Outlook Archiving

Posted on 2011-05-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have around 100,000 e-mails in Outlook 2007 on a Windows XP PC within hundreds of folders and across 4 physical POP mailboxes from 4 separate servers.   I know I need to archive however I have never understood physically, exactly, what happens in the process, where the data actually literally goes, or how I am able to access the archives later, or un-archive (if that's possible).

My goals are these:
1. Be able to access the same e-mail folders, incoming and outgoing including the Sent folder, whether I am using:
a. My Windows XP PC using Outlook 2007 (currently only stored using POP accounts)
b. My MacBookPro using Outlook 2011 (will be buying Outlook 2011 today)
c. Webmail

2. How to archive effectively.  There are occasions when I am travelling when I need to look up a very old e-mail so the thought of archiving everything to a .pst file and storing it on a local computer is daunting as I know whatever date I pick, there will be a day when I need to look at an e-mail 1 day older than that chosen date.    Is there a way to Un-Archive and move archived e-mails or folders back into the active e-mail accounts?

I am trying to be more 'location independent" when it comes to e-mail but at the moment I am basically tied to my local PC or Webmail (for un-downloaded POP e-mail when I have not done a send/receive on the PC).    Seems I need to use a mixture of IMAP and archiving in a smart way.

I am travelling tomorrow and buying Outlook 2011 today so any advice would be absolutely fantastic!   Thank you everyone.
Question by:mikecharters
    LVL 89

    Accepted Solution

    You have made this somewhat complex, because standard archiving does not work across different computers.

    You can archive in Outlook 2007 and the resulting archive(s) will live in the same place as the main PST file and you have simple and easy access to the archives. If you have indexing turned on, the archives get indexed as well (if you use default indexing).

    I do all this with (first Outlook 2007) and now Outlook 20101. I have 3 archives (chronological) and the archives live on my laptop along with the main PST file. I have all my emails going back to 1996, so I have whatever I want.

    This fits your travelling need well. You do not need to un-archive mail (although you can).

    Also, and very important, PST files and Archive PST files like to be local in a POP system, not off on another machine. Outlook does not work well that way. .. Thinkpads_User
    LVL 23

    Assisted Solution

    - i am always on the move too so here is what i've done for years. this might seems not an elegant approach nowdays but its works for me:

    : i setup my house pc as the final destination for all my emails. if its downloaded there, it stays there. i setup the office email, personal email and my gmail account (this gmail account setup specifically to handle sent email that i sentout using my office account when i'm on the move). i set all the necessary settings and different archive pst file for my office and personal account. i

    : next i set the archiving for my office account automatically and do it manually for my personal account. to add a new .pst file, in Outlok menu choose Tools > Account Settings > click on Data Files tab > then add new pst file. you can see the location of the pst file for my next step action.

    : as for the archive, you can set it up automatically or manual archive, which way suits you. to set auto archive, from the Outlook menu click on Tools > Options > choose Other tab > click on the Autoarchive.. button and sets the setting there. whenever i'm going to travel, i will copy my archive file from that pc and add the pst file to my travel laptop as a personal folder. also means that i will delete my old 'archive' pst file on my travel laptop before restore it (do it from data files tab). so its always updated. to add the pst file, from the Access menu, click on File > Open > Outlook data or you can use the Import/Export wizard from the same File menu.

    : on my travel laptop, i will set it to download my office and personal emails but i choose the option to left the email on the  server (so that the final download for all my email will be on the pc at home). as for my sent email item, i create a rules (from blank rule option), where all email that i sent from this travel machine, i will cc it to my gmail account that i setup purposely to receive all my sent email when i'm on the move. and i will download emails from this gmail account at home as final copy.


    Author Comment

    Hi guys, thank you for the responses. Is it possible to archive an IMAP e-mail address?

    Author Comment

    Is there a way to upload all my e-mail so that I can view it online on whatever platform I like?

    For example:
    1. can my .pst files be uploaded onto like an 'online Web version' of Outlook which I can continue to use via any browser on any platform with simply Internet access?
    2.  same as in number 1, except that I convert my .pst files to .mbox files  for Apple platform and then everything else the same as in 1.

    Thank you
    LVL 89

    Assisted Solution

    by:John Hurst
    Assuming you get email all the time, then your PST file needs to be kept local.

    You could close Outlook, copy your PST file somewhere else to open it on some other system, but (a) you need to copy it back down to open it and (b) it would likely be already out of date.

    I think you need to use IMAP or a true web mail system. The only Outlook system that will do what you want is Exchange.  ... Thinkpads_User

    Author Comment

    Thank you thinkpads_user, I think you are right.  Perhaps with regards to .pst file, probably what I was trying to get at -- although I don't think I explained myself very well -- was just a means by which to also maintain a local copy on any PC or Mac of my choosing (not internet cafe or other public environments though) so that I would not need to "download" every message as I access each one if I am going through long lists of e-mails trying to find something, therefore not really literally needing a .pst file as such but only a local copy version of my e-mail.
    best regards.
    LVL 89

    Expert Comment

    by:John Hurst
    You are most welcome and I was pleased to assist. Good luck going forward. ... Thinkpads_User

    Featured Post

    Enabling OSINT in Activity Based Intelligence

    Activity based intelligence (ABI) requires access to all available sources of data. Recorded Future allows analysts to observe structured data on the open, deep, and dark web.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Set OWA language and time zone in Exchange for individuals, all users or per database.
    Not sure what the best email signature size is? Are you worried about email signature image size? Follow this best practice guide.
    Get people started with the process of using Access VBA to control Outlook using automation, Microsoft Access can control other applications. An example is the ability to programmatically talk to Microsoft Outlook. Using automation, an Access applic…
    This Experts Exchange video Micro Tutorial shows how to tell Microsoft Office that a word is NOT spelled correctly. Microsoft Office has a built-in, main dictionary that is shared by Office apps, including Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. When …

    746 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    14 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now