Chapter 13. File Management

File management is the art of keeping your data logically organized and healthy. We say art, because there are hundreds of approaches to managing files. Some work better than others; some people prefer one method to the next. The key is to develop a routine and follow it regularly. If you receive a lot of mail every day, sort and cull it every day, using Mail rules to automate repetitive tasks.

Keeping your data healthy necessitates either deleting or archiving items that are no longer pertinent. It also means making routine backups, complete enough to restore Outlook to a working state, with minimal reconfiguration. This includes not only data, but also key configuration files that are spread throughout your filesystem and Registry. Folders, files, locations, and contents all need to be understood and used properly to maintain Outlook in racing form.

We begin by reintroducing two terms used in numerous places elsewhere in this book. The default information store and the system folders take on another layer of significance, because they define what you can do with certain objects, and why things work as they do:

Default information store

The location to which Outlook delivers POP mail. It is set from the Properties tab of the information store as explained in Chapter 3. Outlook can have only one default information store.

System folders

When you install Outlook (or when you create a new default store), a set of system folders is generated: Calendar, Contacts, ...

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