HOWTO: Use your Outlook Online Archive

Outlook uses your Online Archive to store mail that is between 3-10 years old. Click the link below to learn:

Any items in your primary mailbox-- mail, calendar items, notes, and tasks-- older than three years are automatically moved to your archive mailbox. Items older than ten years are permanently removed from your archive mailbox.

Note: The Online Archive replaced Enterprise Vault when your mailbox was migrated to Exchange Online. You will continue to have access to your Enterprise Vault archive for the time being, but it is not be updated.

How your Online Archive works

Although your mailbox is large, it is not unlimited. To prevent it from filling up and to keep Outlook performing well, items are moved to a separate archive mailbox as they age. As a result, you essentially have two mailboxes:

  • Your primary mailbox - containing items under three years old
  • Your online archive - containing items between three and ten years old

Accessing your Online Archive

Your online archive appears as another mailbox in your folder list:

  • In Outlook for PC , your archive is labeled "Online Archive - YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS"
    Online Archive
  • In Outlook Web Express, your archive is labeled "Personal Archive - Your Name". Click More In the folder list to expand the list to show the online archive mailbox.
    Online Archive Outlook Online

Note: Your online archive will be empty if you have no items older than three years.

Tips for searching your Mailbox and your Online Archive

Searching your online archive in Outlook for PC

By default, Outlook for PC searches only the currently selected mailbox.

  • To search both your mailbox and online archive at the same time, choose All Mailboxes as the search scope in the box to the right of the search box:
    Mail Search Scope
  • To search only your online archive, select it in the folder list before entering your search terms.

For more information on searching in Outlook for PC , check out Search Email in Outlook for PC .

Searching your online archive in Outlook on the Web

In Outlook Web Express, you can't search your mailbox and your online archive at the same time. To search your online archive, select it in the folder list before starting your search. For instructions on basic email search in Outlook Web Express, check out Search Email in Outlook Web Express.

Moving Content into or out of the Online Archive

Manually moving items into the Online Archive

Yes. Manually moving items to your online archive will keep your primary mailbox smaller, which helps Outlook performance.

Manually moving items out of the Online Archive

Yes, but any item that is older than three years will be automatically moved back into the archive. Items newer than three years will not automatically be moved back.

What happens if I delete an item from the online archive?

There is a Deleted Items folder in the online archive mailbox; any items you delete from your archive are moved there.

Items deleted from Deleted Items can be recovered by clicking on Recover items recently removed from this folder at the top of the message list in the online archive. This opens the Recover Delete Items list. From there, you can restore items to their original location in your archive, or permanently purge them. Purged items cannot be recovered.

Go to KB0034261 in the IS Service Desk

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