Before I dive into how to archive I’d like to give you a brief overview of how our mail system works. We keep a copy of everything in each person’s Inbox, Deleted Items, and other folders on the server. Your Outlook (for Windows) or Entourage (for Mac) program connects to our server and makes sure everything is synced up. Thus the email on your computer and the mail on our mail server are nicely mirrored. Unfortunately, this is where the problem creeps in. We provide mail boxes for quite a few folks and would quickly run out of space if we didn’t place limits on the amount of email that can live on our server.

To work around this problem we use archives. Basically they are a file you store email to, and then delete that email from the mail server. The result is that Entourage or Outlook can access the email but our mail server doesn’t have to store it.  This compromise means that you can keep all your email and our server doesn’t get overwhelmed trying to store everyone’s email going back years.

Now that you have an idea of how archiving works, here’s how to create an archive containing all email received more than 90 days ago. I’ll be using Entourage 2008 for this:

  1. Open Entourage.
  2. Select ‘On My Computer’ from the list at the left.
  3. From the File Menu select ‘New’ >> ‘Subfolder’.
  4. Type Archive and press Enter.
  5. From the ‘Edit Menu’ select ‘Advanced Search’.
  6. Click on ‘All Messages’.
  7. Select ‘Date Created’ from the dropdown menu.
  8. Change ‘Any Date’ to ‘Greater Than’.
  9. Type ’90’.
  10. Select an email from the resulting search and press Command+A to select all the email
  11. Drag the email into the Archive folder you created

Now that you’ve created a copy of the email on your hard drive you’ll want to delete the email still on the server, by pressing the Command+Delete keys.

Now you have a local copy of the email available in Entourage but the email doesn’t take up space on the server.

I recently found a video taking you though slightly different steps to create an archive with all email from a certain year.  Or if you need more help just email the HelpDesk.

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James Curran

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