How to Merge, Clean Up, and Auto-Archive Email: Comprehensive Management Tips

In the digital age, email is a critical communication tool for both personal and professional use. As the volume of emails grows, it becomes increasingly important to manage your email archives effectively. An unorganized email archive can lead to lost information, decreased productivity, and increased stress. In this blog, we will explore how to master email archive management through merging, cleanup, and auto-archiving.

Understanding Email Archives

Before diving into management techniques, it’s important to understand what an email archive is. An email archive is a collection of emails that have been stored for long-term retention and easy retrieval. Unlike your inbox, which is meant for active communication, an archive is designed for the storage of information that you may need to reference in the future.

How To Merging Email Archives

Merging email archives can be necessary when you have multiple email accounts or when you’re consolidating emails from different sources. Here’s how to merge email archives effectively:


Step 1: Identify the Archives to Merge

Determine which email accounts or archives you want to merge. This could include personal and work email accounts, or archives from different email clients.


Step 2: Choose a Primary Archive

Select one archive to serve as the primary destination for the merged emails. This will be the archive where all emails from other sources will be consolidated.


Step 3: Export Emails from Secondary Archives

For each secondary archive, use the export function provided by the email client to create a backup file of the emails. This is often done in formats like .pst or .mbox.


Step 4: Import Emails into the Primary Archive

Using the import function of the email client that hosts your primary archive, import the backup files from the secondary archives.


Step 5: Organize the Merged Archive

After importing, organize the emails by creating folders or labels and sorting emails accordingly. This will help you maintain a structured archive.


Cleaning Up Email Archives

Regular cleanup of your email archives is essential to prevent clutter and maintain efficiency. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning up your email archives:


Step 1: Set Criteria for Cleanup

Decide what criteria you will use to determine which emails to delete or archive. This could be based on age, relevance, or importance.


Step 2: Search and Sort Emails

Use the search and sorting features of your email client to find emails that meet your cleanup criteria.


Step 3: Review and Delete Irrelevant Emails

Carefully review the emails identified in the previous step and delete those that are no longer needed.


Step 4: Archive Important Emails

For emails that are important but not frequently accessed, move them to your archive folder.


Step 5: Regularly Schedule Cleanups

Set a regular schedule for cleaning up your email archives, such as monthly or quarterly, to maintain organization.


Auto-Archiving Emails

Auto-archiving is a feature that automatically moves emails from your inbox to your archive after a certain period. Here’s how to set up auto-archiving:


Step 1: Access Auto-Archiving Settings

Go to the settings or options menu in your email client and find the auto-archiving or retention policy settings.


Step 2: Configure Auto-Archiving Rules

Set rules for auto-archiving based on age, size, or other criteria. For example, you might choose to auto-archive emails older than six months.


Step 3: Apply Auto-Archiving to Folders

Select which folders you want the auto-archiving rules to apply to. You might exclude certain folders that contain high-priority emails.


Step 4: Test Auto-Archiving

Send a test email to yourself and wait for the auto-archiving period to pass to ensure that the settings are working as intended.


Step 5: Monitor and Adjust Settings

Periodically check your archive to ensure that the auto-archiving settings are functioning correctly and adjust them if necessary.



Effective email archive management is crucial for maintaining an organized and efficient communication system. By mastering the techniques of merging, cleanup, and auto-archiving, you can keep your email archives in top shape, ensuring that important information is preserved and easily accessible when needed. Remember to regularly review and adjust your email management strategies to adapt to your changing needs and to continue benefiting from a streamlined email experience.


Live IT Support Transcript Example:

Below is a live transcript of one of our IT Support experts helping a customer to clean up their email inbox:


Full Conversation:

