How to Set Up Rules for Archiving Mails in Outlook

Dive into our step-by-step guide to seamlessly manage your Outlook messages, keeping your important correspondence neatly organized while reducing inbox overwhelm.

how to archive emails in outlook
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Email archiving is like giving your digital space a good clean but with a little something extra. It's all about organizing and storing your emails in an organized way, ensuring that critical information stays easy to access while decluttering your inbox. This practice is more than just saving space; it's about keeping important messages for future reference and following any necessary regulations.

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With the help of archiving, you can tidy up your inbox, increase productivity, and have a well-organized collection of critical communications right at your fingertips. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps for how to create an archive folder in Outlook and ensure your email box remains organized at all times.

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What is the Archive Function in Outlook?

"How do I set up an archive folder in Outlook?" If you're wondering about this, we will answer all your questions today. However, before that, let's discuss Outlook and its archive feature.

Archive option in Outlook

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Outlook's archive feature is a fantastic digital filing system that helps you stay organized with your emails. It's designed to simplify email management by allowing you to move essential messages from your primary inbox to a special archive folder. This neat trick keeps your inbox clutter-free without removing any crucial correspondence permanently. Whether you're an individual or a business, this feature can be a lifesaver when managing the never-ending flow of emails.

In Outlook, this feature isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It's a flexible tool that allows you to create rules that dictate how your emails are archived. Whether you want to automatically archive emails based on criteria such as date, sender, or subject or manually archive specific emails, Outlook provides various options to customize your archiving experience.

Setting Up Rules for Archiving Mails 

Before learning how to create a new archive folder in Outlook, it is vital to know how to set up rules for archiving emails. This process involves creating guidelines that automatically decide which emails should be moved from your primary inbox to an archive folder. It's crucial for effectively managing your emails because it helps tidy up your inbox, keep important information organized, and easily find important messages when needed.

Now, let's dive into the rules for archiving emails.

1. Sender-Based Rules: These rules are designed for managing emails from specific senders or domains. For example, you can set up a rule to automatically archive emails from a specific client, a specific department within your organization, or newsletters from a particular source. This helps you separate and organize your emails based on who sent them. In cases where the sender is unknown, utilizing a people search tool can be a valuable resource to identify the individuals behind the emails and determine appropriate actions for organizing your inbox.

2. Subject-Based Rules: Subject-based rules are focused on keywords or phrases in the subject line of an email. These rules allow you to easily organize your emails by setting up specific criteria. For example, you can create a rule to automatically archive all emails relating to a particular project, recurring event, or newsletter on a specific topic. This simplifies the process of categorizing emails based on their content.

3. Time-Based Rules: Time-based rules center on the age of the emails. You can establish criteria using either the received or sent date of the email. To illustrate, you can create a rule that automatically archives emails beyond certain days, weeks, or months old. This way, older emails unlikely to require immediate attention are securely stored, resulting in a current and applicable inbox.

You can personalize these rules in Outlook to work precisely as you want. Whether you choose to use them separately or combine them, these rules allow you to create a custom archiving system that fits your unique needs and preferences. 

By implementing these rules, you can save yourself time and avoid the hassle of manually sifting through countless emails. They bring order to your inbox, making it simpler to locate important information and boosting your productivity as a result.

Facts You Should Know About Outlook Archive

Here are some crucial Outlook archive facts that you should know about, along with knowing how to make an archive folder in Outlook:

  • Storage Location: The Outlook Archive feature allows storing emails, attachments, and other Outlook items in a separate data file (.pst) on your computer's hard drive. You can store this file locally or on a network drive, giving you more flexibility in managing your storage space.
  • Customizable Settings: Users can customize their archiving settings to suit their preferences and needs. They can control the frequency of archiving, choose what items to archive based on age, and specify the location of the archive file. This level of customization enables personalized management of emails.
  • AutoArchive Feature: Outlook has an AutoArchive feature that allows you to automatically archive emails based on specific criteria such as age, folder location, or specific items. This feature streamlines the process of moving older emails to the archive folder, making it easier to manage them without having to do it manually.
  • Search and Access: Although archived emails are stored separately, they can still be easily retrieved using Outlook's search function. This prevents important information from being lost when moved from the primary mailbox.
  • Functionality: When archiving in Outlook, emails are transferred from the primary mailbox to the archive folder, reducing the primary mailbox size. This process doesn't delete any emails, but it assists in managing mailbox size by storing older or infrequently accessed items in a separate location.
  • Security and Backup: The Outlook archive file is just as secure as the primary mailbox. To add an extra layer of security, users can apply encryption or password protection if needed. Plus, regular backups of the archive file ensure your important information is safe and sound, with no risk of losing anything important.

