Tip 873: Archiving by received date in Outlook 2007 and 2010

Auto-archiving creates confusion in many users because Outlook archives items based on the last modified date, which may or may not be the same as the received date (or start, completed dates). It's usually not a problem unless you import messages or edit older messages, which changes the last modified date. Import & Export, copying, and editing items are among the things that will change the modified date; pretty much anything that "touches" the item can change the modified date.

A hotfix is available for Outlook 2010 that will change the behavior of archive, allowing you to archive by received/completed dates instead of the last modified date. The April 26 2011 hotfix introduces the ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime registry setting, which allows you to use the received/ start/ completed dates for archiving.

This also supported by a hotfix in Outlook 2007.
Description of the Office Outlook 2007 hotfix package (Outlook-x-none.msp): December 14, 2010

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

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences
DWORD Value: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime
Value data: 1

With this value set to 1, you'll archive based on the received/ start/ completed 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, we have ready-to-use reg files available for download. Download the version for your computer then double click to add it to your registry.
Outlook 2007: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime-2007
Outlook 2010: ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime-2010

Check the Modified Date

To check the last modified date, you need to add the modified date to the view.

  1. Close the reading pane or drag it to the right far enough to drop the view to one row.
  2. Right click anywhere on the row of field names (such as on the Received field) and choose Field Chooser.
  3. Choose Date/Time fields from the menu at the top of the Field Chooser.
  4. checking the modified date fieldDrag Modified field to the row of field names and drop it next to Received date.
  5. Compare the modified date to the archive date settings you are using.
  6. If the modified date is newer, you need to use the registry keys on this page to archive by received date or change the dates you are including in the archive.

In the screenshot, using an archive date of 1/1/2011 will not move the messages because they were modified after that date. I either need to use an archive date later than 12/8/2011 or use the registry keys on this page so I can archive by the received date field.

Published June 3 2011

  • MrRay

    Honestly I had to read the article twice to understand what problem of Outlook it's solving, but there is another question that came up while reading the article. I was told that in a PST-file most of the settings are backed up including the contacts, I'm pretty sure that I read this even on a site of Microsoft...

  • outlooktips

    Archiving is not backing up a pst - if you want to backup your data, don't archive or export, just find and copy the pst file.

    Archive moves items to a new pst file and is used to clean old mail and other outlook items from your default data file. Usually its things you don't need to access but should keep a copy of. But you can also use it to delete junk you don't need.

  • MrRay

    Yes I agree that archiving is not backing up a PST, but let's say 99% of Outlook-users archive their mails in a PST-file, only to back it up afterwards. So did I and that's the reason I wanted to know whehter most of the settings are as well transfered to the PST-file.

  • outlooktips

    Archiving (like import/export) does not include any hidden data in the pst file. It's outlook items only.
    Copying a pst for backup will include all of the hidden data - this includes rules (newer versions of outlook), custom forms, custom views. (Plus a few other things.) Custom forms and views will work on the folders in the backup copy. If the backed up pst is set as default in a new profile, the rules should work and forms/views can be used on all folders in the profile.
    Settings such as accounts and signature assignments are not included- they are stored in the registry.

  • phate

    FINALLY something that really works - solved my everlasting problem with Outlook archiving - THANK YOU!!! :)