Using AutoArchive

You can configure Outlook so that mail messages and other items are periodically and automatically archived to a file. This feature, AutoArchive, cleans your Inbox for you but saves the specified messages in an archive file. AutoArchiving is similar to the backup procedure many people use to compress and save files on their computers in case they crash.


Be Wary of AutoArchive The AutoArchive feature is set up by default to run every 14 days. This means that an AutoArchive dialog box will appear, asking you whether you want to archive Outlook items. Until you have had a chance to configure AutoArchive and use the feature as outlined in this lesson, you might want to click Cancel and not run the AutoArchive feature at that time.

The point of archiving is to save Outlook items, such as messages, for later reference, but also to remove some of the older items that are floating around your Outlook folders. Items autoarchived by Outlook are compressed and saved in a file. This file can then be transferred to a storage device such as a floppy disk, a rewritable CD, or other removable storage medium (such as an Iomega Zip drive or Imation Superdisk) for safekeeping.


Archive To save items to a file that you can open at any time and print, view, or otherwise use. You might, for example, want to archive some of your mail messages to keep for your records instead of leaving those messages in your Inbox. Archived items are removed from the folder and copied to an archive file.

To use AutoArchive, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Tools, Options . The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Other tab.

  3. Click the AutoArchive button to display the AutoArchive options (see Figure 19.1).

    Figure 19.1. Specify your options for automatically archiving items into an archive file.


  4. Choose from the following check box options:

    • Run AutoArchive Every X Days Enter a number for how often (in days) you want Outlook to automatically archive items. If you enter 14 , for example, every 14th day it automatically archives the contents of your folders into an archive file.

    • Prompt Before AutoArchive Runs If you check this, Outlook displays a dialog box each time it is about to perform the AutoArchive; you can click OK to continue or Cancel to stop the operation.

    • Delete Expired Items (E-Mail Folders Only) Check this box to have Outlook delete messages from the Inbox after archiving them.

    • Archive or Delete Old Items This option allows you to customize how items are archived. It even allows you to permanently delete old items.

    • Show Archive Folder in Folder List This option, which is only available if Archive or Delete Old Items is enabled, makes the archive folder available from the Folder List, making it easier to access archived files. Each folder archived, such as the Inbox or Contacts folder, will appear as subfolders under the Archive folder. This allows you to view the contents in each of the archived folders as you would any other Outlook folder.

  5. In the Default Folder Settings for Archiving area, use the click arrows to select the number of months, weeks, or days for the age of an item that should be archived. Use the drop-down box to select the unit, such as Months, Weeks , or Days .

  6. In the Move Old Items To box, enter a path to where you want to save the file, and name it (if you don't want to use the default).

  7. If you want to permanently delete old items rather than archive them, select the Permanently Delete Old Items option button.

  8. To apply these settings to all folders, click the Apply These Settings to All Folders Now button.

  9. Click OK to close the AutoArchive dialog box. Click OK to close the AutoArchive dialog box.

If you do not want to apply the AutoArchive options that you set in the AutoArchive dialog box to every Outlook folder, you can set AutoArchive options individually for each folder, such as Tasks, Calendar, and so on. To set an individual folder's AutoArchive options, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the folder icon in the Folder List to display a shortcut menu.

  2. Choose Properties . The item's Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Choose the AutoArchive tab. Figure 19.2 shows the Inbox's AutoArchive tab.

    Figure 19.2. Set AutoArchive options for individual folders.


  4. To set custom archiving options for this folder, select the Archive This Folder Using These Settings option button. You can set the age for items to be archived in Months, Weeks, or Days. You can also specify the path to be used for the archiving, or you can choose to have old items deleted rather than archived.

  5. If you do not want to archive the items in the current folder, select the Do Not Archive Items in This Folder option button.

  6. When you have finished setting the archiving options for the folder, click OK to close the dialog box.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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