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Making Your GroupWise Mail Immortal

By Allen Bradley, Manager, Campus Wide Networks Computing Team

As you may know, GroupWise E-mail messages, appointments and uncompleted tasks older than 180 days are automatically deleted -- daily -- by the system. If you need to retain your mail longer than 180 days, archive it (users in the College of Arts and Sciences users should wait until you convert to GroupWise 5.2 in mid-October to begin archiving).

Archiving Your E-mail

When you archive E-mail, it remains in your GroupWise system, safely tucked out of harm's way and out of the master databases, that would grow real big real fast without auto deleting and/or archiving. Your archive looks like your regular Mailbox, but it's only populated with archived stuff. The coolest part of the whole archive thing is that everything in the archive is safe.

Note that archiving isn't the same as filing. That is, when you move messages from your Mailbox into folders, they haven't really gone anywhere, and they're still vulnerable to rules, auto-deletes, and natural disasters. That distinction again: filing (i.e. moving to folders) is an organizational move. Archiving is preservational.

Before you can archive anything, you have to tell GroupWise where to put it. Here's how: Click Tools, Options, double-click Environment, then click the File Location tab (on a Mac this accomplished by choosing Edit and then Preferences). Now specify a location in the Archive Directory box. You can put your archive pretty much anywhere, so long as GroupWise can find it. An appropriate location name on your local disk drive might be "C:\GW_arc". If you want your archive to be backed up, you should check with your network manager to ensure you have enough space allocated and appropriate drive mappings. An appropriate location name on you network drive might be "H:\your_name\gw_arc". If you are not comfortable with these things, ask your network manager for help.

Automatic Archiving

There's more. You can automatically archive your stuff. That is, you can set an option that checks your Mailbox every time you start GroupWise and automatically archives everything of a particular age. Click Tools, Options, double-click Environment, then click the Cleanup tab (on a Mac this accomplished by choosing Edit and then Preferences). You can set different auto-archive settings for mail and phone messages and for appointments, tasks, and notes. Click the Auto-Archive After radio button, then specify a number of days, 160 is a good number.

Immediate Archiving

To archive something manually, right now, right-click it in the Item List, then click Archive (on a Mac, click on the item and then choose Actions and Archive). What, you were expecting something more complicated? All right, try this: to archive lots of stuff, select lots of stuff, right-click your selection, then click Archive. Really, that's all there is. If you don't know how to select lots of stuff, you can Shift+click on the first and last message or Ctrl+click on selected messages.

More Archive Info.

How do you see the stuff you've archived? Click File, Open Archive. Your Mailbox is magically transformed into your archive. Browse away (note: this will not work from home, you must be logged in to access the network drive or be sitting at your local station to access you local drive).

Tired of your archive? Click File, Open Archive. It's a toggle, and when your archive is open, a check mark appears next to Open Archive in the File menu. When archive is closed, no check mark.

Wait, don't close the archive yet, one more thing. Say you've archived something you want back in the real world. Right-click the item, then click Archive. Just like opening or closing the archive, the state of being or not being archived is a toggle. There's no gray area; either you're archived or you not. [Note: unarchived mail that is older than 180 days MUST be either re-archived or saved as a file outside of GroupWise before you close the application or it will be deleted.]

The bulk of this document was taken from an article entitled "Archive: your GroupWise Ticket to Immortality" by Doug Anderson. If you would like to see the entire document, which contain a bunch of everyday questions and answers, you can find it at:

For more helpful hints on using GroupWise, see our home page at: and select the GroupWise option. There is an important item on changing archive locations.n

Frequently Asked Questions About GroupWise

The Computing Center has compiled a list of questions frequently asked about the GroupWise client. You can find the complete list at

Topics include:

  • How do I print a full month of my calendar?
  • How can I view only the unopened mail in my mailbox?
  • What is the 180 day rule?
  • How do I archive my older mail?
  • Is there a quicker way to check my sent items?
  • What are "Rules" and how can I use them?