How to Use AutoArchive to Manage the Size of Your Outlook Mailbox

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1 How to Use AutoArchive to Manage the Size of Your Outlook Mailbox Your Microsoft Office Outlook Mailbox grows over time as you create, send and receive items (messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, notes, etc). Unless you do regular housekeeping on your own, eventually your mailbox will grow to a large enough size that you will receive a warning message that your mailbox is full. cannot be delivered to a mailbox that is full. Therefore, you will need to either move or delete items from your mailbox to make some room for new incoming messages. If you are one of those users that can t bear the thought of deleting any of your old messages, you will need to start archiving your old messages to get them out of your mailbox. The AutoArchive function in Outlook will (if you allow it to) handle this storage process for you automatically. AutoArchiving can be run at any time to reduce the size of your Outlook mailbox. If you have received the dreaded mailbox is full message then now is the time! Before you start though you will want to look at the current size of your Outlook mailbox and then again after you have run AutoArchiving so that you can judge how effective your settings were at reducing the size of the Mailbox. To view the size of your Mailbox: in Outlook, right click your Mailbox (in the folder pane) and click Properties

2 On the General tab of the Properties dialog box, click the Folder Size button on the lower left side. The number you are looking for is to the right of Total Size (including subfolders). The size is listed in KB (kilobytes), in this case KB. This example converts to roughly 98MB. We like to see folder sizes stay below 200MB. Now that you know the actual size of your Mailbox we can start working on reducing it to a more manageable size. We will use AutoArchive to do this.

3 To set up AutoArchiving: in Outlook, go to the Tools drop down menu, click Options. Now click the Other tab and then click the AutoArchive button. The Auto Archive dialog box will be displayed. Most people will find the default settings sufficient with the exception of one that you will want to make sure is unchecked. (See steps #2 & 7 below) #1 Run AutoArchive every: - Choose how often you want AutoArchive to run (14 days is a good interval). Prompt before AutoArchive runs: Choose this option if you want Outlook to warn you before AutoArchive processes your Outlook items. When you see that message, you can click No to cancel that AutoArchive session if you desire.

4 #2 Delete expired items ( folders only): This option is not selected by default. You probably should not check it. If this option is checked messages will be deleted rather than moved when the aging period has expired. #3 Archive or delete old items: You must check this option. This option activates other options (#s 4 thru 8) that enable you to decide when items are archived and where they will be stored. #4 Show archive folder in folder list: Choose this option to have the Archive folder show in the Navigation Pane with your other mailbox folders. In the main Archive folder, you can open any subfolders to view your archived items. When viewing your archived items, you can verify that the correct items were archived, and you can also drag any items that you need back to a working folder. #5 Clean out items older than: Here is where you set how old you want an item to get before you want it archived, in days, weeks, or months. You can set an age of as little as one day but 6 to 18 months is more common. 12 months is a reasonable number to start with here. If after running AutoArchive your folder size does not drop enough to get you back in business then you will need to choose a shorter age (say 9 months) and run AutoArchive again to get your mailbox down to a smaller size. By the way, "Clean" means to archive (store) items. It does not mean "delete" unless you have specified that setting for the folders elsewhere in this dialog box. #6 Move old items to: The default setting for this is where you really should keep it. You can choose another location but if you choose a location other than the default we would have trouble finding it should the need to recover your data files ever arise. #7 Permanently delete old items: This option immediately deletes expired items instead of moving them to the archive. Again, you probably do not want to choose this option. #8 Apply these settings to all folders now: Click this button to apply the AutoArchive settings you have selected above to all of your Outlook folders. To specify different settings for one or more folders, do not choose this option. Instead, use the instructions shown below the button that explain how to specify settings for individual folders. Changes made to specific folders apply only to those folders. #9 Retention Policy Information: This button should be grayed out. If our system administrator had set retention policies that determined when and how your mailbox items were to be AutoArchived, this is where you would have viewed the policies. As we do not force you to use AutoArchiving (but we do highly suggest it) there are no policies to view. Click OK to apply your AutoArchive settings and close the AutoArchive dialog box.

5 If your Mailbox is currently full, you will want AutoArchive to do its magic now so you can start receiving incoming messages again. You can force AutoArchive to run any time you need it to in order to clean up your Outlook Mailbox. To run AutoArchive immediately go to the File drop down menu and click Archive. Click one of the options at the top of the Archive dialog box: Archive all folders to their AutoArchive settings: Choosing this option tells Outlook to use your previously set AutoArchive settings to archive all the folders in you Mailbox. This is probably the option you will want to choose. Archive this folder and all the subfolders: This option allows you to select a specific folder only to archive. Select any folder in the Mailbox folder list shown. You will need to set additional options in the lower portion the Archive dialog box if you choose this option. Archive items older than: Choose a date from the date picker drop down field. Any items in the selected folder older than the specified date will be archived.

6 Include items with "Do not AutoArchive" checked: Check this option if you want to archive items that you may have previously selected not to archive. No Outlook folders are set to Do Not Archive by default. Archive file: This option allows you to choose where Outlook will store the archive file. Again, we suggest that you do not specify a custom location. Leave this option set to the default Archive.pst file and location. If you really want to store your old items somewhere other than the default location, click Browse, specify a different file name and location, and then click OK. Click the OK button to initiate the archiving you have selected. It may take a few minutes to complete. You can verify that archiving is in progress by looking at the status bar at the lower right corner of the Outlook window. When it has completed you can check your Mailbox folder properties again to see how successful you were in reducing its size (see first example). If you were not very successful, you may need to get a little more aggressive with the age setting in the Clean out items older than area. Reduce it a month or two, hit the apply to all folders button and then run AutoArchive again. Now that you have an archive full of all your old mail items you might want to actually look at them! To view your Archive, look in the folder pane on the left side of your Outlook window. Click the + sign next to Archive Folders to expand this folder and then select any subfolder to view it contents. Notice the folder hierarchy in the archive is similar to folder hierarchy in your Mailbox. From this point forward, let AutoArchive run when it asks and your Mailbox will stay at a reasonable size. Hopefully, you will never receive another Mailbox Full message.

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