Your Outlook mailbox can only retrieve so much, and it is a good bet that you will not stop receiving emails anytime soon. To keep it from filling up your entire inbox, you can move old items you want to keep to an archive, a separate Outlook Data File (.pst) that you can open from Outlook any time you need it.

By default, Outlook uses Auto-Archive to archive items at a regular interval. To learn more, see Archive older items automatically.

You can also archive items manually whenever you want to. That way, you can control which items to archive, where to store them, and how old an item needs to be before it can be archived.

Please follow one of the two steps below:

  • In outlook2013: Click File > Info > Cleanup Tools > Archive.

  • In Outlook2016: Click File > Info > Tools > Clean up old items


Tip: Archiveand AutoArchive might not be available if your mail profile connects to an Exchange Server. It is also possible that your organization has a mail retention policy that overrides AutoArchive. Check with your system administrator for more information.

Click the Archive this folder and all subfolders option, and choose the folder you want to archive.

Under Archive items older than, enter a date.

You can create multiple .pst files if you want to archive some folders using different settings. For example, you may want to keep items in your Sent folder longer than items in your Inbox folder.

Check the Include items with “Do not AutoArchive” checked box to archive individual items that are excluded from automatic archiving.

This option does not remove that exclusion from these items, but instead ignores the Do Not AutoArchive setting for this archive only.

 Click OK.