Email Archiving

Your Online Archive

The Exchange Online Archive is an additional server space for storing older email messages. The 20GB of additional server email storage is intended to eliminate the need for local archives (Personal Folders, On My Computer folders, Archives, or .PST files).  Local data files have been problematic and IRT no longer recommends locally stored archives. 

Accessing your Online Archive
It has the same functionality as your main mailbox and is available from your email menu when you log into Outlook Web App (OWA) or in Outlook on a Windows computer. Online Archive is not accessible in any version of Outlook for Macs at this time.

Automatic Email Management Policies
Keeping your mailbox folders as clean as possible will help the efficiency of your mailbox. Managing email messages is time consuming and is often neglected until you reach your email quota.  To help you optimize your primary mailbox space, there are new system policies in effect.

1. Deleted Items folder emptied after 30 days
In order to keep your Deleted Items from building up, there is a new system-wide retention policy on the email server that will automatically delete items that have been in your Deleted Items folder for 30 days. After the deleted items are emptied, those items are still recoverable for 14 days. Beyond 14 days, no recovery is possible.

2. Sent Items folder automatically archived after 90 days
There is also a system archive policy that will move your Sent Items to the new personal Online Archive after 90 days.  These sent items are still easily accessible in OWA or Outlook on a Windows computer.  They are safely stored on a secondary server, keeping our production server more efficient.

3. Set your own Policies
In addition, you can set your own archiving policies for other folders in your mailbox.  These measures will help you stay below the quota in your primary mailbox and reduce the time you spend managing your mailbox.  Instructions can be found under the Email Archiving directions webpage.

If you have questions about the new email improvements, please see the FAQ below.  You can also contact the IRT Tech Desk or your department’s Technology Consultant


What is the Exchange Online Archive?

It is an additional mailbox space for storing older email messages on a UST email server.  This archive has the same functionality as your original mailbox, and is available from your email menu when you log into Outlook Web App (OWA) or Outlook on a Windows computer (currently not available in Outlook for Macs).  The Online Archive has 20 GB of storage space available in addition to your 1 GB of mailbox space.

How does this benefit me?

The Online Archive along with the system policies that IRT has implemented will help you stay below the main mailbox quota and will improve the performance of your primary mailbox.  In addition to greater amounts of storage space and online access, this server archive is backed up and secure, unlike a local archive you may have used previously.  

What are the new system policies that affect my messages?

These are the email management policies affecting your mailbox that will help your email perform more efficiently and make mailbox management easier:

  • Deleted Items that have been deleted 30 days will automatically be emptied
  • Sent Items will automatically be moved to the Online Archive after 90 days
  • In addition, you can set your own personal archiving timeframes for other folders in your mailbox

Can I change the system policies on Deleted Items and Sent Items?

No, it is not possible to override the two system settings.  These policies are intended to make our email system more efficient and they are in line with industry practices.  There are only two policies, one is the retention policy on the Deleted Items folder that automatically empties items that have been deleted for 30 days.  The other is an archiving policy that moves Sent Items to the Online Archive after 90 days.  It is best to accept these policies and not try to modify them with a workaround. 

How do I set personal archive policies and check on those settings?

Here are the instructions for setting personal archive policies which will also show any timeframes you have previously set.  Note that the Sent Items Folder 90 day system archive policy does not show when you check the policy settings.  The Deleted Items system retention of 30 days is marked on the Deleted Items folder properties. These system policies on the Deleted Items and Sent Items folders cannot be changed. 

How do I access my Online Archive from my Mac?

The Online Archive does not work in Outlook 2011 on a Mac.  However, if you open your email in a FireFox or Safari web browser using Outlook Web App (OWA), you will see the Online Archive called “Personal Archive - Your Name”, in the email menu. It has full functionality, you can set personal policies and move messages in OWA.

What if I currently have archived email on my computer?

IRT no longer recommends using local data files to store old email. Your local archives should be moved into the Online Archive for accessibility and secure storage.  With 20 GB of space, there is no need for troublesome local archives (Personal Folders, On My Computer folders, Archives, or .PST files).  The risks of loss and corruption associated with files on your computer will be eliminated. Once your old email is migrated, you have full access to the archived items from Outlook Web App (OWA) or from Outlook on a PC. You should move any local archives to the Online Archive using these Mac instructions or PC instructions.

Can I use a PST (archive file) I bring from somewhere else?

Yes, a PST data file that was created on a different Windows computer can be mapped.  However, we recommend that you do not continue to use the PST file, but take the contents you wish to keep and move them to the Online Archive.  PST files can become corrupt, and often are not backed up, which puts them at risk of loss.  IRT does not recommend the use of PST files.

I currently use the auto-archive feature. Will anything change with that?

Auto-archiving will no longer work.  You will need to set the archiving policies on each folder to move items to the Online Archive.   Items that are currently in a local archive should be moved into the Online Archive so that you have access to all your old email in one location.

I need something that is no longer in my Deleted Items folder, where is it?

Items that have been in the Deleted Items folder for more than 30 days are automatically emptied by the Exchange System.  The Deleted Items folder is not intended for storing email, and emptying it automatically helps your mailbox performance.  You will notice a warning if you open a deleted message that reminds you it will expire.

If an item has been emptied within the past 14 days, it can be recovered by using the “Recover Deleted Items” command..  After that time, the item is permanently gone. 

I am looking for an email I sent awhile back, but I can’t find it in Sent Items. Where did it go?

Items that have been in the Sent Items Folder for 90 days are automatically moved to the Personal Online Archive Sent Items folder.  This is available from the left mailbox menu in OWA or Outlook on a Windows computer.  To find a specific item you can search in the Online Archive, or you can explore the Sent Items folder as you would in the mailbox.  If you have a specific sent item you want to keep in the mailbox, you can move it to a folder you create in the mailbox.

What browsers and apps on mobile devices are supported for the Online Archive?

Outlook Web App works with major modern browsers, including Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.  In addition, Outlook Web App has been re-written to be designed for touch so that tablets and smartphone devices will also get a great Outlook Web App experience.