Recurring Appointments and Meetings are being archived

Outlook’s AutoArchive feature just ran and it took out all the recurring Appointments and Meetings from my main Calendar folder. It never did that before!

I’m now also missing all the Birthday reminders.

How can I easily reinstate all my recurring Calendar items to my main Calendar folder, and how can I tell AutoArchive to stop archiving these recurring items?

Archive Calendar buttonDid you perhaps set the Registry key value to AutoArchive based on the Received date rather than the Modified date? That also affects how old Calendar items are being treated.

As recurring Appointment and Meeting items are actually a single item for each series instead of individual items for each occurrence, their created date often lies quite far in the past.

When you’ve configured AutoArchive to look at the Received date instead, these Calendar items will be archived as well but based on their created.

Moving back the archived Calendar items

Move to Folder buttonMoving the archived Calendar items back into your main Calendar folder is actually quite easy when you switch the view of your archived Calendar folder to a List view.

You can then select all the items at once to move them back. For details see: Moving or Copying Calendar Items.

When your archive pst-file isn’t connected to Outlook yet, you can do so via:
File-> Open-> Open Outlook Data File

If you are having difficulties locating your archive pst-file see: Opening the archive.

Prevent (recurring) Calendar items from being archived

To prevent it from happening again, while leaving the Registry value to archive based on the Received date, you can use one of the following methods;

Method 1: Don’t archive the Calendar folder at all

Unless you save a lot of large attachments with your Calendar items, the Calendar folder usually isn’t that big and archiving it would then only have a very minimal impact.

To exclude your Calendar folder from being archived, right click on it and choose and choose: Properties. On the AutoArchive tab, you can then select the option: Do not archive items in this folder.

Calendar Properties - AutoArchive- Do not archive items in this folder
You might want to prevent your Calendar folder from ever being archived.

Method 2: Do not AutoArchive this item

When you only have a few items which you don’t like to archive, you can set the “Do not AutoArchive this item” property.

To do this, select the Calendar item and press ALT+ENTER to see the item's properties.

Calendar item - Do not AutoArchive this item
Configure a specific Calendar item never to be archived.

Method 3: Set the “Do not AutoArchive this item” in bulk

When you’ve got quite a few of Calendar items which you do not want to archive, it might be easier to customize your view to set this property on multiple items much quicker.

  1. Switch your Calendar view to a List view
    • Outlook 2003
      View-> Arrange By-> Current View-> By Category
    • Outlook 2007
      View-> Current View-> All Appointments
    • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
      View-> Change View-> List
  2. Open the Advanced View Settings dialog
    • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
      View-> Arrange By-> Custom…
    • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
      tab View-> button: View Settings
  3. Press the Fields… (Outlook 2007 and previous) or the Columns… (Outlook 2010 and later) button.
  4. Set the “Select available columns from” list to: All Appointment fields.
  5. Select the “Do Not AutoArchive” field and press Add.
  6. Press OK.
  7. In the Advanced View Settings Dialog, click on: Other Settings…
  8. Make sure that the option “Allow in-cell editing” is enabled.
  9. Press OK until you’re returned to your Calendar folder.

Calendar View - Columns - Do Not AutoArchive
Add the “Do Not AutoArchive” column to the List view of your Calendar to quickly set the “Do not AutoArchive this item” property for multiple Calendar items.

In your Calendar, below the just added “Do Not Archive” column, you should now see squares to select. Selecting it will directly set the “Do Not Archive this item” property.

Note: Some items may not show a square to select. Usually these are created from meeting invites or on another device. Don’t worry; Clicking in the column will still set the property accordingly.

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