In Windows Explorer: How can I (in effect) 'archive' my old files without physically moving them?


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Hello

In Windows Explorer, are there any utilities that allow me to "archive" individual files in situ?

==> i.e. How can I hide individual older files them from view without moving them away... and (ideally) still to only be able to see them if I click some button?

Background
I have far too many old, out-of-date data files in my folders. So I want to flag them for "archive" to make them disappear from view. But there are occasional times when I want to find very old files, so I don't want to completely delete them. Likewise I want to keep my overall folder structures so I don't want move almost everything off somewhere and then be forced to re-create my folders from scratch.

With thanks

J

PS I also still want to sort my folders so that first the folder names are appear alphabetically (for ease of navigation), and then the files appear with the most recently modified files appearing first. See this still unresolved thread:
 
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I'd think it possible to the view by clicking the column headings in the right panel of File Explorer [and the older/renamed Windows Explorer]. Would need to have the View tab set as Details.

For files I want to save, I Copy them to a folder on a USB Hard Drive but not as a backup. They store simple, don't need to a backup programs restore functions to get direct access. If space on the boot/OS drive is a problem the duplicates can be deleted.
 
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You can also set up new folders and give them titles like "files from march 2020" (or something like that), simply copy the files you want into a new folder, if you start each file with a number, it might help with your archiving?. :cool:
 
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The most popular format for archiving files is .zip and Windows 10 can automatically work with this type of archive without having to install third-party apps. To archive several files and folders into a .zip file, open File Explorer and follow these steps:
  1. Select the files and folders that you want to archive.
  2. Click the Share tab on the Ribbon.
  3. In the Send section, click the Zip button.
    An archive is automatically created in the same folder as the files and folders that you selected. You can edit the name of the archive.
  4. Type the name that you want for the archive file.
  5. Press Enter or click somewhere else in the File Explorer window.
    You can now use the newly created .zip archive and send it by email or store it where you want on your computer.
 
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The most popular format for archiving files is .zip and Windows 10 can automatically work with this type of archive without having to install third-party apps. To archive several files and folders into a .zip file, open File Explorer and follow these steps:
  1. Select the files and folders that you want to archive.
  2. Click the Share tab on the Ribbon.
  3. In the Send section, click the Zip button.
    An archive is automatically created in the same folder as the files and folders that you selected. You can edit the name of the archive.
  4. Type the name that you want for the archive file.
  5. Press Enter or click somewhere else in the File Explorer window.
    You can now use the newly created .zip archive and send it by email or store it where you want on your computer.

Sounds promising... however how do you then do a text search:
A) without seeing your archived data?
B) including seeing your archived data?

J
 

bassfisher6522

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I used to do this archiving data and found it cumbersome at best. That said.....all I do is use a HDD and back up all my data that way. When I need the data I just open that drive and go to it's location and retrieve it. It's just easier for me. I use a HDD/SSD docking station for this. I just like a clean and simple C drive.
 
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I used to do this archiving data and found it cumbersome at best. That said.....all I do is use a HDD and back up all my data that way. When I need the data I just open that drive and go to it's location and retrieve it. It's just easier for me. I use a HDD/SSD docking station for this. I just like a clean and simple C drive.
Yeah, I just Copy data I want saved to either an External USB drive or a NAS drive. Backing up usually requires the same program used be installed on other computer/s to gain access to files but the Copy makes them available to any computer that can connect to the drive. But then I got away from Colorado Memory's tape drive years ago.
 
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I used to do this archiving data and found it cumbersome at best. That said.....all I do is use a HDD and back up all my data that way. When I need the data I just open that drive and go to it's location and retrieve it. It's just easier for me. I use a HDD/SSD docking station for this. I just like a clean and simple C drive.

Can you explain this a bit. I only half understand.

Fwiw, here is what I do:
1. I take a physical copy of "everything" about once per month.
i.e. All I take a copy of all my documents, all my emails (outlook365 - so not easy!) and all my persona media (e.g. photos).

2. Meanwhile if something goes wrong within a month, I have already have two computers which I synchronize semi-manually using the (entirely excellent albiet not as cheap as it should be "GoodSync") every day or 2.


BUT the problem is that I have lots of files that are clogging up the system some of which are 10 or 20 years old! As I work on various historic subject, I would like to keep the folder structure and be able to simply and easily flag individual files for archival into one big central archive, which I does not get searched by default but which I still can search if necessary.

I can't work out how to do that.

J
 

bassfisher6522

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Fwiw, here is what I do:
1. I take a physical copy of "everything" about once per month.
i.e. All I take a copy of all my documents, all my emails (outlook365 - so not easy!) and all my persona media (e.g. photos).
Where does this all go?

BUT the problem is that I have lots of files that are clogging up the system some of which are 10 or 20 years old!
So my question above sounds like all this happens on the C drive with that statement from the 2nd quote.
 

bassfisher6522

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Can you explain this a bit. I only half understand.
All my data that I want to keep is saved off of my PC (C drive) to a separate HDD that's not in my PC. I use a HDD/SSD docking station to accomplish this. This unit sits outside of my PC and connects to it via USB 3.0. I just insert a HDD into a slot on the docking station, turn it on and in 3 - 5 seconds my PC recognizes it and it shows up in file explorer.

I have 1 HDD (1TB) for system image backups.....to use if system becomes corrupted. I have other HDD's (500GB) for personal data. This method is easiest for me. Thus allowing my C drive to be clear, clean and simple.
 
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Being curious I tried something, having a folder with 10GB of data in it consisting of files and folders with files [obviously would need a Blu-Ray disc to hold it all]. I opened the free CDBurnerXP, opened the folder and Selected all, dragged to the panel below that list and created an .iso file. That file can be Mounted in File Explorer and use the contents. I tested it by using WordPerfect to open a file, works just like a DVD without have to have an Optical Disk Drive. I haven't had an opportunity to test if Search can find a file in it but since it shows as another drive it should. The testing took place on a second partition.
 
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As the contributors say, move/copy them to a safe place. But, what might be a solution for you:
Right click a space in the Windows explorer, and select "Group by" and then, at the bottom, "More" You can ten sort them into "date modified" Not sure there is anyway you can actually dide them, though.
 
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I use OneDrive, and archiving is as simple as disabling ‘keep on this device’. So I get a placeholder locally but the file is actually in the cloud.

I do backup my entire OneDrive folder to a Synology nas and backup that folder again offsite though.
 

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