Knowledgebase: Resource Management
Setting up email archiving
Posted by Chris Atherton on 26 June 2013 12:01 PM

Archiving mail


Please be aware that eHosting is not able to provide technical support for your home or office IT technical issues.  This document has been produced so as to provide guidance on how to perform archiving.  If the steps in the document do not match exactly the setup that you have you would need to contact the software provider for the software that you are using or consult their technical documentation for the exact steps.


As most people now have multiple devices that access their email, IMAP has started become the most common email protocol that is used.  Although the benefits of IMAP outweigh the drawbacks, the main drawback to IMAP is the reliance on disk space on the server to store emails.  This in itself poses infrastructure issues for your plan.  The more disk space that you consume the more likely you will need to upgrade your plan, which will in turn cost you more money.  With that in mind, there is a way to keep the disk space usage down while using IMAP, this is called archiving.


It works by storing any emails older than a certain period to a file on your local machine.  You will still be able to access the old emails after you retrieve the file within your mail client.  This has the added benefit of also speeding up your mail client, as there will be fewer files for it to load from the server.  Once the emails have been archived you can also setup a backup routine on your PC to backup the archived file, which you can then store at a remote location; such as a backup repository.


Within Microsoft Outlook there are various ways of archiving the old emails; auto-archiving and manual archiving.  We will cover auto archiving only in this document as well as the recovery of the old emails.


AUTO Archiving


To turn on auto-archiving on the latest version of outlook please follow these steps:


  1.    Go to file and click options:

    Navigating to options

  2. Click on the advanced link:

    Click on the advanced link

  3. Click on the Auto Archive settings button:

    Click on AutoArchive settings


In this section you can set how often outlook checks for old emails to archive, by default this is set to 14 days.  We would recommend reducing this to every 5 days so that the archive happens more often.  If you want to be prompted when auto archiving takes place please select the tick box, however if you want archiving to occur in the background please un tick this option.


Select the tickbox to archive or delete old items, select the time limit you wish to impose (so anything older than this date will be archived), select the file to move the emails to, then click OK to confirm the changes.  You can press the button that says ‘Apply these settings to all folders now’.  This should apply these settings to all local mail folders however you may need to setup this manually on imap folders.


To setup the archiving on your imap account, please right click on the inbox (or any of your other folders within your imap account and then click on the properties option:


Check AutoArchive on IMAP account


Select the auto archive tab:

Select AutoArchive


Ensure that the ‘Archive items in folder using default settings’ is set.  You will need to check all of your folders to ensure that this is in place.

Once auto archiving takes place you will see an extra folder in your outlook file structure:


What outlook will look like after AutoArchive is enabled


To retrieve your emails simply navigate through your archive folder.


Once archiving is fully setup you will be able to backup the archive file (the one that you set in step 3).  We would recommend that you backup the file using the backup facilities built into to your operating system.  You would be able to upload this file to a FTP file repository, external storage device or physical medium (such as a CD or DVD) for safe keeping.  We would recommend that you have a look online for the specific details on how to do this based on the operating system that you use.


An example of how to backup your files in Windows 7 is detailed in the following knowledgebase article:



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