Retrieve Archived Data

Q. When my Outlook data file (*.pst) grew too fat for me to easily copy, I archived my data. In fact, I told Outlook to automatically archive my data. So, now that they’re all neatly tucked away, how do I access them?

A. You’re to be congratulated for archiving your data. Keeping the Outlook data file lean makes for a faster running application.

Before telling you how to open your archive, I’ll tell readers how to automatically archive files. In Outlook, go to Tools , Options and then to the Other tab.

In midscreen, click on AutoArchive and Run AutoArchive every, selecting a time period that you’re comfortable with. The default is 14 days, which I think is too short. You can extend the period to up to 60 days.

Notice all the other “clean up” steps you can take with the data. Note, too, that you can set custom AutoArchive settings for each Outlook folder.

Now, if you need to check e-mails or calendar items that have been archived, follow these steps. Click on File, Open and Personal Folders File (or it could say, Outlook Data File ). From the new screen, select the Archive.pst file and click on OK . That will put Archive Folders at the top of your folder list, as shown below. If you click on the + sign next to Archive Folders, all the folders will be displayed.

By dragging and dropping, you can import the data into a new folder or import data into the original folders. Once you retrieve the data, you can manually move or copy the archived items to other folders as needed.

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to Senior Editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at .

Because of the volume of mail, we regret we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader’s question has broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find that you cannot implement a function I describe in this column. More often than not it’s because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It’s virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it’s equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.


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