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Relocate the archive file

I’ve successfully moved my pst-file to another location, but doing that for my archive file only results in a new archive.pst file being created in the default location the next time AutoArchive runs.

How can I move the archive.pst file?

Properly moving the archive.pst file (or whichever name you specified as the archive file) consists out of 4 easy steps;

  1. Disconnect the archive file if it is currently connected.
  2. Move the pst-file.
  3. Reconnect the pst-file.
  4. Modify the (Auto)Archive settings.

Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions where exactly you can find all the needed information and options.

Step 1: Disconnect the archive file

The quickest way to disconnect the Archive-file is to right click the root folder of your archive and choose “Close Archive”.

If you do not know the current location of your Archive file, then another way to do it is via;

  • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    File-> Data File Management…
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> Info-> Account Settings-> Account Settings…-> tab Data Files

In the dialog that pops-up, you can now see the current location of the Archive file; make a good note of it as you’ll need it later. You can also directly click the “Open File Location…” button to directly jump to the location where the archive file is stored.
Select your Archive file and click the button “Remove”. Don’t worry, you are only removing it from you Mail Profile, you are not actually deleting the archive file.

Quickly open the folder location of your archive pst-file via the Data Files tab.
Quickly open the folder location of your archive pst-file via the Data Files tab.

Step 2: Move the pst-file

It is important to close Outlook first or you won’t be able to move the file. Once Outlook is closed, browse to the location of the archive file if you did not directly open the location in the previous step.

If your path contains “AppData” or “Local Settings” and you don’t see these folders, then you have Windows set to hide hidden files and folders (which is the default). You can then either configure windows to do show hidden files and folder or to simply type in the path in the Address Bar (do not include the file name itself).

Now copy the file to the location where you want it to be such as;
D:\<your name>\My Documents\Outlook

Once it is copied, you can either delete the original or rename it to .old until you’ve verified your new configuration is working.

Step 3: Reconnect the pst-file

To reconnect the pst-file, we first start Outlook again. Then in Outlook choose;
File-> Open-> Outlook Data File…

Browse to the new location of the archive file and select it to connect it.

Step 4:Modify the (Auto)Archive settings

Modifying the (Auto)Archive settings is an important step to take or otherwise Outlook will simply create a new archive.pst file in the original location.

To set the new AutoArchive location go to;

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options…-> tab Other-> button AutoArchive…
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    File-> section Options-> section Advanced-> button AutoArchive Settings…

In this dialog you can change the “Move old items to:” location to your moved pst-file.

If you archive manually via the File-> Archive… (Outlook 2007 and previous) or via File-> Cleanup Tools-> Archive… (Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013), then make sure you’ll set the location of the archive file to the new location as well.

Note: An Archive file is not the same as a backup file. An Archive file contains all the items that were moved out of your main storage location (another pst-file or an Exchange mailbox) to free up space in that location. You’ll still have to make backups of your archive file and other pst-files.