RSS & AutoArchive in Outlook 2007

The volume of content on some RSS Feeds can be very high. When you add more RSS Feeds to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you might discover that the size of your Microsoft Exchange mailbox (mailbox: Location on a Microsoft Exchange server where your e-mail is delivered. Your administrator sets up a mailbox for each user. If you designate a personal folder file as your e-mail delivery location, messages are routed to it from your mailbox.) or Personal Folders file (.pst) (Personal Folders file (.pst): Data file that stores your messages and other items on your computer. You can assign a .pst file to be the default delivery location for e-mail messages. You can use a .pst to organize and back up items for safekeeping.) is quickly increasing in size.

The AutoArchive feature in Outlook provides an automatic way to delete items older than a certain date. Many RSS Feeds include news or other time-sensitive information. The need to keep older items is usually not as important as keeping your e-mail messages.


More about AutoArchive

AutoArchive is on by default and runs automatically at scheduled intervals, archiving and, if specified, removing older items from all Outlook folders. Older items are those that reach a specificed archiving age.

By default, Outlook creates the archive files in the following location:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Microsoft Windows XP or 2k3drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Archive.pst

After Outlook archives items, you can access the items directly from Archive Folders in the Navigation Pane in Outlook. To see the Archive Folders in the Navigation Pane, on the Go menu, click Folder List.

When you open Archive Folders, you will see that Outlook maintains your existing folder structure. If there is a parent folder above the folder you chose to archive, the parent folder is created in the archive file, but within the parent folder only items that meet AutoArchive criteria are archived. If you decide you want archived items moved back into your main mailbox, you can import all the items from the archive file into their original folders or into other folders you specify, or you can manually move or copy items, including dragging between folders.


Customizing AutoArchive for RSS items

There are two sets of AutoArchive settings — global settings and per-folder settings.

  • Global settings
    Called default settings, determine whether AutoArchive runs at all and what it does by default with the items in any Outlook folder except Contacts, which is exempt from AutoArchive.
  • Per-folder settings
    override default settings so you can AutoArchive individual folders differently

If you don't specify AutoArchive settings for a specific folder, the folder is not archived. AutoArchive settings apply to the current mailbox only. This means if you select a folder in your Exchange account, and then set Global settings for AutoArchive, the settings apply only to the Exchange account.


Turn on AutoArchive

Although AutoArchive is on by default, you can turn off and turn on the feature when required. AutoArchive must be turned on for the procedures in this article to work.

If you want to use AutoArchive for RSS Feeds folders only, we recommend that you modify the default settings so that AutoArchive is turned on, but takes no action except on the specific folders you configure. This helps prevent accidental archiving or deletion from folders that you did not intend to affect.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

  2. On the Other tab, click AutoArchive.

    Select the Run AutoArchive every n days check box.

  3. Enter a number between 1 and 60 in the box for how often you want AutoArchive to run.

    To effectively use AutoArchive with RSS Feeds folders, we recommend that you use a value between 1 and 7 days. This is not the number of days that items are kept, but how often AutoArchive runs. The more frequently you run AutoArchive, the more accurate your retention periods are.

  4. Under During Archive, clear the Delete Expired Items (e-mail folders only) and Archive or delete old items check boxes.

    Clearing these check boxes helps prevent accidentally performing AutoArchive actions on folders that you do not intend to affect. Later in this article, you specify AutoArchive settings on a per-folder basis.

    If you already use AutoArchive and some of your folders use the default global settings, it is not necessary for you to change your settings.


Specify AutoArchive settings for each RSS Feed folder

  1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click the RSS Feeds folder you want to specify settings for, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.

  2. Click the AutoArchive tab.

  3. Click Archive this folder using these settings.

  4. In Clean out items older than n period , where n represents the numeric value of 1 to 999, and period equals months, days, or weeks, enter the maximum length of time you want RSS items to be kept.

  5. Click Permanently delete old items.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Repeat for each RSS Feeds folder that contains items you want to automatically delete.


Manually run AutoArchive

  1. On the File menu, click Archive.
  2. Specify whether to archive all folders using their AutoArchive settings (that is, either the default settings or per-folder settings you specified for individual folders) or whether to archive an individual folder using the options you specify in this dialog box.