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How to search archive folders in Outlook?

By default, Outlook search emails in the current folder you are locating, you can also change to search all email folders in Outlook manually or automatically. But, if the archives folder does not show in the Navigation Pane, the searching won’t work for it, so you cannot search emails in the archive folders. With the following tutorial, you will learn how to show the archive folder in the Navigation Pane and then search emails in it.

Display the archive(s) item in Outlook Navigation Pane

Search only the archive folders in Outlook

Search all folders include the archive folders in Outlook

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arrow blue right bubbleDisplay the archive(s) item in Outlook Navigation Pane

If you want to search emails in the archive folder, the archive folder need to be displayed in the Navigation Pane first.

1. Please click File > Open (Open & Export in Outlook 2013)> Open Outlook Data File. See screenshot:

In Outlook 2007, please click File > Open > Outlook Data File.

2. In the Open Outlook Data File dialog box, please select the archive file and then click the OK button.

3. Then you will see the Archive item is displayed in the Navigation Pane immediately.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch only the archive folders in Outlook

After displaying the archive(s) in the Navigation Pane, now you can start searching in these folders. If you only want to search the archive folders, please do as follows.

1. Click the Archive(s) in the Navigation Pane.

2. Then click on the Search box to enable the Search tab. Then select All Subfolders in Outlook 2010 or Subfolders in Outlook 2013 under Search tab.

3. Type the keywords you will search for in the Search box. Then the emails which meet the conditions will be listed out.


arrow blue right bubbleSearch all folders include the archive folders in Outlook

You can search all folders include the archive folders by changing the Search options to All Outlook items.

If you want to set all folders as the default folder of the searching, please click How to search all folders by default instead of current folder in Outlook? for more detailed information.


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  • BCC Warning - show message when you try to reply all if your mail address is in the BCC list; Remind When Missing Attachments, and more remind features...
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    G. H. Wagner · 1 years ago
    why, oh why did you have to fix again what wasn't broken??? The old "Hotmail" served me so very well for decades (since its inception). Now this STUPID outlook is designed by and for BRAINIACS ONLY. Man am I mad!