Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Archiving for Posterity
Finding and viewing archived items
Sometimes AutoArchive seems like magic. Older items are mysteriously filed
away without any action on your part. Isn’t that easy? Sure — until you
suddenly need to find one of those items that moved magically to your
archive. Then you have to figure out where it went and how to get at it again.
I usually like to talk up the good points of Outlook, but honestly, this is one
place where the Outlook developers fell down on the job. Although it’s easy
to move items into your archive, it’s pretty confusing to get them back.
What’s the point of archiving items if you can’t find them again?
Anyway, when you want to take another look at the items you’ve archived,
open the Archive folder, which Outlook also refers to as a data file.
To open a data file that contains your archive items, follow these steps:
1. Click the File tab, click the words Open & Export on the left, and click
the Open Outlook Data File button.
The Open Outlook Data File dialog box appears.
2. Select the file that you want to open.
The file you selected appears in the File Name text box.
3. Click the OK button.
The name of the data file you opened appears in the Navigation pane,
below your normal set of folders.
Simple enough, right? Yes, but there’s a virtual fly in the virtual ointment.
You probably don’t know the name of the archive file you want to open,
and it might not show up in the list of files in the Open Outlook Data File
dialog box.
To find out the name of the archive data file to open, do this:
1. Click the File tab.
2. Click the Info button in the Navigation pane on the left.
3. Click the Cleanup Tools button.
4. Click the Archive button.
5. Look in the Archive File text box.
Don’t change anything about the information; otherwise, Outlook may
start sending your archived items someplace else. The information in
the Archive File text box is usually complex gobbledygook with colons
and slashes and all sorts of stuff that normal people can’t remember.
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