Restore and view archived items

All messages, contact information, calendars, and other data that you create in Microsoft Outlook are kept in your 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.) or if you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, on your organization’s Exchange server. Outlook provides an archive function to purge your commonly used folders of older content that you don't need, but don't want to delete. You can have this done automatically with AutoArchive (AutoArchive: To automatically remove items to another folder periodically or delete them, based on the amount of time that they have been in the folder.), or you can also archive manually as desired.

While the archived content no longer appears in folders that you commonly use, you can still access and retrieve those items if you want to restore that content.

What do you want to do?


Copy all archived items from a .pst file back into their original folders

  1. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
  2. Click Import from another program or file. Click Next.
  3. Click Personal Folder File (.pst). Click Next.
  4. In the File to import box, change the default file name in the path from backup.pst to the name of the archive file you're importing from. Click Next.
  5. Click the folder to import from. If you want, click Include subfolders.
  6. Specify how you want Outlook to handle duplicate items.
  7. Click Import items into the same folder in, and then click the folders with the same name as the folders you're importing from.
  8. Click Finish.

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Copy all archived items from a .pst file into a new folder

  1. In Outlook, create a new folder to copy the archived items to.
  2. On the Go menu, click Folder List, and then in the Folder List, click the new folder.
  3. On the File menu, click Import and Export.
  4. Click Import from another program or file. Click Next.
  5. Click Personal Folder File (.pst). Click Next.
  6. In the File to import box, change the default file name in the path from backup.pst to the name of the archive file you're importing from. Click Next.
  7. Click the folder to import from. If you want, click Include subfolders.
  8. Specify how you want Outlook to handle duplicate items.
  9. Click Import items into the current folder.
  10. Click Finish.

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Move individual items from a .pst file into their original folder or a new one

  1. On the Go menu, click the Folder List, click Archive Folders (or the name you used for the archive location).
  2. Click the folder containing the items you want to move.
  3. Select the items you want to move, and then drag them into their original folders in the Folder List.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2003