Manually Archive Email in Outlook 2010

First of all, what does it mean to "Archive Email?"


This is fairly easy to understand, but you need to know how Microsoft Exchange works to understand what an archive is. When Outlook is first configured on your computer, an .ost file is created in a secure location on the C: drive. This .ost file is an exact copy of your entire email profile on the mail server. This profile contains your email, calendar, contacts, and tasks.

For instance, when you send an email, the email will be stored in the Sent Items folder of your email, which is contained in the .ost file, therefore duplicated to the mail server. With that said, if your computer was to be rendered inoperable, your email is completely safe!

You would purchase a new computer, configure your email in Outlook, and a new .ost file will be created and everything from the server downloaded to the file.


When you archive your email, a .pst file is created and saved to a location of your choice. Then you can either schedule or manually move emails into this archive location. What your doing is removing the email from the .ost file, and essentially the server since the .ost file is an exact copy of what's on the server, and storing it in the .pst file in the location provided. If you have a server on premise, it would behoove you to store this file in your user folder to protect it from computer failure.

We recommend archiving your email yearly to allow space for new email.

Enough rambling on, let's archive!!


1.    With Outlook 2010 open, click File, click Info, click the Account Settings box, and choose Account Settings...


2.    The Account Settings windows will display, click the Data Files tab, and click the Add... button.


3.    In the Create or Open Outlook Data File window, navigate to the location where you would like to save the .pst (Archive) file and type the name of the file in the File name: field. Since we're going to do this yearly, you may want to distinguish the file according to the year. For example, "2013" for the year of 2013 and so on.


4.    Click OK.


5.    Click Close on the Account Settings window.


6.    If you take a look at the left pane of Outlook, you'll now see a new location called "2013." If you expand this location, you'll see a Deleted Items and Search Folders folder. Here is where you will move your emails to. Right click the archive location and select New Folder...


7.    Name the new folder Inbox.


8.    Go back to your email Inbox and select all email pertaining to the year you are storing in the archive location. For instance, you will select the last email on December 25 of the year you're archiving and scroll down to the first email on January 1st, hold down the Shift key, and select it.


9.    Left-click and hold the highlighted emails, then drag them to the Inbox folder in the archive location.


10.   If you have other folders that you would like to archive, repeat steps 6 - 9 to create and move corresponding emails to those folders.


Note: Depending on how many emails you're moving to the archive file, it may take some time to complete the task.


Congratulations! You have successfully archive your email!


If you have any questions, need your password, or find that this article contains a mistake, email the Help Desk at and one of our friendly technicians will help you.


-ITNS Support          

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