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How to retrieve archived emails in outlook

Outlook, Microsoft’s robust email management system, offers a feature that allows users to archive emails, helping declutter the inbox without permanently deleting important messages. However, finding and retrieving these archived emails when needed might seem daunting. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process to effortlessly retrieve archived emails in Outlook.

Understanding Email Archiving in Outlook

Outlook’s archive feature is designed to move older, less frequently accessed emails from the primary inbox to a separate storage location, typically named “Archive” or a designated folder. Archiving helps in organizing emails while keeping them accessible for future reference or retrieval.

Locating the Archive Folder

  1. Access Outlook Desktop ApplicationOpen the Outlook desktop application on your computer. Navigate to the left-hand sidebar where your mailbox folders are displayed.
  2. Find the Archive FolderLook for a folder labeled “Archive” or any custom folder designated for archiving. The archive folder might be nested under a different label, such as “Folders” or “More.”
  3. Search Using FiltersIf you can’t locate the archive folder immediately, use the search bar or apply filters within Outlook. Type “Archive” in the search field to find the folder or use specific filters to narrow down your search.

Restoring Archived Emails

Once you’ve located the archive folder, here’s how to restore archived emails back to your primary inbox:

  1. Open the Archive FolderAccess the archive folder by clicking on it within the Outlook interface.
  2. Select Emails to RestoreBrowse through the emails in the archive folder and select the emails you want to retrieve. You can select multiple emails by holding down the “Ctrl” key while clicking on each email.
  3. Move Emails Back to InboxRight-click on the selected emails and choose the “Move” option from the dropdown menu. Then select “Inbox” or the desired folder within your mailbox to move the emails back.
  4. Check the InboxHead back to your primary inbox to ensure that the selected emails have been successfully moved back from the archive folder. The restored emails should now be visible and accessible in your inbox.

Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Search Using Keywords: If you’re looking for specific archived emails but can’t remember where they were moved, utilize Outlook’s search functionality. Use keywords, sender names, or subject lines in the search bar to locate the emails.
  • Archive Settings: Customize your archiving settings in Outlook to specify how frequently emails are archived and where they are stored. Adjust these settings based on your preferences to optimize your email management.
  • Folder Hierarchy: Outlook allows users to create custom folders and subfolders. Check if the archived emails are stored in any custom folders or subfolders within the archive section.

Using Outlook Web Access (OWA)

If you primarily use the Outlook Web Access (OWA) portal, here’s how you can retrieve archived emails:

  1. Log into Outlook Web AccessSign in to your Outlook account using a web browser and navigate to the OWA portal.
  2. Access Archive FolderLocate and access the archive folder on the left-hand sidebar or in the list of folders displayed.
  3. Restore EmailsFollow a similar process as in the desktop version: select the emails you wish to restore, right-click, choose the “Move” option, and move the emails back to your inbox or preferred folder.


Retrieving archived emails in Outlook is a simple process once you locate the archive folder. By understanding how email archiving works and following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can effortlessly retrieve archived emails and bring them back to your primary inbox for easy access and reference.

Remember to familiarize yourself with Outlook’s interface and search functionalities to efficiently manage and retrieve archived emails whenever needed.

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