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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Dear loungers,

    This posting has two separate questions, one theoretical and one technical.

    (1) What exactly does archiving one's messages in Outlook do? Does it conserve space? If so, how? Are all of the messages and their attachments still on the computer, just dormant? Are the files somehow compressed?

    (2) Every now and then, I back up all of my email. It is a very lengthy process, because I have six different accounts, and each of them has an inbox and an outbox. In addition, I have an archive for my sent items. So I usually just go through each account's inbox and outbox and copy and paste all of my emails and the archive into the corresponding folders on my harddrive.

    Is it possible to create a single Outlook archive that preserves all of my emails as organized according to each account so that when I back up, I can simply copy one archive folder to my external harddrive or to another computer and when I open it , Outlook automatically organizes each email according to the account? Can this be done such that when I archive all of my emails on the original computer, after I copy the archive out onto another unit, I can un-archive all of my emails so that everything is once again show in my inbox and outbox as normal, with only my old sent items being archived, or can archiving not be undone?

    Thank you for any guidance you can offer,

    JMT

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Outlook has an AutoArchive feature. You can specify the general settings in Tools | Options.., Other tab, AutoArchive..
    You can choose to move items older than a specified period to a separate archive file, or to delete them permanently.
    You can specify custom AutoArchive settings for each Outlook folder in the AutoArchive tab of its Properties window. You can exclude a folder from AutoArchive if you wish.

    In the screenshot below, older items are moved to a separate Archive.pst file. This means that they won't take up space in the main .pst file any more. You can still view the archive items by opening Archive.pst in Outlook, and if necessary, move them back to the main .pst file.

    You can create a backup of your e-mails etc. by copying your .pst file(s) to a backup medium; if you do that, there is no need to copy or move individual items. The .pst file contains all e-mails, contacts, appointments, tasks etc.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Check out Download details: Outlook 2003/2002 Add-in: Personal Folders Backup. It is a <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> addon. You get to choose which PST files are backed up, where they are backed up, and the frequency of backup.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Dear Hans,

    When the files are archived in the archive.pst file, what exactly happens to them? Are they compressed? I don't think so, because my archive.pst is almost 1,000,000 KB, which is almost a gigabyte if my math is right.

    If I copy and paste my archive.pst and Outlook.pst file to an external drive and then open it on another computer, will all of my emails show up identical as my original computer? Does this include even the follow-up tabs and the identification of unread email? I assume I will be able to organize them all by account type as they are on my original computer (not all lopped together).

    Kind regards,

    JMT

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Items in the Archive.pst are not necessarily compressed. You can compress a .pst file by right-clicking its "root" folder in Outlook, selecting Properties, clicking Advanced... and finally clicking Compact Now.

    If you copy a .pst file to another computer, all items (e-mails, appointments etc.) will look the same, including the read/unread status.

  6. #6
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Hello Hans,

    I copied my Outlook.pst and archive.pst files to my external hard drive and all went well. Then I tried opening up the Outlook.pst file on my external hard drive through File/ Open/ Outlook Data File... to make sure that everything was there and displayed correctly. It was. But then I turned off the external drive and closed down everything. Then, the following day and thereafter, whenever I would open up Outlook, I would get this message: "unable to find server for pst file," or something similar. I assume it is because it was looking for the external hard drive. To stop these messages from coming up, I went to File/ Open/ Outlook Data File and opened Outlook.pst. Now those messages have stopped coming up, but in the upper left window pane, I get these two duplicate folders, in addition to "Inbox," "Follow Up," "Sent mail," etc., called "Inbox in Personal Folders" and "Sent Items in Personal Folders." It appears that their content is identical to that of Inbox and Sent Items, respectively. I don't know why they are there but I want to delete them. I tried everthing from clicking on them and clicking delete to right clicking on them to look for a delete option, but there is no such option.

    Do you know of a way to get rid of them? They clutter my view and serve no purpose.

    Thank you in advance,

    John

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Do you get two Inbox folders etc. under the same Personal Folders heading? If so, I would create a new profile in the Mail control panel and use that.
    If you get two separate Personal Folders headings, right-click one of them and select Close from the popup menu.

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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Hello Hans,

    I am attaching a picture of the problem. In the top window, "Inbox" replicates "Inbox in Personal Folders." In the bottom Window, "Personal Folders" shows up twice. Right clicking on any of these always gives the "close" option as greyed out.

    How do I create a new profile in the Mail control panel?

    Kind regards,

    JMT
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Start | Settings | Control Panel | Mail | Show Profiles; I would check the current active Profile Properties to see if it shows a redundant data folder, before creating a new Profile.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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  10. #10
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Reconnect the external HD with the original file so the Personal Folder can load again without error. Then right click on the PF in Outlook and choose "Close "name of personal folder". Now exit Outlook (and all other stuff that uses Outlook like Synchronization tools e.g. MSActiveSync); disconnect the external HD and restart Outlook. The error should now be gone.
    You can simply close the duplicate (which I understand is on your HD) by Right-clicking and choosing close too.

    EJ

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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Dear Hans,

    If the archived folders do not automatically compress, then what's the purpose of archiving old items? It doesn't save space and merely creates the added inconvenience of searching in two groups of folders (personal folders and archived folders) for messages. Is it because if the user wants to compress items, s/he can compress the archived .pst without affecting the current file? Is that the basic advantage?

    I guess perhaps it is because people want to save space on their hard drive and so archive old items and move the archive.pst file to an external drive. But then I guess that causes a real inconvence whenever they have to search for older items.

    I'm starting to consider un-archiving. I think the advantages (which I am not really seeing) are outweighed by the inconveniences.

    Best regards,

    JMT

  12. #12
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Performance can slow when PST files become large, and some people don't like to have quick access to their history, it just gets in their way. Archiving to a second PST addresses those issues, and that's about it.

  13. #13
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Dear John,

    I followed your tip and I effectively found a redundant “Personal Folders” entry. I deleted it (after some hesitation), and now the redundant folder is gone.

    I now realize how this all started. I copied my Outlook.pst and Archive.pst file to my external harddrive, and to test to make sure it worked, I opened it in Outlook. Then Outlook got confused and thought I had another personal folder and created a duplicate file.

    Now all is back to normal.

    Regards,

    JMT

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    As JScher2000 mentioned, Outlook slows down if your .pst file becomes very big. Archiving older items to a different .pst file helps keeping the size of your main .pst file down.
    You can use multiple archive .pst files. I sometimes create a .pst file for all items related to a specific project, then close the .pst file when the project is finished, and move it to CD-ROM. That way, it doesn't take up hard disk space any more while it can still be copied back to hard disk if necessary.

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    Re: Archiving messages (Outlook 2003)

    Oh I see; that makes perfect sense. Well, I guess there is no need right now to be archiving, since my .PST file is still under 2 GB and I don't notice Outlook working entirely too slowly. But maybe the time for archiving is soon...

    When you have multiple PST files on your hard drive, physically moving them to an external drive doesn't actually help make Outlook faster, correct? It is merely reducing the size of Outlook.pst that makes Outlook faster?

    Regards,

    JMT

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