Configure message tracking

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2016

Topic Last Modified: 2016-03-28

Learn how to configure message tracking in Exchange 2016.

Message tracking records the message activity as mail flows through the transport pipeline on Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers. You can use message tracking logs for message forensics, mail flow analysis, reporting, and troubleshooting.

You use the Set-TransportService cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell on Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers for all message tracking configuration tasks. For example:

  • Enable or disable message tracking. The default is enabled.

  • Specify the location of the message tracking log files. The default location is %ExchangeInstallPath%TransportRoles\Logs\MessageTracking.

  • Specify a maximum size for the individual message tracking log files. The default is 10 MB.

  • Specify a maximum size for the directory that contains the message tracking log files: The default is 1000 MB.

  • Specify maximum age for the message tracking log files: The default is 30 days.

  • Enable or disable message subject logging in the message tracking logs. The default is enabled.

noteNote:
On Mailbox servers, you can also use the Exchange admin center (EAC) to enable or disable message tracking, and to specify the location of the message tracking log files.

  • Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

  • To learn how to open the Exchange Management Shell in your on-premises Exchange organization, see Open the Exchange Management Shell.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Transport service" entries in the Mail flow permissions topic.

  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this topic, see Keyboard shortcuts in the Exchange admin center.

tipTip:
Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at: Exchange Server, Exchange Online, or Exchange Online Protection.

  1. Open the EAC and navigate to Servers > Servers > select the Mailbox server that you want to configure > and click Edit Edit icon.

  2. On the server properties page, click Transport Logs. In the Message tracking log section, change any of the following settings:

    • Enable message tracking log   To disable message tracking on the server, clear the check box. To enable message tracking on the server, select the check box.

    • Message tracking log path   The value you specify must be on the local Exchange server. If the folder doesn't exist, it's created for you when you click Save.

  3. When you are finished, click Save.

As previously explained, you can use the Set-TransportService cmdlet to perform all message tracking configuration tasks on Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers. To configure message tracking in the Exchange Management Shell, use the following syntax:

Set-TransportService [<ServerIdentity>] -MessageTrackingLogEnabled <$true | $false> -MessageTrackingLogMaxAge <dd.hh:mm:ss> -MessageTrackingLogMaxDirectorySize <Size> -MessageTrackingLogMaxFileSize <Size> -MessageTrackingLogPath <LocalFilePath> -MessageTrackingLogSubjectLoggingEnabled <$true | $false>

Note that you don't need to specify the Exchange server when you run the command on the server that you want to configure.

This example configures the following message tracking log settings on the server named Mailbox01:

Sets the location of the message tracking log files to D:\Message Tracking Log. Note that if the folder doesn't exist, it's created for you.

Sets the maximum size of a message tracking log file to 20 MB.

Sets the maximum size of the message tracking log directory to 1.5 GB.

Sets the maximum age of a message tracking log file to 45 days.

Set-TransportService Mailbox01 -MessageTrackingLogPath "D:\Message Tracking Log" -MessageTrackingLogMaxFileSize 20MB -MessageTrackingLogMaxDirectorySize 1.5GB -MessageTrackingLogMaxAge 45.00:00:00
noteNote:
Setting the MessageTrackingLogPath parameter to the value $null, effectively disables message tracking. However, if the value of the MessageTrackingLogEnabled parameter is $true, event log errors are generated.
Setting the MessageTrackingLogMaxAge parameter to the value 00:00:00 prevents the automatic removal of message tracking log files because of their age.
The maximum size of the message tracking log directory is three times the value of the MessageTrackingLogMaxDirectorySize parameter. Although the message tracking log files that are generated by the four different services have four different name prefixes, the amount and frequency of data written to the moderated transport log (MSGTRKMA) is negligible compared to the other three logs. For more information, see the "Structure of the message tracking log files" section in the Message tracking topic.

This example disables message subject logging in the message tracking log on the server named Mailbox01:

Set-TransportService Mailbox01 -MessageTrackingLogSubjectLoggingEnabled $false

This example disables message tracking on the Mailbox server named Mailbox01:

Set-TransportService Mailbox01 -MessageTrackingLogEnabled $false

To verify that you have successfully configured message tracking, run the following command in the Exchange Management Shell:

Get-TransportService [<ServerIdentity>] | Format-List MessageTrackingLog*

You can also open the location of the message tracking log in Windows Explorer or File Explorer to verify that the log files exist, that data is being written to the files, and that they're being recycled based on the maximum file size and maximum directory size values that you configured.

 
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