How to archive emails in outlook

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2024 by

Are you tired of constantly receiving notifications that your Outlook mailbox is almost full? Do you struggle to find important emails buried in your overflowing inbox? If so, it may be time to consider archiving your emails in Outlook.

Email archiving is the process of moving older, less frequently accessed emails to a separate storage location. This not only frees up space in your mailbox but also helps you better organize and manage your emails. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of email archiving and provide a step-by-step guide on how to archive emails in Outlook.

Why Archive Emails in Outlook?

Email Retention and Compliance

One of the main reasons to archive emails in Outlook is to comply with email retention policies. Many organizations have specific guidelines for how long emails must be kept, especially in industries such as finance and healthcare. By archiving emails, you can ensure that important emails are retained for the required amount of time, reducing the risk of non-compliance.

Improved Email Management

With the average office worker receiving over 120 emails per day, it’s no surprise that inboxes can quickly become cluttered and disorganized. Archiving emails allows you to keep your inbox clean and organized, making it easier to find important emails when you need them.

Reduced Storage Costs

Outlook has a limited amount of storage space, and once you reach your limit, you’ll need to either delete emails or purchase additional storage. Archiving emails can help reduce the amount of storage space you need, potentially saving you money in the long run.

How to Archive Emails in Outlook

Step 1: Create a New Archive Folder

The first step in archiving emails in Outlook is to create a new archive folder. To do this, right-click on your mailbox and select “New Folder”. Give your folder a name, such as “Archived Emails”, and click “OK”.

Step 2: Set Up AutoArchive

Next, you’ll need to set up AutoArchive, which will automatically move emails to your archive folder based on the criteria you set. To do this, go to “File” > “Options” > “Advanced” and click on “AutoArchive Settings”.

In the AutoArchive window, you can choose how often you want Outlook to automatically archive your emails, as well as the age of the emails you want to archive. You can also choose to permanently delete emails after they have been archived. Once you have selected your preferences, click “OK”.

Step 3: Manually Archive Emails

If you want to manually archive specific emails, you can do so by selecting the emails you want to archive and clicking on the “Archive” button in the top menu. This will move the selected emails to your archive folder.

Step 4: Move Emails to Archive Folder

You can also manually move emails to your archive folder by dragging and dropping them into the folder. This is a great option for emails that you want to keep in your inbox for easy access, but don’t want cluttering your main inbox.

Step 5: Access Archived Emails

To access your archived emails, simply click on your archive folder in the left-hand menu. You can also use the search bar to find specific emails within your archive folder.

Tips for Effective Email Archiving

  • Set up a regular schedule for archiving emails to keep your inbox organized and prevent it from becoming too cluttered.
  • Use folders and subfolders within your archive folder to further organize your emails.
  • Consider using a third-party email archiving tool for more advanced features and better control over your archived emails.

Best Practices for Email Retention

  • Familiarize yourself with your organization’s email retention policies and ensure that you are complying with them.
  • Regularly review and delete emails that are no longer needed to prevent your inbox from becoming too cluttered.
  • Consider using a separate email account for personal emails to keep your work inbox organized and focused on important emails.


Archiving emails in Outlook is a simple and effective way to manage your inbox, comply with email retention policies, and save on storage costs. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up email archiving in Outlook and enjoy a more organized and efficient email experience. Remember to regularly review and delete old emails to keep your inbox clutter-free and make the most of your email archiving efforts.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.