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I am new at SharePoint and have been asked to delete items that meet a certain criteria from a list. How do I do that?
Is there a way that they can be archived and not deleted (gone forever)? We are running out of storage space on this list and that is the reason for my question. Thank you!

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In SharePoint their is OOTB feature called Information Management policies, you can enable that one and use it to achieve the goal without any code.

Retention – The Retention policy feature lets you define retention stages, with an action that happens at the end of each stage. For example, you could define a two-stage retention policy on all documents in a specific library that deletes all previous versions of the document one year after the document is created, and declares the document to be a record five years after the document is created.

The actions that can occur at the end of a stage include the following:

Moving the item to the Recycle Bin

Permanently deleting the item

Transferring the item to another location

Here are guide, how to setup retention policy.

http://mikesnotebook.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/sharepoint-retention-policies/

http://www.dynamics101.com/2013/03/sharepoint-information-management-policy/

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If it is just a single list you need to prune, you can create a view on the list with your criteria and it will show you everything that matches. Then you can delete the items. A more permanent solution is to use IRM as Waqas mentions.

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