Archive based on Received instead of Modified date

I’m using the AutoArchive function in Outlook to clean up the older items in my mailbox.

However, I noticed that some old emails are still in my mailbox even though their received date is from before the archive date. Apparently, the archive feature looks at the Modified date of a message rather than the Received date.

How can I archive based on the Received date instead of the Modified date?

Button AutoArchive SettingsThe answer used to be; “You can’t.”

However, if your Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 installation is fully up-to-date or when you are using Outlook 2013, then you can configure Outlook to archive based on the Received date rather than the Modified date by making a Registry change.

Minimum required update level

To get this functionality in Outlook 2007, you need to have at least update KB2412171 (January 2011) installed and is also included in Service Pack 3.

This same option was first introduced in Hotfix KB2516474 (April 2010) for Outlook 2010 and was also part of a later regular update and Service Pack 1.

Outlook 2013 offers support for it since it release so no additional update is required for it to work.

As Outlook 2003 and previous were already out of Mainstream Support when this feature got introduced, this feature has not been back ported to any of these previous versions.

Registry change

After applying any required update or Hotfix, you can enable the option via the Registry;

Key for Outlook 2007:
Key for Outlook 2010:
Key for Outlook 2013:

Value name: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

New behavior

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.

Extra tip: Recurring items are archived based on their created date. As Recurring items are just single Calendar items containing all occurrences, when they get archived all future occurrences will be removed from your Calendar as well. To prevent this, exclude a recurring item from being archived by selecting it and then pressing ALT+ENTER. You can then set the option: Do not AutoArchive this item.

For more information about the new and old behavior for archiving see KB2500686 (Outlook 2007) and KB2553550 (Outlook 2010).

Note: The Outlook 2007 article refers to Hotfix KB2458611 released in December 2010 but that Hotfix already got superseded entirely by the regular update KB2412171 which got released in January.

The Archiving process in displayed in the Status Bar.
When Archiving is in progress, it is displayed in the Status Bar.

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