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Outlook 2003---What is the point of the Archive Folders?

No idea on how it happened, but I must have clicked "yes" at some point. If I contract all the folders on the left side I have 4 folders,

archive folders
Business Contact Manager
Public Folders

I use a folder in my mailbox that I created a long time ago to save most of my mail stuff. It's called "Saved Items". Recently I have noticed that items that I had saved in sub-folders of Saved Items are no longer there. Around the same time I noticed that under Archive Folders is a mirror copy of the folder structure that is under "mailbox" and somehow items that had been saved in mailbox/saved items/subfolder have been moved into the same folder/subfolder under the Archive folder. This is making more work for me because I first look in the mailbox subfolder and then in the archive subfolder. Any ideas on what's causing the duplicate folder structure under archive and how I can undo it and get everything moved back where it should be under the mailbox folder? I, obviously can cut and paste and then delete, but I'll bet it will reappear. Under folders in the settings I can see the archive.pst file, I can delete that, but will probably lose the saved items that were already moved. Outlook 2003 is a client of an exchange server 2003
2 Solutions
Archive Folders was created by AutoArchive, which is designed to move content from your mailbox to the Archive folders. To modify AutoArchive do the following.

(In Outlook)
Tools, Options, Other
(view/change your archive settings)
It sounds like you enabled Autoarchive, which will move mail from prior to a specific date to a local archive, rather than keep in in your Exchange mailbox.  This is a typical setup in most companies, where the exhange server does not have a large amount of space available per mailbox, so quotas are set on mailboxes, and autoarchive is used on clients to keep the exchange server from getting full and slowing down (or crashing.)   If you don't have restrictions on mailbox size, or the restrictions are very liberal, you can right-click your "saved items" folder, go to properties, click on the autoarchive tab, then select "do not autoarchive this folder".  After that's done, drag the folders out of the archive in the folder tree and back to the saved items in your mailbox.
Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
Hello there,

Outlook Inbox has a maximum capacity of 2 GB. When you have gone over this limit it will ask you to auto archive the files rather then just deleting them. You can setup your outlook to auto archive every 2 weeks or whenever you want. But that is probably what is happening. Outlook will archive your mail rather then deleting it.

Hope this helped

The maximum capacity of 2GB that Spec01 speaks of ends with Outlook 2003, so moving your mail shouldn't be absolutely necessary.  However, the point of archiving your mail is to lighten up the mail in your Outlook folders, if you want to.

You also have the option of creating several archives, and naming them with different names.  That way, it's easy to separate your mail for later viewing.

You should also be aware that you can go to Microsoft and download an Outlook Personal Mail, or Folders  (.pst Backup) program for free, easily installed, and this will run automatically, so if your .pst ever becomes corrupted, you'll have a copy.  I highly recommend this.

Best of luck!
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
We don't have any auto retention policies in effect (that I'm aware of--where would they be anyways?) we do have GPOs could that be the cause? Where can I set that for a company wide policy not to do this?

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