Last reviewed on May 8, 2014   —  7 Comments

Applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007

Why doesn't AutoArchive work? I ran it and nothing was archived; all of the folders in the archive.pst are empty.

Archiving has always caused a lot of confusion among users because Outlook archives items based on the last modified date, which may or may not be the received date (or start or completed date). This works well, for the most part, until you import messages or edit older messages, both of which changes the last modified date. If you wanted to archive by the received date (or start, or completed date) you either needed to move the mail yourself (move, not copy, or the modified date changes!) or use a 3rd party archiving tool.

Use AutoArchive to Automatically Cleanup the Deleted Item and Junk Email Folders

The default setting for AutoArchive is to use either the received/competed/start date or the modified date, whichever is later. The modified date is the received date or the completed date, unless you do something that affects the modified date after receiving a message or marking a task complete. Import & Export, copying, and editing items are among the things that will change the modified date.

Enable Archiving by Received Date

With the release of the Outlook 2010 April 26 2011 hotfix, users can now archive by the received date. This also supported in Outlook 2007, with a hotfix released in December 2010. It is not supported in earlier versions of Outlook.

These hotfixes support the ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime registry setting, which lets you use the received, start, or completed dates as the archive date.

After installing the hotfix, you need to add the following value to the registry
Outlook 2013:

DWORD Value: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value data: 1

Outlook 2010:

DWORD Value: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value data: 1

In Outlook 2007, you'll add the value to this key

DWORD Value: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value data: 1

With this value set to 1, you'll be able to archive based on the received, completed, or end date of an Outlook item:

  • Email message: uses the received date.
  • Calendar item: uses the actual date that an appointment, event, or meeting is scheduled for.
  • Task: uses the completed date. Note that Tasks that are not marked as completed are not archived, and Tasks that are assigned to other users are archived only if the status is completed.
  • Note: uses the last modified date and time.
  • Journal entry: uses the date the journal entry was created.

Note that Contacts are never archived in any version of Outlook.

Do It For Me

If you don't want to edit the registry yourself, we have reg files you can download and run. Be sure to choose the correct one for your version of Outlook.
Outlook 2013Outlook 2010Outlook 2007

If you use an older version of Outlook, you can use a utility to archive the messages.


Tools in the Spotlight

Exclaimer Mail Archiver

Exclaimer Mail Archiver is a fully featured, competitively priced archiving solution for Exchange that's easy to set up and maintain. It uses file system-based storage so it can be installed on any Windows PC and doesn't require SQL. Administrators get a compliant, long-term email history with full auditing and legal hold features. End users get rapid, intuitive search from Outlook, any browser, smartphone or tablet, with AD-controlled access.

HTML Email Archiver

HTML Email Archiver works with all types of Microsoft Outlook folders and archives Outlook items to HTML format or platform-dependent CHM format. This allows you to publish Microsoft Outlook folders on the Internet, or move data from Microsoft Outlook onto other software and hardware platforms, including mobile devices. These archives reproduce the structure of Microsoft Outlook folders, can contain messages or other elements in any language and with any types of attachments, support sorting by several criteria; search with advanced options.


Archive Attender

Archive Attender is an automated email archiving tool that moves essential data out of Exchange mailboxes and into a secure, external storage device. Using Archive Attender, administrators also have the ability to control and grant access rights to users. No additional hardware or client installations are required.


ArchiveAssist is a standalone program designed to overcome archiving failures in Microsoft Outlook. Outlook archives messages based not on their Received Date or Sent Date but on what Outlook calls their Modified Date, which changes to the current date any time you touch message by, for instance, by Editing, Importing, or Replying To a message. ArchiveAssist allows archiving to work on recently touched messages.


ArchiveAssistXpress lets you set a new Modified Date for all the messages in any folder you select so that you can tailor your archive operations to your needs. Works will all versions of Outlook.

Exporter for Outlook

Exporter for Outlook is powerful tool which export messages from Outlook mail folders to standardized message or mailbox files. Exporter saves messages in standardized RFC/MIME format.

mail2cloud Save & Share for Outlook

Save&Share’s Outlook plugin gives users the ability to copy selected messages directly from their inbox to cloud storage. Messages are stored in three components: 1) original .eml format; 2) message.pdf conversion; and 3) any attachments in original format. Cloud Storage services supported: Box, Google Drive, DropBox.

MailStore Home

MailStore Home free email archiving and backup software for all private users. Over the years, emails can become scattered among different computers, programs and mailboxes. Archive your internet mailboxes such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail or any mailboxes using POP3 or IMAP; Microsoft Outlook 2000, XP, 2003, 2007, 2010; Outlook Express and Windows Mail; Microsoft Exchange Server and Hosted Exchange; Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey .EML and other email files.

MessageExport for Outlook

MessageExport for Outlook is an add-in that helps you get your email out of Outlook in particular way. MessageExport lets you save selected or new email messages to different formats, including PDF, EML, MSG, GIF, TIF, HTML, MHT, CSV, txt, and others. MessageExport can convert, name and save Outlook email in a single operation. Includes a timer function, so MessageExport can run every xx minutes to process new emails in a specific Outlook folder and save it in text format on a network folder.

