Archive Outlook E-Mail Without a .PST File

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Outlook has always archived your e-mail in a Personal Storage File (.PST). The .PST files stores Calendar items, e-mail, Journal entries, and Tasks on local Windows workstations. Users are responsible for proper archiving, such as specifying the archiving period, file locations, etc.

The .PST files are notorious for corruption. There are many repair utilities that exist just for the purpose of repairing and recovering corrupted .PST files.

There was another big drawback to the original .PST file: SIZE. Outlook 2002's .PST file was limited to 1.933 GB. Outlook 2003 increased the size limitation to 30GB, but the larger the file, the slower the performance.

Luckily, there is another way to archive your e-Mail. Use folders!

Follow the steps below to start archiving your e-mail:

  1. In My Documents, create a folder called E-mail.
  2. While inside that folder you just created, create subfolders for every folder you have created in Outlook beneath your inbox.
  3. Within those subfolders, create monthly or quarterly folders within which you place copies of every e-mail you store in Microsoft Outlook.

You can also create folders for Sent Mail if you so desire.

Simply highlight the selection and drag them into the respective folder where you want them archived.

Voila! You're finished.

Now you can use Outlook's Task or Calendar to remind yourself that you need to archive e-mail. When the reminder appears, follow the steps below to copy your e-mail messages to your new folder structure:

  • Within Outlook, open each e-mail folder you want to back up.
  • Click Edit.
  • Click Select All.
  • Click Edit.
  • Click Copy.
  • Open the E-mail subfolder where you want to archive the e-mail messages.
  • Select Edit from the Windows Explorer or My Computer menu bar.
  • Click Paste.

The messages will be copied from Outlook to the new folder on your hard drive.

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