How Do I Archive My Email?
You will need the following to properly archive your Outlook mail:
- The full version of Outlook installed on your computer
- A USB drive or CD to store a backup copy of the email archive file. - Caution: if you store the archive file in the default location on your computer's C: drive, it may not be backed up in the event of computer failure. The IT department strongly recommends that the archive files be stored on a flash drive or in your U: drive as a precaution. Also, do not try to access these files from within Outlook from the flash drive or U: drive as it may cause the file to become corrupted.
Archiving allows for storage of rarely referenced emails while de-cluttering your mailbox. Also, your mailbox has a greater amount of unused quota when all the archiving steps are completed. This greatly reduces the chance of receiving System Administrator’s warning emails about mailbox quota levels or problems with sending or receiving emails. As an extra bonus, you may find an improvement in the performance of your mailbox.
- An annual archive of your mailbox will help maintain the efficiency of having only current or actively needed emails in your mailbox.
- When your mailbox quota is considered large, the IT Helpdesk may request you consider the archive process for your mailbox.
- If you are interested in archiving your emails from your mailbox once a year, the IT Helpdesk will work with you to find your optimum annual mailbox quota size. And hopefully you never have to receive any email from the System Administrator about being over a quota limit for your mailbox
Start the Outlook archiving process by creating a working Archive folder in your Mailbox where you will place and organize all mail messages that are going to be archived.
1. Open Outlook
2. In Outlook, right – click on your Mailbox and select New Folder.3. In the Create New Folder window, name your new folder Archive and click OK
• You should now have a new folder in your Outlook Folder List named Archive. This is where you will temporarily store any mail messages you wish to archive and back up TIP: You might want to create sub-folders under the "Archive‟ folder relating to time periods (i.e. "2011") or simply mirror the structure of any sub-folders already present in your Inbox to keep your organization of mail consistent. You can create as many subfolders in the new Archive folder as you wish by simply right-clicking on it and selecting New Folder.
Moving mail messages to your Archive folder in Outlook
1. Select one or many email messages that you want to move to the Archive folder.
• TIP – You can select multiple email messages by holding CTRL and clicking on each message you want to select. If you want to select a range of messages just click on the first message, then hold SHIFT, and click on the last message.
2. Right-click on the selected messages and choose Move -> Archive
• NOTE – if the Archive folder doesn't show up the first time click on Other Folder at the bottom of the list and choose the Archive folder.
After you have moved all the messages that you want to archive into the Archive folder please proceed to Archiving Step 1.
1. In Outlook click on the "File" tab -> Open & Export (on top left) -> Import/Export
2. Choose "Export to a file" -> "Next".
3. Select Outlook Data File (.pst) -> "Next".
4. Select the mailbox (Your email address) or the (folder(s) you want to archive. Using the filter option you can change to only archive email older than X date.
• We suggest using your username and date. I.E. morganc archive 201209213
5. Select the place you would like to save your archive file to, click the "Browse" button, we recommend saving to a USB or external hard drive. Do not save your file to your U drive.
6. You will be given the option to create a password for the archive file. We suggest you DO NOT type in a password, just hit OK.
Moving files to your archive (PST) file
You are now ready to move mail messages into your Archived Mail folder in Outlook. Here's how:
1. Right-click on the Archive folder that you created to temporarily store your email messages and select Copy Folder
2. In the Copy folder window scroll down the list of folders and select the name of your PST file (eg. brownj archive 20120921). Hit OK.
3. In preparation for backing up your new mail archive to USB or CD please close the PST folder by right-clicking it in the folder list and choosing Close.
Any time that you export messages to a PST file in Outlook you should take the time to backup and archive.
Backing up to a USB drive
1. Plug your USB drive into the computer.
2. Double-click on the My Computer icon on the desktop.
3. Find the email archive file in Libraries->Documents->Archive Files. Right-click on the file and selectCopy.
4. Go back to the main My Computer screen and select your USB drive.
5. Paste the copied file onto your USB drive.'
Testing your email archive (PST) file backup
After backing up your email archive to CD or USB you should test to ensure the files is still working. To test the archive file please follow these steps:
1. Go to My Computer and to the Local Disk (C:). Create a new folder called Restore.
2. Copy the email archive file from your CD or USB drive to this folder.
3. Right-click on the email archive file in the Restore folder and select Properties. Ensure that the Read-Only checkbox is NOT checked.
4. Open Outlook
5. Select File -> Open -> Outlook Data File
6. Browse to the Restore folder you created, select your email archive file and hit OK.
7. The email archive file should now be in your Outlook folder list. Look at the contents of the file and ensure everything is there and accessible.
8. Close the email archive file by right-clicking on the folder and choosing Close.
9. You can now delete the contents of the temporary Archive folder (we created this at the beginning of the process) that was in your mailbox. You can use it in the future to archive more email.
Once you have created your archive, it will always be there in the form of a PST archive file located on the hard drive of your computer. This means that you do not have to follow the "Archiving Step 1" portion of this document again. To manage your Outlook mail archive from this point forward, simply do the following:
1. Use the temporary Archive folder you created earlier as your day to day repository for e-mail messages that will be archived. Drag and drop mail messages that you will eventually archive into the temporary archive.
2. Once or twice a year, move the entire contents of the Archive folder in your Mailbox into the email archive file folder at the bottom of your Outlook folder list. This will remove all the messages from your active Outlook mailbox and store them in the email archive (PST) file.
3. Back up the PST file to USB or CD and do a test restore.