MessageSave for Outlook

MessageSave is an Outlook add-in for archiving and saving email messages. This powerful and intuitive plugin supports msg, txt, eml and mbox formats. It enables manual, rule-based and schedule-based operation. Use MessageSave to save e-mail messages for archiving, data retention, regulatory compliance, document management, backup, email sharing and exporting Outlook email to other mail clients, such as Mac Version


MessageTree creates "message trees" of all your emails in text or HTML format, maintaining the same folder tree structure you use inside Outlook. You select which messages to include, so you can create multiple message trees for different purposes; you can include all your messages or only a subset of all messages; you can create message trees by subject or by any other parameter. You can easily distribute message trees when you need to share messages, and you can easily post them online.

Outlook True Archive

Outlook True Archive allows you to select which date to use when performing an archive. Select Items based on Received Date, Sent Date, Last Modified Date. Copy, Move or Delete items. Select Source PST and Destination PST. Respect or ignore the "No Archive Flag" Version 1.0.14

PST Importer

Use PST Importer to import emails within PST files into a PST Archive using the PST Importer module, saving on storage space through compression and Single Instance Storage of emails. The PST Archive is a subset of the full Mailsafe Email and PST Archive software from Techne-Comm. You can select individual, groups of, or all PST files that have been discovered via the PST Discovery program. Use the Mailsafe Outlook Toolbar to search, find and view any archived email in an instant. Emails can even be restored from the PST Archive to your Outlook mailbox with a single click.

PST Merger

Merge PST files with free software for Microsoft Outlook that combines PST files into a single PST file. Merge selected folders from PST files, such as, Inboxes, Calendars, Contacts, Journals, Tasks etc. to another PST file. All your data stored in original PST files will be preserved and merged without making any changes to the original files. For more flexible PST merging options use PST Merger Pro Edition. Merge, move or copy specified Microsoft Outlook folders from unlimited PST files at once. Move or copy specified Outlook data from one PST file to a selected PST file without the need to merge all content from both PST files.

PST Splitter

Use PST Splitter to archive Outlook data automatically even if Outlook is closed. Split Outlook data to multiple PST files. Split PST files according to selected criteria and filters using PST Splitter Pro Edition and move or copy Outlook data. The PST Splitter Free version gives you the same result as the Microsoft Outlook AutoArchive feature. Using PST Splitter files will be archived according to a schedule regardless of whether Outlook is running or closed. Split the PST into smaller Outlook data files and move to separate Archive files.

Save & Share

Save & Share connects your Outlook email to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, ShareFile and more. After connecting S&S to the cloud storage provider of your choice, select the folder you want and automatically save a copy of the original message in .eml format, preserving the ability to interact with it as an email. A copy of the message is converted to PDF format for easy viewing, commenting, and indexing. All attachments are individually stored for immediate access from sync'd folders. Save & Share is part of your MS Outlook experience for quick access at all times: Ribbon bar access, Context menu, Shortcut hotkey integration (Ctrl-J).

Save As PDF

Sperry Software is releasing their Save As PDF add-in for Outlook 2013 out of beta testing. This add-in converts emails to PDF files (including attachments). The add-in can convert emails, Word docs, Excel files, and many more formats with no PDF printer driver needed. This tool is for Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 and is now being released for Outlook 2013 (both 32-bit and 64-bit). In addition, several new features have been added like the ability to include the mailbox owner name and the ability to always include the attachments in raw format (instead of transcribing them into the PDF).

Save Message 2.50

Save Message is a MS Outlook add-in which can automatically save mails including attachments to the disk/net folder after emails arrive or are sent. Message body can be saved in plain, RTF, HTML or native Outlook format. There is a possibility to customize message header in the save file and to include attachments info to the saved file. Save Message can work with attachments which were included or embedded to the message or which were included to the message as OLE object.

SWING Porter for Outlook

SWING Porter for Outlook lets you export email messages as PDF files. It natively integrates with Outlook, so you can select emails or entire folders, and convert them to PDFs with a single click. Save converted emails as separate PDF documents (using preconfigured naming conventions), or merge them into PDF binders or packages with embedded views. Use Porter for Outlook for email archiving, sharing, electronic records, closing binders, document management and more.


  1. Geoff says

    Thanks, Diane! Very well written. I was stumped why auto archive was not working on my (recently imported) emails, the registry fix worked great!

    • Diane Poremsky says

      It applies to 2013 too - the same key is used ot change the behavior, except it's 15, not 14.

  2. Ocky says

    hi diane,
    I know this is a long thread, but unfortunately I'm still struggling with this issue.
    I did download the hotfix, but when I try to install it, they said "The expected version of the product was not found on the system".
    What is that mean? whereas clear I use Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.
    Maybe you had an answer of my issue.


    • Diane Poremsky says

      That message usually means a later update was installed that includes the hotfix, which is to be expected if you have Outlook 2007 fully up to date.

      Did you set the reg key and restart Outlook?

  3. User says

    An important information for you: when using Outlook 2013 (and Exchange server) you have to change cache-mode from 12 months to "all", so that all mails get cached locally. In my case it was necessary. Without this trick archiving didn't work (although I had modified registry).

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      Correct, if you are using the Outlook archive function, you need the messages stored locally, archive won't move messages on the server to a local pst. If you have an online archive mailbox, it archives from the server to a mailbox on the server.

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