Step-by-Step Guide for Archiving Mails in Outlook

Outlook's email archiving feature makes it easy to manage your overflowing inbox and save important messages for future reference. Whether you prefer an automatic or manual approach, Outlook has you covered!

So, here are the detailed steps for how to create an archive folder in Outlook and archive mails. 


1. For Outlook 365 to 2010:

Automatic archiving in Outlook

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  • Click on Outlook and then go to File > Options > Advanced > AutoArchive Settings.
  • Select the "Run AutoArchive every N days" option and adjust other settings according to your preferences, such as the frequency and location for storing archived items.
  • Keep an eye on the status bar to stay updated on the archiving process.
  • After the process is done, you can see the Archives folder if you choose the option to "Show archive folder in the folder list."

2. For Outlook 2007:

Automatic archiving in Outlook 2007

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  • By default, items in your calendar, tasks, and journal older than six months are automatically archived. Similarly, the Sent Items and Deleted Items folders automatically archive items older than two months.
  • To enable AutoArchive for other folders, such as Inbox, Drafts, and Notes, you can go to Tools, then Options, and select the Other tab. There, you can find the option to turn on AutoArchive.


1. Selecting Specific Emails:

  • To archive specific emails or groups of emails, you can manually select them. Then, choose the "Archive" option by right-clicking or dragging them into a created archive folder.

2. Creating Archive Folders:

  • To create a new archive folder in Outlook, follow these easy steps: Go to the Folder tab, click New Folder, name the folder something cool, and select where you want it to be (either in your mailbox or on your computer).
  • Move items to this folder to keep them separate from your primary mailbox.

Outlook Archive Settings and Options

The most recent Outlook version allows users to customize their archiving experience with various settings and options. These features enable users to personalize their archiving preferences and efficiently manage emails.

  • AutoArchieve Settings: Users can set the frequency for automatic archiving in Outlook, defining how often the archiving process should be run.
  • Manual Archiving: You can manually select and move emails to the archive folder, granting you greater control over which emails are archived.
  • Retention Policies: Outlook allows users to establish policies for the retention period of archived emails, ensuring compliance with organizational guidelines and regulations.
  • Criteria-based Archiving: In Outlook, users can create rules to automatically archive certain emails based on criteria like sender, recipient, subject, or keywords, making the process more efficient.

Best Practices for Email Archiving 

Here are some best practices you must follow for creating an archive folder in Outlook: 

  • Structured Folder Hierarchy: Keeping an organized folder structure for your archived emails is a great way to categorize them and make it a breeze to find specific information whenever needed.
  • Regular Review of Rules: Don't forget to regularly review and update your archiving rules to keep up with changing priorities and ensure your email management stays efficient.
  • Consistent Maintenance: Keep your email archive organized and clutter-free by regularly managing it. This involves deleting irrelevant or outdated items and updating retention policies to keep only the most relevant information intact.
  • Backup and Security Measures: To avoid losing data, back up your archive file regularly. For extra security, consider adding encryption or password protection.
  • Documentation and Documentation: Keep a record of archiving rules and policies to refer back to. This will help maintain consistency and ensure that we are following the guidelines set by the organization.

Virtual Assistance for Outlook Email Archiving

Virtual assistants are crucial in simplifying tasks and organizing digital workflows for individuals and businesses. They excel in efficiently managing Outlook email archiving and handling a wide range of tasks.

