Old appointments get deleted automatically

I noticed that my older appointments get deleted automatically after a couple of weeks. As I'm using the calendar also as a log of where I've been, I really need to keep these old appointments as a reference.

How can I make Outlook to keep all my appointments forever?

By default, Outlook won’t delete anything on its own. Archiving settings and synching settings for a phone or other mobile device are often the cause of the unexpected deletion.

Archiving settings in Outlook

Outlook has an AutoArchive feature to automatically purge or move old items to an archive file. By default, this option is turned off and even when turned on, it will not delete any Calendar items by default either. Still, it is worth checking if it is indeed turned off. You can verify this by going to;

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

Corporate archive settings

If your calendar is part of a corporate mailbox, then the archive could also been done on the server as a corporate policy. It is not a very common policy to enable this though, but to verify if this indeed isn’t the case, you can contact your mail administrator to find out.

Synching settings for a phone or other mobile devices

Now that you’ve eliminated Outlook as the cause, you’ll probably find the cause in the synching settings for your phone or other mobile device which supports Calendar sync. As not all phones have huge amounts of space available, these often have an automatic purging option for old items.

For instance, this is a common problem for BlackBerry users. To prevent older items from being deleted on a BlackBerry device, you must set your calendar options to keep the items forever;

  • Open the Calendar on your BlackBerry.
  • Press the Menu key.
  • Options-> General Options
  • Option: Keep Appointments-> Forever

To prevent your phone from filling up with loads of appointments (which can often slow down the device), you can configure the synching settings for your mobile device to sync only items that fall within a specific date range. For instance, you can choose to only sync items between 2 months into the past and 1 year into the future. For a BlackBerry you can configure this in BlackBerry Desktop Manager. For other phones see; Sync Outlook with mobile device.

Items that fall within this range will be synched between Outlook and your phone so any change that you make to an appointment on your phone is also changed in Outlook after synching.
Items that fall outside of this range will not be synched to your phone or will be deleted from your phone but will continue to exist in Outlook.

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