Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Note to Self: Check AutoArchive Settings

One quick glance at my Outlook 2007 Inbox will tell you that I'm not a big fan of AutoArchive. I do use folders (lots of folders), but I like the idea that I have instant access to projects, ideas, and people from oh, one, two, four years ago. :) I usually don't have any trouble finding just what I want with just a click or two of the mouse.

It didn't occur to me until I was searching my office desktop computer for a file a little while ago that I was unaware of the mysterious archiving practices my workplace computer may use. When I couldn't locate a submission I knew I'd received in March, I went looking for it. Suddenly I realized that I wasn't finding any e-mail more than six months old. I e-mailed our IT department and discovered there's no company policy on archiving. I checked the AutoArchive settings on this system, and DOH! The settings caused AutoArchive to run every 14 days and to delete all mail older than six months. (As a managing editor I work with lots of authors and never delete anything.) Luckily I was able to locate the file I was looking for, but this was a great lesson for me--and now, maybe, for you. If you have inherited a work system from someone else or you share a system, be sure to find out what AutoArchive settings are in play. Here are the steps:

    1. Open Outlook.

    2. Right-click Inbox in the folders list and click Properties.

    3. Click the AutoArchive tab in the Inbox Properties dialog box.

    4. If Archive Items in This Folder Using the Default Settings button is selected, click the Default Archive Settings button.

    5. Choose how often you want AutoArchive to run; whether you want to be prompted; whether you want to store or delete old e-mail (and if you store it, where).

    6. Click OK to save your changes.

It takes only about 60 seconds to check, and it's a lot better than going through the heartache of trying to recover lost messages six months from now. :)

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