Performing maintenance in Microsoft Outlook® is essential to keep your Outlook file from becoming corrupted. Outlook stores all of it’s information in one primary file on your hard drive. This file can become quite large over time. If you regularly archive this information out of the main file and into smaller files, your chances of losing data are greatly reduced. We recommend performing an archive of your Outlook data on a monthly basis. Follow the steps below to archive your Outlook data file into a monthly archive file:
Open Outlook, click on the File menu option listed on the main menu bar, then select Archive.
A window displays asking which information you wish to archive.
Go ahead and leave the default selected, ‘Archive this folder and all subfolders‘. Then click and highlight the first folder, ‘Personal Folders‘.
Also change the date in the ‘Archive items older than‘, to the first date of the month from which you wish to archive. For example, to archive all data before March 2016, select April 1, 2016.
Click the browse button, and navigate to the folder in which you would like to store your archive files.
Name this .pst file with the month you are archiving.
For the example identified you would name the file ‘march.pst’.
After these selections have been made, select OK.
This window will disappear, although if you notice in the lower right hand corner of the Outlook screen you will see some folders moving, and it will display the word, ‘Archiving‘.
This may take several minutes depending upon the amount of data in your Outlook file. If you perform these steps monthly, this process should only take a few minutes.
If you would like to view the data that has been archived, you can easily open the .pst file.
- Select File from within Outlook, then Open, then select Personal Folders File (.pst).
- Navigate to the file you have created and Outlook will open up a new folder in the folder list.
If you don’t have your folder list viewable, select View, Folder List from the main menu bar.
Following these steps will ensure that your Outlook file remains at a smaller file size, therefore reducing your chance of data corruption. Make this part of your monthly backup procedures and you will ensure Outlook continues to work to your full advantage.