Outlook stores each user’s folders, messages, forms, and files in a special file known as a Personal Folder file. You can save, copy, and even move a Personal Folder (.pst) file, although you shouldn’t move it unless you have a specific reason for doing so and know what you’re doing. Use Windows Search to find the file quickly using the search string *.pst. Usually, this file is on the local drive. However, if you’re on Microsoft Exchange Server, you might not have access to it. In that case, you’ll need to talk with your administrator.
Backing up your .pst file occasionally is a good idea. How often depends on you. But if you get a lot of important mail, every day isn’t too often. To back up your Personal Folder file and all its subfolders, simply export it, as follows:
- Choose Import and Export from the File menu to launch the wizard.
- Choose Export To A File from the Choose An Action To Perform list and click Next.
- Select Personal Folder File (.pst) from the Create A File Of Type list and click Next.
- Choose Personal Folders from the Select The Folder To Export From list.
- Check the Include Subfolders option and click Next.
- Specify a folder and filename for the backup file.
- From Options, specify how to treat duplicate items.
- Click Finish.
'How to configure the default Auto-Archive settings'
1. On the menu bar, select Tools/Options…
2. At the Options window, Select the Other tab
3. Select the AutoArchive button
4. You will see the AutoArchive window with the default settings selected.
"Now you will see a list of check boxes. Select which ones are suitable to you"
The Options are as followed.
Run AutoArchive every: This is how often the AutoArchive tool scans your mailbox to look for messages that are available to be archived.
Prompt before AutoArchive: This will notify you each time AutoArchive begins a scan of your mailbox.
Delete Expired items: This will remove any expired email messages from your mailbox folders. Messages can be set to expire by the sender; typically messages have no expiration date.
Archive or delete old items: This is the key to archiving. This setting is what tells AutoArchive to run archive rules/filters against messages in your mailbox.
Show Archive folder in folder list: By checking this item, you tell Outlook to keep a connection to your archived mail so that it is readily available to Outlook each time you launch it. If you do not want to keep a connection to your archived mail, you can de-select this option and connect to your archived folders as needed.
Default folder settings - Move old items to: By default, AutoArchive will create a file called archive.pst in your c:\Documents and Settings\<yourUserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook directory. You can browse to a new location to change your default archive file as you wish.
Permanently delete old items: If you do not wish to keep your aged messages, you can configure AutoArchive to delete them instead.
Apply these settings to all folders now: This button will reset all AutoArchive settings on all folders to match the default AutoArchive settings.
'How to archive a folder manually'
1. On the menu bar, select Go/Folder List.
Click the folder that you want to archive.
2. On the menu bar, select File/Archive.
3. At the Archive window, Click one of the following options:
- Archive all folders to their AutoArchive settings: Allows you to use your
- AutoArchive settings to archive the folder.
Archive this folder and all the subfolders: Allows you to archive the folder using the options available in the Archive dialog box.
4. In the Archive items older than list, choose a date from the date picker.
5. To include items that you previously selected not to archive, select the Include items with "Do not AutoArchive" checked check box.
6. To archive the folder to a file other than the default Archive.pst file, click Browse, and then specify a different file name and a location, such as My Documents.
6. Click OK.
7. The items in the folder are moved out of the folder and into the .pst file that you specified. To view the folder items again, open the .pst file.
'Restore Archived items'
Copy all archived items from a .pst file back into their original folders
2. At the Import and Export Wizard window, Select Import from another program or file. Select Next.
3. At the Import a File window, Select Personal Folder File (.pst). Select Next.
4. At the Import Personal Folders window, in the File to import box, change the default file name in the path from backup.pst to the name of the archive file you're importing from. Specify how you want Outlook to handle duplicate items. Select Next.
5. At the second Import Personal Folders window, Select the folder to import from. If you want, select "Include subfolders". Select "Import items into the same folder in", and then click the folders with the same name as the folders you're importing from.
6. Select Finish.
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