Best way to access archive folder in outlook 2013

one of our users has archive folders in outlook that contains email going back 3yrs and wants to be able to access those emails so what is best way to set that up so she can view them within her current outlook 2013?  Can she just import them from the archive file?
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ibrahim52Team LeaderCommented:
why don't you simply expand the archive emails in your outlook and select all the emails and DRAG & DROP to the main inbox so that way in case if you search date-wise through your main inbox. You will be do it easily.
dankyle67Author Commented:
So if i have an archive pst file and it is located on my c drive, i can view whats in there from within existing outlook session by simply opening the archive?  This user has a very large pst file which is 20g so if she keeps archiving the older years to reduce the existing pst file then are you saying it is possible to keep viewing the older years?
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
If the Outlook profile has an archive folder, it's usually a local file:
"archive.pst" for example.

I'm guessing that, from your description; the user just has some 'folders' that they call archive folders, and they want these folders moved outside of their regular mail store on the server?

If that's the case, you can just create a new archive file and choose the path to their My Documents folder.

Once you have the archive folder attached to Outlook, you can just move the archive files a few at a 50 to 200 depending on size from their mail store to the archive file.

Re-reading your question, it also looks like you have older than Outlook 2003 emails stored in archive need to import these older files...from within Outlook 2003, just click File > Open > Outlook Data File and you should be able to open these older PST file archives.
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Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
Just a word of warning too...after seeing that you mentioned that the archive is 20G...

Around 20G( actually even before this size too) the PST file might become corrupt so make sure the user does 'not' move any more emails into this archive, does not move any emails out of this archive, or delete any email out of this archive. Basically, just look into this archive and cut an paste whatever info she needs from it.

Whenever you change the email count from within an existing archive file, Outlook automagically tries to resize the PST file on the fly--which in the case of this huge 20G file, might make the file unreadable.
dankyle67Author Commented:
So you mean that she should leave the existing archive pst alone and if she wants to reduce her outlook.pst file she should create another archive pst in addition to the current archive pst which is 20g? I'm trying to get an idea of best practice methods in regards to how to keep outlook pst files from growing too large and so would you suggest she should archive at end of year each year so she can keep her older emails inside of archive pst and then just view them and cut and paste as needed as you suggested? In other words, if she were to archive all her 2013 emails then would that create a new archive pst in addition to her existing archive pst or would it just add to it?
Amit KhilnaneyCommented:
Guessing by the size as you mentioned that 3 years worth of emails is 20 GB. This is more than 6 GB per year.

Ideally we should keep pst within 2 GB limit, since there was a limit of 4 GB per file on 32 bit systems. So that pst can be accessible from any version of outlook assuming outlook 2002/2003 to be the least version.

This 20 GB pst should be divided into 4 parts per year i.e 12 parts for total 3 years of emails

i.e so that each part will contain emails per quarter i.e. Jan - Mar, Apr - Jun etc.

I am saying above by keeping in mind the max compatibility i.e. Fat 32 file system, 32 bit windows , windows xp, windows 7 , outlook 32 bit etc, max portability i.e. those 4 GB pen drives etc.

Keeping smaller pst on different drives helps in fast searching, and there are many other good reasons i.e. easy search, backup etc.


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dankyle67Author Commented:
She is using win7 64 bit with outlook 2013 but if she were to divide her existing pst not her archive pst then she could reduce her outlook.pst to a smaller more manageable pst size correct?
Amit KhilnaneyCommented:
PST means archive (PST needs to copied/attached to outlook before accessing and they show as separate folder compared to mailbox/OST).

OST means inbox (Emails which can accessible from anywhere without carrying file or copying pst files to different systems)

PST can be divided to manageable size anytime.

PST can be imported into inbox as well, so no need to worry. Take your time and create a copy of 20 GB pst and do some tests on it.
dankyle67Author Commented:
Not familiar wit ost files since all the times I created new outlook email accounts I always used outlook.pst as the data file which receives all the incoming pop mail. The archive.pst I agree is located usually under c:\users\documents\outlookfiles so is the ost file portable in the sense that if a user has a desktop PC at the office and uses outlook and they also have outlook on their laptop they could share the same ost file?
Amit KhilnaneyCommented:
If you are accessing it via POP then it is a pst... i thought you were using exchange based email account.

It is best to use IMAP if email provider supports etc. google does.

Please go through term IMAP vs pop. It will be really beneficial if you are using multiple PCs to access same email account.
dankyle67Author Commented:
I know that IMAP doesn't download emails but allows you to view them which is why it would take up much less space compared to pop which creates the pst. I advised the users to use IMAP but they really want to have the emails downloaded and available offline since they receive a lot of large images that they need to work on.
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
Don't do anything with the 20G except read from it. Copying the contents from one PST to another PST or mail storage is a waste of time.

Yes, you should create a new PST whenever the size get's larger than say 10G imo.

I've seen more PST files get corrupted when they get close to 20G so using that as a general rule.

PST = personal storage, typically used for home users with their POP email accounts, but also used in Corporate environments for email archive files.

OST=Offline Storage, typically used in a Corporate environment where email can still be accessed when not connected to the Exchange server.

Used for entirely two different things.

Resizing a PST is a total waste of time.

As an analogy: It's much easier to think of filling up an expanding box of junk in your garge so when it gets too fat to move, you create a new storage bin--don't start taking out to put in another location etc. Too easy to just create another PST and you can create dozens if you want to manage all of them.

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Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop SupportCommented:
why don't you simply expand the archive emails in your outlook and select all the emails and DRAG & DROP to the main inbox so that way in case if you search date-wise through your main inbox. You will be do it easily.

Whatever you do, don't do the above. To start with the transfer of 20G of emails like this will only lockup your computer. Not to mention that you will be copying 20G of emails to your main email account on the server, which most likely will also not be a good thing.
ibrahim52Team LeaderCommented:
Sorry WiReDNeT, i wouldn't have had posted such solution if the questioner had mentioned the size of the archived emails.
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