  • Creating archive folders: VAs can help you create a neat and organized folder system in the archive. This way, you can easily find and retrieve emails based on specific criteria such as projects, clients, or departments.
  • Auto-archiving settings: They can set up and manage auto-archive settings to automate email archiving easily. Define parameters like archiving frequency, email age, and archive file location for a seamless process.
  • Managing archived emails: Virtual assistants can regularly go over and manage your archived emails, eliminating any unnecessary or outdated messages so that your mailbox stays useful.
  • Setting retention policies: They can create and oversee policies for archived emails to ensure adherence to legal and organizational data retention guidelines.
  • Email search and retrieval: Efficiently utilize Outlook's search function to retrieve archived emails promptly, ensuring speedy access to relevant information as required.
  • Reducing inbox clutter: They can help you keep your primary mailbox organized and manageable by implementing strategies like archiving older or less critical emails. This will help minimize inbox clutter effectively.
  • Compliance and legal requirements: VAs can ensure archived emails meet legal and regulatory requirements and maintain archiving practices to align with industry standards.
  • Data backup and retention: They can regularly back up archive files to avoid losing data and maintain the integrity of stored emails.
  • Outlook Archive PST files: They can manage Outlook archive PST files, ensuring convenient access and secure storage.
  • E-discovery for archived emails: VAs help efficiently retrieve specific archived emails required for legal or compliance purposes, supporting e-discovery processes.
  • Efficient storage management: They can maximize storage efficiency by effectively managing the archive and finding the right balance between data retention and efficient storage.
  • Archiving calendar items: Virtual assistants can expand the scope of archiving services to include calendar items for a more thorough approach to organizing and managing data.
  • Archiving strategies for large mailboxes: You can hire VAs to create customized approaches for managing archiving in large mailboxes, maximizing efficiency, and maintaining organized systems.
  • Configuring auto-archive intervals: They can personalize the intervals for auto-archiving to suit individual preferences and organizational requirements, ensuring efficient and prompt archiving.
  • Folder-specific archiving rules: Along with knowing how to create an archive folder in Outlook, VAs can also create customized rules in Outlook to archive specific folders, improving the efficiency of the archiving process.

Why Choose Wishup for All Your Outlook Tasks?

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Wishup provides top-notch virtual assistant services that cover various tasks, such as creating archive folders in Outlook and managing your emails, organizing calendars, etc. Here are some of the major reasons why hiring a VA from Wishup should be your top choice for Outlook tasks:

Efficient and budget-friendly services

Experience budget-friendly solutions without compromising on quality, allowing you to maximize productivity without breaking the bank.

Work with top-tier talent

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Join forces with our top-tier professionals, who rank among the top 0.1% in talent. Rest assured, they possess unparalleled expertise and skill in handling Outlook tasks with remarkable precision and efficiency.

Onboard your VA within 24 hours

You can easily bring your virtual assistant on board in just one day, saving time and ensuring a smooth integration into your workflow.

No training budget required

You won't need a training budget when you have Wishup's assistants. They already have the skills and expertise to handle Outlook tasks like pros.

Reliable no-questions-asked refund policy

Experience the benefits of Wishup's outstanding refund policy, which guarantees satisfaction and instills confidence in our services without any questions asked.

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Best replacement policy in the industry

Easily replace your virtual assistant if they don't meet your expectations, guaranteeing you always get the support you need.

Enjoy a 7-day free trial

Try Wishup's virtual assistant service for seven days, absolutely free! This way, you can see just how valuable and efficient it is before making any commitments.

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By learning folders and archiving emails, you can simplify your inbox and keep important messages safe for future reference. Whether you organize emails automatically, manually, or create specific folders, you'll enjoy a smoother workflow and faster access to vital information.

Wishup offers expert virtual assistant services to optimize your Outlook experience. We can help you set up, manage, and maintain your email archives, ensuring a streamlined and efficient email management system. Get in touch with us for a free consultation and discover how our services can revolutionize your email management virtual assistant. Start your journey to a clutter-free inbox and increase productivity by scheduling a free consultation or reaching out to us at [email protected].

FAQs for How To Create Archive Folder In Outlook

How do I point Outlook to the archive folder?

To set up an archive folder in Outlook, open Outlook and go to File > Options > Advanced. Look for AutoArchive and click on AutoArchive Settings. You can select or create a new folder from there by choosing "Move old items to" and specifying your preferred folder.

How do I create an archive folder in Outlook to save space?

To save space in your primary mailbox, you can create an archive folder in Outlook. Go to the Folder tab, click on New Folder, give it a name, and choose where to create it (either in your mailbox or computer). After creating the folder, you can manually move items to it or use auto-archive settings to make the process more efficient.

How do I create an archive backup in Outlook?

To create a backup of your Outlook data, including archived items, utilize the Export feature. Access it by going to File > Open & Export > Import/Export. Opt for "Export to a file" and select Outlook Data File (.pst). Choose the folder or entire mailbox you want to backup, choose a location to save the backup file, and follow the prompts to finalize the backup process. This will generate a .pst file that serves as an archive backup of your Outlook data.