How to Archive Outlook Mail to a Removable Medium

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To keep your default Personal Folders file slim and, small and in perfect shape for speedy day-to-day access, Outlook has a handy AutoArchive feature that automatically moves old items to an archive file.

But what if you only need to archive once a year and to a removable medium? Let's say every year between Christmas and New Year's Eve, you want to move a year's worth of old mail from Outlook to a DVD-ROM. With some PST file juggling, you can.

Archive Outlook Mail to a Removable Medium

To archive old Outlook mail to a removable medium:

  • Select File | Data File Management... from the menu in Outlook.
  • Click Add....
  • Leave Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst) selected.
    • If you need to be able to access your archived messages from an Outlook version prior to Outlook 2003, select Office 97-2002 Personal Folders File (.pst).
  • Click OK.
  • Under Save in:, go to the removable medium, network drive or other place where you want to store your archive.
  • Type the desired name of your archive under File name:.
  • Click OK.
  • Give your archive a descriptive name (the year of archived mail, for example) under Name:.
  • Optionally, encrypt and password-protect your archived messages.
  • Click OK.
  • Click Close.
  • Move folders you want to archive to the new archive location in the Outlook navigation pane.
    • If you want to archive only individual messages, not entire folders, right-click on the new archive location and select New Folder... to create a new Mail and Post Items folder in it. Then move the desired messages to the new folder.
  • Click on the archive location with the right mouse button.
  • Select Close "..." from the menu.

Your messages are now archived and out of the way. Of course, you can plug them back into Outlook at any time easily to read or recover them.