in Outlook if you want greater control over email archives. You may do this whenever you need to submit your important emails to the library.

    To use this approach:

    • On your PC, launch Outlook.
    • In the upper left corner, choose file.
    • On the left, click the Info tab.
    • Choose Clean up old items by clicking the down arrow next to the tools symbol.
    • Your manual email archive may be configured using the dialogue box that opens.
    • You have two choices at the top that allow you to choose what goes in your archive. Choose the one you wish to hire.
    • Choose the folders you want to insert in your archive.
    • Using the calendar option, choose the objects’ ages.
    • Browser, and choose the folder where you want to save your Outlook archive file.
    • Click OK at the bottom to start generating an email archive in Outlook.

    Outlook manual email archiving

    The PST file that results from the archive creation may be moved anywhere you choose.

    Outlook Viewing of Archived Emails

    It’s just as simple to control your archived emails in Outlook for desktop as in Outlook for the web. To see all of your archived emails, all you need to do is load the archive file into Outlook.

    To import a PST email archive file into Outlook on your PC, follow these steps:

    • Start Outlook.
    • At the top, choose File from the menu.
    • Open and Export may be found on the left sidebar.
    • When importing a PST data file into the software, click Open Outlook Data File in the right pane.
    • Go to the folder where your archive file is located, click it, and then click the Open button at the bottom.
    • You should be able to access all of your saved emails when your File has loaded in the software.


    The list of emails you send and receive increases as your firm expands. It could make it challenging to keep your inbox clutter-free. At that point, archiving your email accounts becomes essential. Fortunately, there are many options for archiving emails in Office 365, all of which have been described in full above. Additionally, we have included a step-by-step tutorial on utilizing the Kernel Office 365 Email Archiving Tool, a quick and effective solution to archive all of your email data.

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