I'm using Outlook 2016 to access my Exchange e-mail account. I have a subfolder in my account in which I want to delete all e-mails that are older than 6 months automatically.

I'm aware of the AutoArchive feature and that it can be used to delete old e-mails. I enable the AutoArchive feature in the general settings (File > Options > Advanced: Under AutoArchive, click AutoArchive Settings) like this:

General AutoArchive Settings

As I don't want to delete old e-mails in all folders, but in a particular folder, I just enable AutoArchive in the general settings and don't specify any general AutoArchive actions. Then I configure AutoArchive for a particular folder (right click on the folder > Properties) like this:

enter image description here

I can confirm, that AutoArchive runs each day as configured, if I also check Prompt before AutoArchive runs in the general settings, as I then get a notification each day, when it wants to start. Unfortunateley, old e-mails are not deleted as specified. I can confirm that the last modified time of e-mails that should be deleted is older than 6 months. I can also confirm that the Do not AutoArchive this item checkbox on those e-mails is not checked.

So, how can I delete old e-mails automatically? Do I have to apply different settings?


After some more testing, it turned out, that the settings in my question are indeed not sufficient to use the AutoArchive feature to delete old e-mails. You also have to enable "Archive or delete old items" in the general settings:

enter image description here

That does not mean that you enable "auto-deletion" for every folder by this general setting. Just don't click "Apply these settings to all folders now". Then every folder will keep its default setting: "Do not archive items in this folder". And you can setup deletion rules for particular folders later as needed.


You need to firstly configure the frequency and actions of AutoArchive in AutoArchive Settings, and modify the AutoArchive Policy for each Outlook folder. Then, the AutoArchive feature can work as you wish.

For more information, please check these articles below:

Description of the AutoArchive feature in Outlook

AutoArchive settings explained

Outlook 2010 autoarchive settings

  • As you can see, I already set a frequency. Concerning the actions: As I want only one folder where the AutoArchive feature should do something, I defined the action on the subfolder. Is that wrong? Do I have to define a general AutoArchive action and then go to nearly any folder to disable it, except on the one folder where I need the feature? – Thomas Aug 6 '20 at 10:39

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