AutoArchive Outlook 2003

Dear Computer Lady,

I have XP and Outlook 2003. Outlook is always asking me to “archive” my files. When I check Outlook Help I see that many people did this and can no longer access their old emails. I do not have “Archive” in my folder list like they say I should and I’m afraid to archive.

Help! Cindy


Dear Cindy,

Don’t worry too much about the message asking to archive your email files,I have been using Outlook for many years now, and I have never bothered to archive my email messages. I choose not to create archives because I like having my information at my fingertips. The price I pay for having all those messages in one file is that Outlook takes a little longer to load with a large file than it would with a smaller file.

My advice to you is to do what you are comfortable with.

Microsoft Outlook (not Outlook Express) keeps all your information like calendars, contacts and email messages in a PST (personal folders) file. If you choose to archive your files, the older items are moved to a new pst file, which you can open if you wish to, but it is not visible in your folders list until you have opened it.

If you want to set up Outlook 2003 to automatically archive older items, you can turn on AutoArchive. Here is how:

1. Open Outlook 2003 and click on “Tools” in the menu bar.
2. Click on Options, and then click to select the “Other” tab.
3. Click to select the AutoArchive Every check box, and then type a number (of days) in the box to set the frequency of your archives.
4. If you want Outlook to ask you before performing the automatic archive, click to put a check mark in front of, “Prompt Before AutoArchive”.
5. Type a file name for the default archive file.
6. Click “OK” twice to save your changes and close the windows.


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