How to Archive Emails in Outlook

Archive is a separate folder that keeps emails you don’t want in your primary inbox. This isn’t the same as the Deleted Items folder, as emails moved to the Archive will be accessible anytime in the future and won’t be deleted by the system.

The purpose of archiving is to keep your inbox clean and minimal, so you won’t have a hard time finding important emails.

Note: the Archive folder only comes by default with Microsoft 365, outlook.com, and Exchange accounts.

Archiving an Email in the Outlook Desktop App

For Microsoft 365, outlook.com, and Exchange Accounts

  1. On your Outlook desktop app, select the email you wish to archive. Then, click Archive in the top ribbon.

    Archive Button in Outlook Desktop
    Choose your email and click Archive.
  2. Navigate to the Archive folder to see the email.

    Archived Email in the Archive Folder in Outlook Desktop
    Go to the Archive folder to view the email.

For POP and IMAP Accounts

  1. On the Outlook desktop app, choose the email you want to archive. Then, click the Archive button on the top of the screen.

    Archive Button in Outlook Desktop for POP&IMAP
    Click on the email and select Archive.
  2. If this is your first-time archiving emails on Outlook, you will need to set an archive folder first. You can either Create archive folder or Choose existing folder.
    Set Up One-Click Archive Folder Pop-Up
    Set up an Archive folder.
    • If you select Create archive folder, an Archive folder will be created, and your selected email will automatically show up.

      Archived Email in Newly Created Archive Folder
      Go to the newly created Archive folder to view the email.
    • If you select Choose existing folder, pick a folder from the pop-up list. Then, hit OK. Your email will automatically be moved to the folder you selected.
      Set Up One-Click Archive Existing Folder List
      Choose a folder from the list. Then, click OK.

      Archived Email in Existing Folder
      Go to your existing folder to view the archived email.

Retrieving an Archived Message in the Outlook Desktop App

The following steps apply to all types of email, whether you’re using a Microsoft 365 or POP/IMAP account.

  1. Go to the Archive folder (or the folder you’ve set as your archive for POP/IMAP users).

    Archive Folder in Outlook Desktop App
    Navigate to the Archive folder.
  2. Select the email you want to retrieve.

    Archived Email in Archive Folder
    Choose the email to be retrieved.
  3. Click Move and choose Other Folder from the drop-down menu.

    Move to Other Folders Menu
    Select Move. Then, click Other Folder.
  4. Select Inbox. Then, hit OK. Your email will return to your Inbox folder.
    Move Items to Inbox Dialog Box
    Choose Inbox. Then, click OK.

    Archived Email Returned to Inbox Folder
    Navigate to the Inbox folder to view the retrieved email.

Archiving Emails in the Outlook Web App

  1. Sign in to outlook.com and select the email you want to archive.

    Selected Email in the Inbox Folder
    Choose the email from your Inbox.
  2. Select Archive from the top ribbon. The archived email will be moved to the Archive folder.
    Archive Button in Outlook Web
    Click Archive.

    Email in the Archive Folder
    Check the Archive folder to see the email.

Retrieving Archived Emails in the Outlook Web App

  1. Go to the Archive folder.

    Archive Folder in Outlook Web
    Click the Archive folder.
  2. Select the email you want to retrieve.

    Selected Email in the Archive Folder
    Choose the email to be retrieved.
  3. Click Move to in the top ribbon. Then, choose Inbox from the drop-down menu. The email will be relocated to your Inbox folder.
    Move to Inbox Option
    Click on Move to. Then, select Inbox.

    Email Returned to Inbox Folder
    Go to Inbox to see the retrieved email.

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