Customer: Yeah. Hi. Hey. It’s Malcolm. How are you?
Technician: I’m good. How are you?
Customer: I’m doing fine. So you wanted to continue doing the archives, cleaning, you want to do the next step?
Technician: Yeah. So before we start, I just wanted to ask you, I think I got charged some extra charges, and I’ve been, I got a couple of emails that I missed appointments that I didn’t really have. Was this after? Can you help me with that? Was that after our phone call?
Customer: Yeah, after. Yeah. I can’t help you with that, but you can talk to them. I think, I don’t know how, if it’s like customer service or if you have to, but you can let them know and they’ll fix it for you. Because I only have the, I only have the call we did on, I think on Saturday.
Technician: Yeah. I sent them an email, but I haven’t heard back from them. Do you know if there’s a number that I can call?
Customer: So let me see, if they don’t respond to you, hold on, let me just see, hold on. Yeah, I don’t have a number, but what I can do, I’ll talk to the internal manager and let them know to look at your ticket so that they can get that fixed for you. I mean, I’m sure they’ll get back to you, but if they don’t get back to you, I’ll talk to them. I mean, can you maybe email me or send me the additional charges so I can send it to them? Because, you know, on the technician side, we only can see so much, so I don’t know how that works.
Technician: Okay. Where should I email you? What’s your address?
Customer: It’s I can type it in the chat here.
Technician: No, I got it. Okay. Okay. Got it. Yeah. And then I will talk to the manager and let them know.
Customer: Okay. And then what, am I being charged for one big job or a couple of little jobs, how does that work? Do you know if this is going to be a long process? Because usually when we start the call, it’s a short job, but we can convert it to a long job, which I had you do last time, which is a fixed rate, which is cheaper for you.
Technician: Yeah. So it’d probably be two long jobs then, right?
Customer: Yes. Okay. Because I’m assuming it’s going to take a little bit of time, what we’re going to do today?
Technician: Probably. I mean, I don’t know, between 30 and 60 minutes, random guess, I don’t know. So let’s just convert it to a long job right now, and then, yeah, just in case, since I know we’re going to be cleaning up your archives. So I’m going to do it right now. Hold on. You should see a notification on your end.
Customer: Where? I don’t know how you saw it last time, but you said you had to approve it. It should be within the Geekr portal, or maybe email.
Technician: Oh. Join? Is that where I am? Join? It’s an approval where it’s sending you a request to accept long job request.
Customer: Oh. Got it. Yeah.
Technician: And that’s just an estimation. If it’s less than that, then it will charge you for the time. So we did.
Customer: Okay. And then do you want to use the microphone or no microphone? So right now we’re on the computer, right? I mean, we’re on your phone, right?
Technician: Yeah. Okay. I know last time when we were doing this, it kept connecting you through your computer, and then I would have to disconnect. I don’t know if you remember that.
Customer: Yeah. Yeah. So when it connects you to your computer, do you mind just using your computer, and then we’ll disconnect from the phone maybe?
Technician: Yeah. Yeah. So we don’t have to just keep going. But see, it just came up. Hold on. I’m going to disconnect you from the phone.
Customer: Okay. Thanks. Can you hear me? It looks like you’re muted on your end. I don’t know if you can unmute yourself, or there might be a little thing that says allow microphone on your computer. I don’t know if you see it.
Technician: Hi. Hello? Hello. Sorry. On your computer, do you see where you can unmute yourself?
Customer: Yeah, I’ve been working on the settings. Or there’s a setting maybe on your top left of your screen where it says allow microphone to allow the microphone on your computer. Yeah, I did that already.
Technician: Okay. I did that. It says you’re muted on the computer.
Customer: Yeah, but I don’t see a place. It’s not letting me unmute myself. You don’t see a microphone option to unmute yourself? Hold on. Yeah, I see it, but it’s grayed out.
Technician: Okay. Sorry. Okay. Okay, now we’re good. Okay. All right, cool. So, you ready for remote connection?
Customer: Yeah. All right. What’s your email again to send the remote session?
Technician: L-E-A-N-N-L-O-N-G at Is it triple A?
Customer: Yeah. Oh, yeah, sorry.
Technician: No problem. Should receive an email shortly.
Customer: Okay. All right. Okay. Give me a second.
Technician: Okay, so what did you manage to do last? So, after we talked, I moved all the emails from all the archives over into the inboxes. And I checked, and it looks like there’s nothing in the archives now, although it did create a bunch more empty archives. But let’s see. So, it looks like most of my old emails are in the inboxes, except for in front you may find, I think, there might be another archive that we missed, because that one goes back to 2015. Is it possible to go back further?
Customer: Yeah, but I don’t know what’s the best place, best way to deal with that. I don’t know if we want to do this whole process again. Let me just see. So, you went through pretty much every single archive, right? Okay, and you went through every folder. Okay. Mm-hmm. And I just did a spot check this morning to see if anything came back, and it looked like there was nothing in the archives.
