How to Fix if Auto Archive is not working in Outlook


In Outlook, AutoArchive and Archive are options is to automatically or manually initiate moving of Outlook items to an Outlook Data File (pst-files) based on preconfigured settings. You can set default AutoArchive settings but also overrule them on a per-folder level or via a manual Archive.

In some cases, AutoArchive or Archive is not working as expected even when all settings appear to be correct.


Here is some steps to troubleshoot AutoArchive and Archive feature working again

1. Changing AutoArchive or Archive settings

AutoArchive settings:

Default AutoArchive settings can be made by via;

* Outlook 2007 and previous
Tools-> Options-> tab Other-> button AutoArchive

* Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
File-> Options-> Advanced…-> button AutoArchive Settings…

Per folder AutoArchive settings: 

To overrule default AutoArchive settings for a specific folder;
Right click on the folder-> Properties-> tab AutoArchive.

Manual Archive:

You can manually start the Archiving process via

* Outlook 2007 and previous
File-> Archive…
* Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
File-> Cleanup Tools-> Archive…
* Outlook 2016
File-> Tools-> Clean Up Old Items

When Archiving is in progress, it is displayed in the Status Bar

2. Archive function not available

If you cannot find the AutoArchive and Archive settings in the aforementioned locations and you are working in a corporate environment, it could have been disabled by your administrator as a Group Policy.

3. Excluded from AutoArchive

A specific item will not be archived when the property is set to exclude it from AutoArchive. You can find this option by opening this item and then choose File-> Properties-> option: Do not AutoArchive this item.

4. Modified Date or Sent/Received date

By default, Archiving works based on the modified date of an item. The modified date of an item can be viewed by opening the item and then choose File-> Properties. The item will only be archived when the modified date of the item is older than the date set for archiving. Actions that can cause the modified date to change are;

reply to all
move to another folder

To change the Archive feature to function on the sent/received date of an item instead of on the modified date, you must have the following updates installed;

Outlook 2007: The revised version of update KB2412171 (January 2011) or later.
Outlook 2010: Hotfix KB2516474 (April 2010) or later (like Service Pack 1)
Outlook 2013: No update needed.
Outlook 2016: No update needed.
After applying the update or Hotfix, you can enable the option via the Registry;

Key for Outlook 2007:


Key for Outlook 2010:


Key for Outlook 2013:


Key for Outlook 2016:


Value name: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

E-mail messages will now be archived based on their Received date, Calendar items based on their scheduled date and Task items based on their Completed date. For more information about the new and old behavior for archiving see KB2500686 (Outlook 2007) and KB2553550 (Outlook 2010).

Via a Registry edit you can archive based on the Received date instead of the Modified date.

5. Damaged archive.pst

When the archive.pst file (or whatever the name of the pst-file is you archive to) has become corrupted it will not be possible for Outlook to archive to that file. You should then close Outlook and use the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to scan it for errors or create a new one.

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