If you want to clean your folders and inbox, but don’t want to spend time doing it manually, consider using Microsoft Outlook’s AutoArchive feature. With AutoArchive, you can save older emails and items that you no longer need but don’t necessarily want to delete.

You can decide when to archive your items, which ones to archive and where to send them. With the general AutoArchive for Outlook settings, you can configure AutoArchive for specific folders or completely remove folders from the archiving process.

Let’s go over the options for setting up and managing AutoArchive in Outlook.

AutoArchive Settings in Outlook

To set up a schedule and select items and location for AutoArchive in Outlook, follow these steps.

  1. Open Outlook in Windows and click File> Options.
  2. Please select Advanced on the left.
  3. Click the button AutoArchive Settings right.

When the Autoarchive window opens, check the box at the top to Run Autoarchive every X days and choose the number of days. Optionally, you can check the box below to be notified before AutoArchive runs.

Next, decide how to handle items during AutoArchive. You can delete expired items in email folders, archive or delete old items, and display the archive folder in your folder list. If you decide to show that folder, you can access an archived item if you need it quickly.

Now you will choose the age of the articles you want to include. Enter a number and then choose Months, Weeks, or Days.

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Finally, choose where to send your archived items. You can search for a folder or delete them permanently if you prefer.

If you want to apply these Autoarchive settings to all your Outlook folders, click the button to do so. And if you’re done, click To accept to apply the settings.

Note: If you have more than one email account set up in Outlook, the above settings apply to all accounts. If this worries you, you can configure Autoarchive for specific folders, which we will explain below.

Autoarchive Settings for a Folder

You can use different age and location settings for specific folders or exclude certain folders from the Autoarchive process.

  1. Select a folder for which you want to adjust settings, right-click and choose Properties.
  2. Open the tab Autoarchive.
  3. Choose not to archive the items in the folder, use the default archive settings, or archive the items in the folder with alternative settings that you can configure.
    • If you choose the last option, select the age of the items. Next, choose the location of the archived items or if you prefer to permanently delete them.
  4. Click on Apply and then in To accept.

Run AutoArchive outside of a schedule

If there comes a time when you want to run the Autoarchive process outside of the hours you have set, you can do that too.

Click File and select Tools> Mailbox Cleaning.

Press the button AutoArchive.

AutoArchive for a cleaner Outlook

Autoarchive is a useful and beneficial feature to take advantage of in Outlook. You can keep your inbox and folders cleaner by removing old items.

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