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July 7, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:41pm

What is archiving?

What to do with files that you still need, but not right now.

By Alexander Sword

In an IT context, archiving means moving data that is not in active use to a separate device to store it for the long-term.

This allows the most accessible storage resources to be available for information that the PC user still requires regular access to.

Archived files can easily be recovered, but are stored in specific folders. Sometimes archived documents are compressed to take up less memory space. They can then be uncompressed if they are needed in the future.

Archiving differs from backing up data, which means creating a copy of the data but not moving the original data.

It is intended for data that has no immediate use but may be useful in the future, and provides an alternative to deleting files from the hard disk altogether.

Email services such as Outlook have automatable archiving facilities, which move lower priority emails from the Inbox to a separate folder.

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