Over time, your Microsoft Outlook 2010 data store can become overloaded with messages, contact information, appointments, and other data. If you can’t manage all this data, you’ll be lost each time you try to find a particular item. What’s more, the more data in your data store, the larger your .pst file (if you’re using one) or your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox. Many companies impose mailbox size limits to help manage disk use on the servers, so the size of your mailbox can become a problem.
Archiving Your Outlook Data
Sooner or later, you will likely want to move some of your Outlook 2010 items to a separate location because you no longer need them but don’t want to delete them. For example, perhaps you want to keep copies of all the messages in your Sent Items folder so that you can refer to them later if needed, but you don’t want them to stay in Sent Items. In these situations, you can use the Outlook 2010 AutoArchive feature to move out those old items.
The Outlook 2010 AutoArchive feature archives data automatically according to settings that you configure for each folder or all your folders. There is no right or wrong timeframe for AutoArchive; for some people, a month is appropriate, and for others, weekly. It’s mainly a factor of how much email you send and receive, although the other items in your mailbox also contribute to the overall space used. For example, because of the volume of email I receive in my “day job” mailbox, I have to archive about twice a month or run afoul of my 200 MB mailbox limit.
To set up a folder to archive automatically using the default AutoArchive settings, follow these steps:
1. Right-click a folder in the Folder List, choose Properties, and then, in the Properties dialog box, click the AutoArchive tab.
2. Select Archive Items In This Folder Using The Default Settings.
3. Click OK.
4. Repeat these steps for each folder that you want to archive.
By default, Outlook 2010 starts AutoArchive every 14 days and archives your data in the selected folder to the Archive.pst personal folders file.
You can also specify custom AutoArchive settings for a folder. Open the Properties dialog box for the folder, click the AutoArchive tab, and then select the Archive This Folder Using These Settings option. Then specify settings on the AutoArchive tab as desired for the folder. See the section “Configuring Automatic Archiving,” on page 765, for details about each of the available settings.
From this point on, the folder for which you have enabled automatic archiving will be archived when Outlook 2010 performs its next automatic archive operation. However, you can also initiate an archive operation any time you need.
Restoring Data After a System Failure or a Reinstallation
Suppose that you’ve worked on a project for six months and you’ve been diligent about archiving messages and other items from the project. You come into work one day and find that your system has failed and Outlook 2010 has lost all your data. You need the archived data to get back all your lost information and continue working. How do you get it back? You can restore data from an archive file in two ways: drag items from a .pst file to a folder, or import a .pst file.
Follow these steps to drag data from a .pst file:
1. After restoring your computer and, if necessary, reinstalling Outlook 2010, choose File, Open, and Open Outlook Data File to open the Open Outlook Data File dialog
2. Select the file that contains the archived items that you want to restore.
3. Click OK. The archive folder (named Archives by default) now appears in your folder list.
4. Click the plus sign (+) next to Archives (or the name you’ve given this folder) to expand the folder. Expand subsequent folders if necessary until your data is in the pane on the right.
5. Drag the folder or item to the original folder in which the data was stored.
6. Continue dragging items until all of them are restored. To drag multiple items at one time, hold down the Ctrl key, select the items, and then drag them to the destination.
To restore items by importing a .pst file, follow these steps:
1. Choose File, Open, and Import to open the Import And Export Wizard.
2. Select Import From Another Program Or File, and then click Next.
3. Select Personal Folder File (.pst), and then click Next.
4. On the Import Outlook Data File page, type the name of the file that you want to import in the File To Import box, or click Browse to locate the
file using the Open Personal Folders dialog box.
5. Select one of the following import options pertaining to duplicate data:
● Replace Duplicates With Items Imported Replaces duplicate items that might be in your folders during import.
● Allow Duplicates To Be Created Lets Outlook 2010 create duplicates in the destination folders.
● Do Not Import Duplicates Outlook 2010 will not create duplicate items.
6. Click Next.
7. Select the folder from which you want to import data.
8. If the archived folder includes subfolders that you want to import as well, select the Include Subfolders option.
9. To filter data, click Filter. You can filter by using search strings, Structured Query Language (SQL), and other advanced querying methods. Click OK after filling in your filter information.
10. Select one of the following destination options:
● Import Items Into The Current Folder Select this option to import data into the current folder—that is, the folder currently selected.
● Import Items Into The Same Folder In Choose this option to import data into the destination folder of the same name as the source folder (such as from the Inbox to the Inbox). Then, in the drop-down list under this last option, select the destination personal folders or mailbox.
11. Click Finish.
Outlook 2010 displays a window showing you the progress of the import process. The archive folder appears in the folder list (if the folder list is open), but it is removed when the operation is completed.
Backing Up and Restoring Data
An important part of working with a computer system is ensuring that you protect any critical data against loss. You protect your data by making a backup, a copy of the information that you can store on another disk or on a backup tape. In the event of a critical failure, you can then use this copy to replace or restore any lost information.
Outlook 2010 stores information in two primary ways: in a set of personal folders or in an Exchange Server mailbox. With an Exchange Server mailbox, your message store is located on the server. The network administrator is generally responsible for backing up the server, and with it, the Exchange Server database that contains all the users’ information.
If you don’t use Exchange Server, Outlook 2010 stores your data in a .pst file, a set of personal folders. In this scenario, each user has his or her own .pst file or even multiple personal folder files. These .pst files can be located either on the local hard disk of your computer or in a home directory on the server. Although server-based .pst files and local .pst files are identical from a functional standpoint, they aren’t identical from a backup perspective.
Generally, the network administrator regularly backs up server-based user home directories, so if the .pst files are in your home directory, you shouldn’t have to do backups on your own (although you can, of course).
With local message stores, however, normal network backup strategies do not apply. Most networks don’t back up every hard disk on every machine. It simply isn’t efficient. Similarly, if you’re a home user, you probably don’t have a server to which you can save data or a network administrator to watch over the server. In such cases, you need to take steps on your own to protect your data. Individual backup and restore scenarios apply to these kinds of cases.
Backing Up Your Outlook Data
Three primary options are available for backing up Outlook 2010 data:
● Exporting some or all information to a backup .pst file
● Copying the .pst file to another disk
● Using a backup program to save a copy of the .pst file to tape, another hard disk, or optical media such as CD-R/CD-RW or DVD-R/DVD-RW
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