Prevent Archive files from loading each time

I'm using the AutoArchive feature in Outlook to keep my main mailbox small and archive to a separate pst-file. However, my (huge) archive gets loaded each time when I start Outlook and slows down Outlook.

This of course counteracts the increase in speed I was aiming at with having a small mailbox by archiving.

How can I prevent Outlook from loading the archive each time and only open the archive when I need it?

By default, Outlook will link the pst-file created by AutoArchive in your Folder List to prevent the impression of “losing” e-mail. You can easily disable this default behavior and detach the Archive file to prevent it from loading each time when you start Outlook.

Changing the default

You can disable Outlook’s default setting to link your Archive file in the following way;

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

In this dialog, disable the option: Show archive folder in folder list.

AutoArchive - Show archive folder in folder list
Disabling this option prevents the Archive file from being linked.

Detach the Archive file

Changing the above option will not directly detach the currently linked Archive file, it will only prevent it from being linked again when the Archive process has finished running.

To detach the currently linked archive use;

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    File-> Data File Management…-> select your archive file-> button Remove
  • Outlook 2010
    File-> Account Settings-> Account Settings-> tab Data Files-> select your archive file-> button Remove

Accessing the Archive when you need it

The above “Remove” button will of course not delete your actual archive file but will only prevent Outlook from loading it. When you need something from your Archive file, you can open it via;
File-> Open-> Outlook Data File…

Afterwards, you must detach it manually again or Outlook will keep opening the archive again upon restarting Outlook.

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