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Outlook 2011 (Mac) Mail Archiving and Deleted Items

Neal Soderquist -

Macintosh users have a similar ability to archive messages to reduce server mailbox size. It is imperative that users who want this functionality and who want to keep their archived messages safe, should your computer become compromised, damaged, or stolen, backup the locally stored copy of their messages. This guide will show how to setup an archiving rule, where that location is and recommend backup solutions, in addition to setting up emptying deleted items rules, but will not talk about the backup process in detail.

Setting up an Archiving Rule 

  1. In the main Outlook 2011 window, click on the Tools menu and select Rules.
  2. Select Exchange on the left side, under On My Computer and then click the '+' to add a new rule
  3. Change your settings to match the picture below or your own preferences.otlk11-clean-up-mailbox-1.png
  • To manually run the rule now, go to the Message menu and click on Rules and then click on your rule.

Accessing the Archived Items

  1. The archive location is created automatically and is called "On My Computer." For Outlook 2011, you may have to enable the folders to show in the list.
  2. Click on the Outlook Menu, then select "Preferences."
  3. Click on "General."
  4. If it is checked, uncheck the box that says "Hide On My Computer folders." Then, close the preferences window.
  5. The folder will show up on the left folder list under Inbox. Expand Inbox to see it. You may drag, copy, or move mail messages and folders from your server mailbox to these Folders on my Computer. Anything inside these folders will not contribute to your server mailbox size.

Emptying your Deleted Items

  • To empty out your Deleted Items folder, either do a control + right mouse click or right click on the Deleted Items folder and click on Empty Folder.
  • To set Outlook 2011 to empty your Deleted Items folder on exit:
    • Go to the Tools menu and click on Run Schedule and then click Edit Schedules.
    • Double-click on Empty Deleted Items Folder
    • Under the When section, change Manually to On Quit


Backup Information

  1. The local location of these folders are at /Users/username/Documents/Microsoft User Data.
  2. If you use Time Machine, this location is backed up by default.
  3. Otherwise, if you want to backup these folders manually, be sure to close Outlook before copying that folder to an external source such as a USB flash drive or USB hard drive.
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