Auto archive your old items in Microsoft Outlook on Windows 10

If you have used Microsoft Outlook on your Windows PC, you may have suddenly come across a pop-up up asking if you wanted to archive your old items. While Outlook will remind you periodically to do so, in this post, we will see how can Auto archive your old items like email, tasks, notes, contacts, etc., in Microsoft Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007 to improve Outlook performance in Windows 10/8/7, on demand.


AutoArchive feature of Outlook helps manage the space in your mailbox or on the e-mail server that you are using by automatically archiving and moving old items to the following location and storing it in .pst format:

C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Outlook Files\archive.pst

While you can always manually transfer old items to a storage file by clicking Archive on the File menu, you can also have old items automatically transferred by using the AutoArchive feature.

Auto archive old items in Outlook

To do this, open Outlook and click on File > Options to get the following window. Next click on Advanced in the left side.

Auto archive old items in Outlook

Here you will see a setting AutoArchive. Click on AutoArchive Settings button to open the following window.


To turn on or turn off Auto Archive in Outlook, you will have to check or uncheck the Run AutoArchive every … days check-box.

Here you will also be able to change the Outlook Auto Archive settings to suit your preferences.

You can:

  • Select how frequently AutoArchive runs
  • If you want to be prompted first
  • Decide the aging period
  • Whether you want to delete old items or move them
  • And so on.

Once you have set them, click OK and exit.

The default aging period for each of the items is as follows, but you can always change it:

Folder Aging period
Inbox and Drafts 6 months
Sent Items and Deleted Items 2 months
Outbox 3 months
Calendar 6 months
Tasks 6 months
Notes 6 months
Journal 6 months

Archiving old items will also help speed up & improve the performance of Outlook.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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