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2.13. Managing Space with On My Computer Folders - Outlook for Mac

To avoid reaching your quota of storage space on your mail service, Macintosh Outlook users can move messages to folders designated as On My Computer within Outlook. This stores them on the Mac's hard drive while still allowing them to be viewed within Outlook on the computer.

Instructions below will help you view the On My Computer folders, manually move messages, and set up archiving to automatically move old messages in Outlook 2016 and 2011. A bulk move of information via Exporting and Importing may be preferred if you want to store items from an account that is being disabled.

Viewing On My Computer Folders
Outlook automatically creates a set of default folders labeled On Your Computer. Follow these instructions if you do not see them in the folder list to the left of the Outlook mail window.

  1. With Outlook open, click on the main drop down menu (Outlook in the upper left) and select Preferences.
  2. Select the General icon under the Personal Settings heading.
  3. De-check the options to Group similar folders... and Hide On My Computer folders.

    Outlook General Preferences

    You will now see the On My Computer heading in the left Mail folder pane of Outlook. You may need to scroll down to find them, and click on the triangle to the left of the heading to expand and view subfolders.

    Outlook On My Computer Folders

Outlook New Local Folder If you would like to create folders other than the default ones listed under On My Computer:

  1. Press the control key on your keyboard and click on the Inbox under the On My Computer heading.
  2. Select New Folder from the menu that appears. An Untitled Folder will appear under the Inbox.
  3. Rename the folder if desired, and drag it up to the On My Computer heading to move it from being a subfolder of the Inbox.

Manually Moving Messages
At any time you can move messages from folders on the mail server to On My Computer folders.

  1. In Outlook, click on a message or range of messages from a folder on the mail server to highlight/select.
  2. Click and hold on a selected message, then drag it to the desired folder under the On My Computer heading in the folder list on the left. NOTE: By default, dragging messages will copy instead of moving them so you may still need to delete the messages from the original folder. To skip this step you right-click on a message, select Move and indicate the desired folder on your computer. Alternatively, hold down the 'cmd' (Command) key whilst dragging the messages to the new location. Notice that there's no plus icon next to the mouse pointer which indicates that you are moving the messages rather than copying them.
    The picture below shows 4 selected messages being dragged from the Inbox folder of an account called Columbia 1 to the Inbox folder under On My Computer.
  3. In addition, don't forget that a large number of messages may be in your Sent Items folder, and the Junk Folder. These should also be either moved to 'On My Computer' or deleted.
  4. Finally don't forget to empty your 'Deleted Items' folder as this also counts towards your storage quota.

    Dragging Messages in Outlook


This completes this process. If you want to learn how to automatically archive messages then please read the next section.

Setting Up Archiving Using Rules

Setting up a rule allows you to move messages that fit a certain criteria, such as their age, to another location such as the On My Computer folders.

  1. With Outlook open, select Tools from the uppermost menu, then Rules from the drop down that appears.

    Outlook Tools drop down menu

  2. Click on Exchange under the On My Computer heading in the left column of the window to highlight it, then select the + (plus) sign at the bottom of the window to add a Rule.

    Outlook Rules for Exchange

  3. In the Rule Name field of the next window, type in a description for the rule you are creating. This will appear in the Outlook Rules window (shown above) if you need to review, modify or delete it in the future.

    Outlook Rule to move messages older than 180 days

  4. Set additional criteria for the rule. To have all messages that are older than 180 days (approximately 6 months) moved from your account on the server to your Inbox on the computer, select the following:
    1. In the When a new message arrives: section, change the first drop down to Date Received; the next to Is Greater Than; and type 180 in the days old field.
    2. If you have more than one email account configured in Outlook on your computer, click the + (plus) button to the right of days old to add the next rule condition and set it for Account - is - <name of your CUMC email account>.
    3. In the Do the following: section, select Move Message - Inbox (On My Computer).
      NOTE: if there is another folder on your computer you prefer to use it is ok to select this, just make sure it is labeled (On My Computer). Folders not labeled as such are on the mail server and will still count towards your quota.
    4. If there is an additional row for rule criteria, select the - (minus) button to its right to remove.
  5. Make sure Enabled in the lower left of the window is checked and click the OK button.
  6. Click the red button in the upper right corner of the Rules window to close it and return to your Outlook mail.
  7. Select Messages from Outlook's topmost menu, then Rules - Apply - 180 Day Automatic Archive to run the rule. Depending on how many old messages you have it may take a few minutes to complete the archive.

    Applying the Archive Rule

  8. Archived messages will now appear in the On My Computer folder selected in step 4c above.

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