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Easiest way to archive e-mails

I am having an e-mail archive problem that seems common among people who have bought the standard edition. What is the easiest way to archive e-mails from one location without going to every PC and doing it from the user's email client. Does exmerge do this for you? I am running Exchange 2003 SP1.

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It sounds to me like you're using Outlook's Archive functionality as your archival solution, though I'm a bit puzzled about the reference to standard edition. I assume you're referring to the 16GB limit in Exchange Server 2003 standard edition? (In which case you should note that as Sue Mosher and others have reported publicly, the Exchange 2003 SP2 release later this year will increase the 16GB limit to 75GB…finally!)

Regardless, if you're trying to use Outlook as an archive, then you can control the AutoArchive settings centrally using Group Policy if you install an ADM template from the Office Resource Kit. This is described in the Microsoft Office Online document entitled Setting Up Retention Settings in Outlook 2003.

Depending on your requirements, you may want to look at a proper archival solution from a third-party vendor -- Outlook's AutoArchive was never intended to provide an enterprise-class archival solution, and PSTs have many limitations.

Hope that helps!

This was first published in July 2005

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