We’ve always been told that backing up our data is a good idea. Well, that same concept can extend to email as well. You may want to archive your email every so often, such as monthly, quarterly, or even yearly.

We’ll show you how to archive email in Outlook 2013 and make it easily available in the program. Your email is stored in a .pst file. To archive email, we will be moving the email into an archive .pst file.

NOTE: When you archive your email into another .pst file, all the email you choose to archive is moved into the archive file and is no longer available in the main .pst file.

To begin archiving your email, click the “File” tab on the ribbon.

On the Account Information screen, click the “Cleanup Tool” button next to “Mailbox Cleanup.”

Select “Archive…” from the drop-down menu.


The Archive dialog box displays. Select “Archive this folder and all subfolders” and select a folder to archive. If you want to archive all your email, select the node with your email address at the top.

Click the “Archive items older than” drop-down list to select the latest date for items to be archived. A calendar pops up. Select a date in the current month by clicking on the date or scroll to a different month to select a date. All items older than the selected date will be archived.

If you want to archive items that are not set to archive automatically using AutoArchive, select the “Include items with “AutoArchive” checked” check box.

NOTE: AutoArchive in Outlook 2013 works the same way as in Outlook 2010.

Click the “Browse” button if you want to change the location where the archive file will be saved and the name of the archive file. Click OK when you have made your selections.

The archived .pst file is saved to the chosen location.


Notice that all the email messages you chose to archive are not available anymore in the main .pst file. The archived .pst file should become available automatically in Outlook. However, if it doesn’t, click the “File” tab.

In the blue panel on the left side of the “Account Information” screen, click on “Open & Export.”

On the “Open” screen, click “Open Outlook Data File.”

The “Open Outlook Data File” dialog box opens. Navigate to the location where you saved the archived .pst file, select it, and click OK.

In the left pane of the main Outlook Mail window, a section called “Archives” displays and the emails you archived are available.

Archiving email can help you keep your emails organized, making it easier to find older emails and to keep your inbox and folders uncluttered.

Profile Photo for Lori Kaufman Lori Kaufman
Lori Kaufman is a technology expert with 25 years of experience. She's been a senior technical writer, worked as a programmer, and has even run her own multi-location business.
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