Enable or disable an archive mailbox in Exchange Online

Exchange Online
 

Applies to: Exchange Online, Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2016-12-09

 

This article is for administrators. Are you trying to archive items in your mailbox? See Archive or back up your mailbox

Archiving in Exchange Online (called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. Archive mailboxes also provide an alternate storage location in which to store historical messaging data. When their archive mailbox is enabled, users can store messages in their archive mailbox (also called an In-Place Archive). Users can access their archive mailboxes by using Outlook and Outlook Web App. Using either of these client applications, users can view messages in their archive mailbox and move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox. Users can also recover deleted items from the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.

Here's a video that shows you how to enable an archive mailbox in Exchange Online.

To learn more, see Archive mailboxes in Exchange Online.

  • Estimated time to complete each procedure: 5 minutes.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "In-Place Archive" entry in the Messaging policy and compliance permissions topic.

  • See the More information section for the Outlook licensing requirements for users to access their archive mailbox.

You can use the Exchange admin center (EAC) or Windows PowerShell to enable archive mailboxes. The primary reason to use Windows PowerShell is that you can quickly enable the archive mailbox for all users in your organization.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Click the app launcher icon Office 365 app launcher in the upper-left, and then click Admin.

  3. In the lower-left navigation of the Office 365 admin center, click Admin centers, and then click Exchange.

    Click Exchange to open the EAC
  4. In the EAC, go to Recipients  > Mailboxes.

  5. Select a mailbox.

  6. In the details pane, under In-Place Archive, click Enable.

    Under In-Place Archive, click Enable
    TipTip:
    You can also bulk-enable archives by selecting multiple mailboxes (use the Shift or Ctrl keys). After selecting multiple mailboxes, in the details pane, click More options. Then, under Archive click Enable.

    In the details pane, the status under In-Place Archive is changed Enabled.

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The first step is to connect to your Exchange Online organization using Windows PowerShell. Here's how:

  1. On your local computer, open Windows PowerShell and run the following command.

    $UserCredential = Get-Credential
    

    In the Windows PowerShell Credential Request dialog box, type user name and password for an Office 365 global admin account, and then click OK.

  2. Run the following command.

    $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    
  3. Run the following command.

    Import-PSSession $Session
    
  4. To verify that you’re connected to your Exchange Online organization, run the following command to get a list of all the mailboxes in your organization.

    Get-Mailbox
    

For more information or if you have problems connecting to your Exchange Online organization, see Connect to Exchange Online using remote PowerShell.

After you're connected to Exchange Online, you can use one of the following examples to enable archive mailboxes.

  • This example enables the archive for Tony Smith's mailbox.

    Enable-Mailbox "Tony Smith" -Archive
    
  • This example enables an archive for all user mailboxes in your organization.

    Get-Mailbox -Filter {ArchiveStatus -Eq "None" -AND RecipientTypeDetails -eq "UserMailbox"} | Enable-Mailbox -Archive
    

    When you run this command, the archive mailbox name is set to "Personal Archive – <display name>" by default. For example, the archive mailbox name for Paul Singh is Personal Archive – Paul Sing. The archive mailbox is displayed in the folder list of the Navigation Pane in Outlook or Outlook Web App.

You can also configure a different archive name when you use Windows PowerShell to enable archive mailboxes. For example, to name archive mailboxes "In-Place Archive - <display name>" when you enable archive mailboxes for all users in your organization, run the following commands:

$users = Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter { ArchiveStatus -Eq "None" -AND RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox'}

ForEach ($a in $users) {$a.ArchiveName.Add("In-Place Archive - $a")}

$users | %{Enable-Mailbox $_.Identity -Archive -ArchiveName $_.ArchiveName}

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Enable-Mailbox and Get-Mailbox.

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To verify that you’ve successfully enabled an archive for a mailbox, do one of the following:

  • In the EAC, go to Recipients  > Mailboxes, and then select the mailbox from the list. In the details pane, under In-Place Archive, confirm that it's set to Enabled. Click View details to view information such as archive status, usage, and quotas

  • In Windows PowerShell, use the following syntax to display information about the new archive.

    Get-Mailbox <Name> | FL Name,*Archive*
    

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You might want to disable a user's archive mailbox for compliance-related reasons. If you disable a user's archive mailbox, you can reconnect it to the user's primary mailbox within 30 days of disabling it. In this case, the original contents of the archive mailbox are restored. After 30 days, the contents of the original archive mailbox are permanently deleted and can't be recovered. So if you re-enable the archive more than 30 days after disabling it, a new archive mailbox is created.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Click the app launcher icon Office 365 app launcher in the upper-left, and then click Admin.

  3. In the lower-left navigation of the Office 365 admin center, click Admin centers, and then click Exchange.

    Click Exchange to open the EAC
  4. In the EAC, go to Recipients  > Mailboxes.

  5. Select a mailbox.

  6. In the details pane, under In-Place Archive, click Disable.

    TipTip:
    You can also bulk-disable archives by selecting multiple mailboxes (use the Shift or Ctrl keys). After selecting multiple mailboxes, in the details pane, click More options. Then, under Archive click Disable.

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The first step is to connect to your Exchange Online organization using Windows PowerShell. See how.

This example disables the archive for Chris Ashton's mailbox. It doesn't disable the primary mailbox.

Disable-Mailbox -Identity "Chris Ashton" -Archive

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Disable-Mailbox.

To verify that you have successfully disabled an archive, do one of the following:

  • In the EAC, select the mailbox. Then, in the details pane check its archive status under In-Place Archive.

  • In the Exchange Management Shell, run the following command to check the archive properties for the mailbox user.

    Get-Mailbox -Identity "Chris Ashton" | Format-List *Archive*
    

    If the archive is disabled, the following values are returned for archive-related properties.

     

    Property Value

    ArchiveDatabase

    <blank>

    ArchiveGuid

    <GUID of archive mailbox>

    ArchiveStatus

    None

    ArchiveState

    None

    DisabledArchiveDatabase

    <name of mailbox database>

    DisabledArchiveGuid

    <GUID of disabled archive mailbox>

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  • In-Place Archiving allows you to meet your organization’s message retention, eDiscovery, and hold requirements. You can use your organization’s mailbox retention policy to move mailbox content to users’ archive mailbox. Exchange Search and In-Place eDiscovery search a user’s archive mailbox in addition to the user’s primary mailbox. And, when you place a hold on a user's messages in the archive mailbox are also placed on hold.

  • When archive mailboxes are enabled, your organization can take advantage of the default retention policy (in Microsoft’s messaging records management technology) that is automatically assigned to every mailbox. When an archive mailbox is enabled, the default retention policy automatically does the following:

    • Moves items that are two years or older from a user’s primary mailbox to their archive mailbox.

    • Moves items that are 14 days or older from the Recoverable Items folder in the user's primary mailbox to the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox.

  • To access their archive mailbox using Outlook, users need one of the following licenses:

    Outlook in Office 365 subscriptions

    • Outlook in Office 365 ProPlus

    • Outlook in Office 365 Enterprise E3

    Outlook retail licenses

    • Outlook 2016 stand-alone

    • Outlook 2013 stand-alone

    Outlook volume licenses

    • Outlook 2013 stand-alone

    • Outlook 2013 included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013

    • Outlook 2010 stand-alone

    • Outlook 2010 included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010

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