Archive Outlook 2000 Email

You should always archive your incoming emails. When an outlook pst file reaches a limit of 1.5 gigs, it behaves erratically. It is difficult at that point to clean up emails because simply deleting email in the inbox, adds them to deleted items. Besides,  there is no need to keep thousands of emails in your active mail box. You can just setup Outlook so it automatically move older emails to an archive folder. This way, when starting Outlook or when switching folders, the program doesn't have to load a huge list of emails. To archive a folder, simply right click on it, select its Properties, then go to the AutoArchive tab to configure your archiving settings.

Make sure the default folder that is displayed when Outlook starts is not too crowded with emails. Try to move emails away from the default starting folder to archive folders or to other sub-folders. For example, if you receive many emails from a contact, you can define a rule so all those emails are automatically moved into a specific folder. As less items Outlook has to display at startup, as faster it shall load.

Your Outlook mailbox grows as items are created, in the same way that papers pile up on your desk. In the paper-based world, you can occasionally shuffle through your documents and store those that are important but not frequently used. Documents that are less important, such as newspapers and magazines, you can discard based on their age.

You can quickly complete the same process in Outlook. You can manually transfer old items to a storage file by clicking Archive on the File menu, or you can have old items automatically transferred by using AutoArchive. Items are considered old when they reach the age you specify. With AutoArchive, you can either delete or move old items. Outlook can archive all types of items, but it can only locate files that are stored in a e-mail folder, such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document that is attached to an e-mail message. A file that is not stored in a e-mail folder cannot be archived.

AutoArchive is a two-step process. First, you turn on AutoArchive. Second, you set the AutoArchive properties for each folder that you want archived.

At the folder level, you can determine which items are archived, and how frequently they are archived. You can automatically archive individual folders or you can configure a default AutoArchive setting for all folders and then configure AutoArchive settings for individual folders that you do not want to use the default AutoArchive settings. The AutoArchive process runs automatically each time you start Outlook. Outlook checks the AutoArchive properties of each folder by date, and moves old items to your archive file. Items in the Deleted Items folder are deleted.

Several Outlook folders are set up with AutoArchive turned on. These folders and their default aging periods are Calendar (6 months), Tasks (6 months), Journal (6 months), Sent Items (2 months), and Deleted Items (2 months). The Inbox, Notes, Contacts, and Drafts folders do not have AutoArchive activated automatically. The Contacts folder cannot be set to AutoArchive and does not have an archive property.

Archiving vs. Exporting

When you archive, the original items are copied to the archive file, and then removed from the current folder. Your existing folder structure is maintained in your new archive file. If there is a parent folder above the folder you chose to archive, the parent folder is created in the archive file, but items within the parent folder are not archived. In this way, an identical folder structure exists between the archive file and your mailbox. Folders are left in place after being archived, even if they are empty.

When you export, the original items are copied to the export file, but are not removed from the current folder. In addition, you can only archive one file type, a personal folder file, but you can export many file types.

When you export, it changes the dates in the records. This is especially important in the case where e- mail items have had the Sent date reset to the export date.

To Turn on AutoArchive

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Other tab.
  2. Click AutoArchive.
  3. Click to select the AutoArchive Every check box, and then specify how often the AutoArchive process will run by typing a number in the days box.
  4. Click to select the Prompt Before AutoArchive check box, if you want to be notified before the items are archived.
  5. In the Default archive file box, type a file name for the archived items to be transferred to, or click Browse to select from a list.
  6. Click OK twice to close Options.

Now that you have turned on AutoArchive, you must set AutoArchive properties for each folder.

To Set AutoArchive Properties for a Folder

  1. In the Folder List, right-click the folder that you want to AutoArchive, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click the AutoArchive tab.
  3. To set AutoArchive for this folder, click to select Clean out items older than.
  4. To specify when items should be automatically transferred to your archive file, type a number in the Months box.
  5. To specify a file for the archived items to be transferred to, click Move old items to.
  6. In the Move old items to box, type a file name for the archived items, or click Browse to select from a list, and then click OK.

Archive eMail Procedure

1.  Go to File, then Archive

If you do not see Archive you may need to click on the two arrows pointing down at the bottom of the menu to show the Archive option. 

 2.  Selecting Archive this folder and all subfolders will archive mail that is contained within subfolders of the folder you are archiving.


Click on the mailbox you want to archive.  Setting the date to tomorrows date will archive even the mail that you have received today that is in that mailbox.

3.  Click the Browse button to choose where you want to archive your mail.

 From the dropdown menu, choose the M Drive

 4.  Here you can choose a folder to store your mail.  If you have no folder, you can create one by clicking on the create folder button (circled below in red).  Then you will be prompted to enter a name for this folder.

Click OK and your folder is created.

 5.Double click on the folder you just created to take you into that folder

Within this folder you can create sub folders (using the same method as above) in which to organize your archived mail.

Once you have done this, name your file in the File Name field and hit OK.

6.  This will bring you back to this screen.  Simply hit OK once more to begin the Archive process.

The more mail you have, the longer it will take to archive.

Once the archiving is complete, the archived mail will be gone.

View or Opening Archived eMail


  1. Open Outlook
  2. Click on File -> Open -> Outlook Data File


  1. Find the Archive you want open
  2. The file will appear within Outlook just above your Mailbox.  You can now access all data normally.



  1. The “Archive Folders” will appear in Outlook until you disconnect or Close “Archive Folders” by right clicking on the folder and selecting ‘Close ”Archive Folders”’