Over time, your Outlook mailbox may start filling up with emails and other items. To stop your mailbox from growing up, you can move your old emails to a separate folder known as an archive.

The archived emails are saved in a separate PST file, and you can access the file anytime from your Outlook application. To be more precise, archiving your old mailbox items transfer the older items from the main PST file to a separate PST file (say Archive PST). This Archive PST file is then saved to some other location on your hard drive, creating free space within your main PST file. This, in turn, improves the performance and efficiency of Outlook.

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The Archive is one of the default folders in MS Outlook, like the Sent Items and Inbox folder. You cannot delete the Archive folder. Moreover, you can either manually move the desired items to the Archive folder or use the auto-archive feature to move older entries after a specific period.

In this article, we will discuss methods to archive data in Outlook 2016 and later versions.

Methods to archive emails and other items in Outlook 2016

Typically, Outlook provides one of these options for their users to archive data:

  • Manually move old email messages and other items from the existing folder to the archive folder.
  • Move files to the archive folder directly.
  • Enable the auto-archive feature to move older items after a specific period.

Method 1: Archive Emails Manually

Move your mailbox data items via manual methods provided by Outlook. Below are the steps to archive essential emails, calendars & other mailbox items in Outlook 2016.

  1. Go to File > Info.
  2. Select ‘Cleanup Old Items.’
  3. Cleanup Old Items

  4. Select the option ‘Archive for folders & subfolders.’
    • Choose the folders for archiving.
    • You can select the date of the emails you want to archive.
    • Provide the destination of your archive file.

Click OK. Outlook will start archiving your mail and other items.
start archiving

Archiving helps in saving space in your MS Outlook mailbox.

Method 2: Archive items directly in Outlook 2016

You can directly move your emails and other mailbox data from your Inbox to the Archives folder. Follow the steps given below to move items from Inbox to the Archive.

  1. Ctrl + Select the messages from your inbox folder or another folder.
  2. Right-click on the selected messages.
  3. Select Archive.
  4. Archive items directly

  5. Your messages will be immediately moved to the Archive folder. In case you have wrongly moved a message to the archive folder, you can immediately visit the Archive folder and move it back to the original folder.

Method 3: Auto archive items in Outlook 2016

Another important feature of MS Outlook is AutoArchive. You can enable or disable the AutoArchive feature according to your choice. Just follow the steps to enable the AutoArchive feature of Outlook.

  1. Go to File > Options.
  2. AutoArchive option

  3. As soon as you click on the Options tab, an Outlook Options window will appear on your screen. Select the Advanced tab, and then click on AutoArchive Settings.
  4. AutoArchive Settings

  5. Check the boxes for auto-archiving messages and items. Provide the necessary details – Duration after which you want your messages to be archived, clean older entries after a specific duration, and destination path to save the archived items. Then, click OK to save the changes.

save the archived items

Your email messages and other items will be auto-archived after the specified period.

What if an archive PST file gets corrupted?

Just as with normal PST files, there is a possibility of corruption with archive PST files too. To recover data from corrupt archive PST files, Outlook PST Repair software is highly recommended. This PST recovery tool efficiently scans and repairs the corrupted files without consuming much time. Archive emails, contacts, calendars, etc., can be recovered flawlessly using this tool. Its filtering options allow you to recover archive items selectively from the corrupt PST files. Also, it allows you to save archive items directly to Exchange, Office 365, or Gmail. The trial version allows retrieval of 25 items per folder, and it is available for free. However, for complete recovery & repair of Outlook items, the licensed version of this tool is needed.

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