Technician: Okay, so you, like you did what I’m doing here, I’m assuming? Yeah. Okay. Mm-hmm. Okay. Mm-hmm. So, the Leanne one looks fine. Is the Frenchly fine? Yeah. Okay. All right. And I’m assuming you’ve been getting e-mails coming in, right? New e-mails? Yeah, I think so. I’m really behind on my e-mails, but I’m pretty sure. I got some e-mails today. All right. Okay. So, like we have archive one, we have archive. Okay, so we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. So, it looks like all of these have been taken care of. You’ve already moved the e-mails from these ones. Mm-hmm. Okay. I guess it’s safe to say we can remove them, right, from your artwork for now? Yeah. So that it’s not showing. Okay. That’s your default. Okay. Okay. I just want to see what’s in this merged one real quick. Remember that this duplicates everything else. Okay. Let’s see if this is a draft or not. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Well, I just noticed that this merged one has at least some e-mails from 2014, which, like, this one is Frenchly fine. So I wonder where it – what archive, you know. See, this is Frenchly fine. These are VN1. I just wonder what archive they got it from. But since it’s merged and it’s confusing, I’ll remove it for now. I just wanted to see. So if we – if you want to, when you’re done with this, I can go back to that stellar tool because it has a list of everything that was merged. It has a list of every archive, right? Yeah. Okay. Okay. I’m just trying to open the program. Okay. Is it not allowing me to open? Well, I think it was – I’m trying to open the app, but I think it was trying to – Well, did you click yes right here? No, I clicked no because I thought it was going to install something. No, let’s try yes, I think. Okay. Yeah. Let’s see what it does. Oh, okay. Here we go. Mm-hmm. Okay, go ahead. I don’t see a place to log in. I don’t see a place to log in. If we open that PST file, will that help? Which one? Oh, the merge? Yeah. That’s just a data file. It’s not going to show. Okay. I don’t know. Yeah, it would be locally. It would have to be – I don’t know if it’s going to be on the website. I think you can only download it from there. Okay. Let me just see what it does. Yeah. Okay. Well, I was hoping if we open it like this, it will tell us. But it doesn’t seem to show us exactly the PSTs that were used to merge. Hmm. And another thing, which may not be as accurate, we could search the hard drive. I wonder when that thing finishes processing if that log report will be ungraded. I’m just going to Google on my phone while it’s doing that. Let me grab it. Okay. Okay. Okay. So, before you started doing all of these merging, do you have emails going back to 2014 for French CLE files? I’m pretty sure. It’s not those. Was I supposed to do them for June or was that for 2012? Oh, 2012. And this was before you started doing these merges and stuff? Yeah. Was that, those emails that are going back to 2012, was that like on the archive or was it like in your mailbox, like your main mailbox? It was in one of the archives. Hmm. Let me think. Wow, this is funny. And the other thing I can think of is trying to get it from that big one, that big one, the one you merged. See if we can get them from there. Okay. Looks like it’s done. It doesn’t show the previous five archives that were. I think. One thing I did notice is that these ones are smaller now. Which is good, meaning you moved, like you moved all of those emails from these ones. Uh-huh. Now this one, oh yeah. Now, the only big one left is this merged one, which is 20 gigs. I’m sorry? Yeah, I was saying that may contain the missing one, if there is a missing one. Yeah, so I’m going to open that archive again because that’s the only one in there. Let me just make sure these other ones too. Other than this one, but that only has 800 megs and it says it’s a backup from 2013. This one. Okay. All right, let’s open that merged one since that’s the biggest one and the only one that still has stuff in it from what we can see. Only thing is that it’s merged. Yeah, so now we’re in the merge, one thing I’ll kind of do is like try to query. Sometimes these queries aren’t accurate, but I want to query, like, to search for specifically emails that are from, I mean, are, you know, are French Flee Fines inbox emails, like. I’m chatting with somebody on Stellar, hopefully they can help. Okay. Yeah, I’m chatting with them on the phone right now. Okay. Yes, Gmail. Did you want to move this up to your Gmail? It’s not that much. Yeah, because aside from auto-archive, you have to manually archive it every so often. Right. You know what I’m saying? Yeah, that’s fine. It doesn’t matter that much. Okay. So I guess with that being said, we should be good to go. Okay. Because we have two archives, everything is set up, and yeah. I’m sorry I couldn’t be able to help you all the way, but we should get some stuff done. Um, so can we archive now? Isn’t the old stuff still in the manual email? I’m sorry, say that one more time? Can we run archive now? Okay, so that I can start the archiving? Yeah, I just want to make sure it’s going to do it correctly. Because I think there’s stuff going back to 2012 still in the main email. Okay. Hold on. I could never figure out how to prompt it to archive now. Yeah, I’m trying to see. I’m trying to see if there’s an option, because I don’t recall myself. Okay. Well, if you don’t know either, that’s fine. I mean, it’s set to do it every day, right? So it’ll do it for tomorrow. Yeah, it’s supposed to do it tomorrow. Do you want to just check it tomorrow? Yeah. Check it tomorrow? Yeah, I’m confident that you set it up correctly, so it’s okay. And then, I mean, worst case, you can open up a small ticket if you need to, but I think you should be fine.