Archiving mails with Apple Mail and Microsoft Exchange


A fairy tail about email programs and their default archive folders.

Loosened MacBook keyboard letters form the word "email" on a gray ground.

I added an Exchange account to Apple Mail (let’s use the abbrevation AM from now on) on my MacBook. It didn’t take me long to notice a glitch in the Matrix.

Archiving mails within AM creates an Archive (English spelling) folder, although I have a German language setting for MacOS. On the other hand, Outlook (official app or Outlook for web) archives mails in a folder with the language setting of Outlook (e.g. Archiv for German). The problem exists for every language other than English and after you archived once from AM and once from Office itself, in the end you will end up with multiple archive folders. It’s a mess.

I found a solution coming from the Apple Community member Drickes (big thanks!). I re-post the steps for future reference and to fruther spread the word:

  • Open
  • Copy all mails from the MacOS/iOS Archive folder to the Office Archiv folder.
  • Delete the MacOS/iOS Archive folder.
  • Set the Outlook language to English by going to “Settings”, “Show all Outlook settings”, “General”, “Language and time”.
  • Manually create an Archiv (German spelling) folder on the top level in the Outlook folder structure.
  • Set the Outlook language back to German by going to “Settings”, “Show all Outlook settings”, “General”, “Language and time”.

Explanation: When switching languages in Outlook, each default system folder will be automatically renamed accordingly. When switching back to German, Archive is not renamed because there is already an Archiv folder (which you created manually). We basically block Outlook from automatically renaming Archive to Archiv.

Now you can also delete the manually created Archiv (German spelling) folder, the Archive (English spelling) system folder remains and will be the single source of truth. Outlook and MacOS/iOS archive to the same folder now.

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2 replies

  1. Jost Migenda

    @isellsoap Apple Mail also lets you pick which folder to use as the archive (and for other special folders).macOS: Settings Accounts [select account] Mailbox BehaviorsiOS: Mail Accounts [select account] Account Advanced