How to enable Office 365 archive for your users who have reached they mailbox limit….

Archiving in Office 365 (also called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. After you turn on archive mailboxes, users can access and store messages in their archive mailboxes by using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook on the web (formerly known as Outlook Web App). Users can also move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox. They can also recover deleted items from the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.

Before we start.

I will summarize some key points, which I consider important in understanding the behavior of the Retention Policies and Tags.

There are three types of retention tags:

  • Default Policy Tag (DPT) – applies to all items that do not have a retention tag applies, either inherited of explicit;
  • Retention Policy Tags (RPT) – are created for the default folders, such as Inbox, Deleted Items, Sent Items etc.;
  • Personal Tags – are used by Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA) users  to apply retention settings to customer folders and individual items, such as e-mail messages 

Retention Policy is a group of retention tags that can be applied to a mailbox.

A retention policy  can have one DPT to move items to the archive, one DPT to delete items, one DPT to delete voice mail messages, one RPT for each supported default folder, and any number of personal items.

Users cannot change a RPT applied to a default folder, but then can apply a different tag to the items in a default folder.

We cannot include more than one RPT for the same default folder type in one retention policy. For example, if a retention policy has an Inbox tag, another RPT of type Inbox cannot be added to that retention policy. RPTs cannot be applied to the Contacts folder.

Personal Tags are a premium feature. Mailboxes with policies that contain these tags (or as a result of users adding the tags to their mailbox) require an Exchange Enterprise client access license (CAL).

Using Retention Policies for Messaging Retention

For more information and description of the Retention Tags and Policies, please refer to TechNet “Understanding Retention Tags and Retention Policies” article.

So after we understand the key points lets start!

There are 3 ways to enable Archive mode.

  1. In your active directory in the attribute editor the you need to set your msExchRemoteRecipientType to the number 6 and sync your AD-connector.

2. In Sign in to Office 365 using your global administrator account.
In the Security & Compliance Center, go to Data governance > Archive.
You can Select all the mailboxes by clicking on the first one in the list, holding down the Shift key, and then clicking the last one in the list. 
In the details pane, under Bulk Edit, click Enable.

3. In Powershell Run the following command to enable the archive mailbox for a single user.
Enable-Mailbox -Identity -Archive
Run the following command to enable the archive mailbox for all users in your organization (whose archive mailbox is currently not enabled).
Get-Mailbox -Filter {ArchiveStatus -Eq “None” -AND RecipientTypeDetails -eq “UserMailbox”} | Enable-Mailbox -Archivefter you enable the archive mode you should see this in the Exchange admin center.

Also you can see in your Outlook new Archive online added.

Now lets create retention policy that will move all mails that over 2 years to the Archive.

Lets go to the Exchange admin center in office 365,Click on Compliance Management and Select Retention Tag

Click on the + sign and lets create Retention Tag type Default ( applied automatically to entire mailbox) and Don’t forget to Save it.

Now lets move to Retention policies and create one.

Click on the + , and we will give it a name and add the retention tag that we created to this policy. Don’t forget to Save.

Lest applied are new policy to our mailbox. open your mailbox settings and change in the mailbox features the retention policy to the one we created.

And we finish.

Now all your mails that is older than 2 years will automatically move to the archive folder.

Important to know!!

In Microsoft Exchange Online for Microsoft Office 365, you apply a retention policy that moves email messages from a user’s mailbox to the archive mailbox. In this scenario, the retention policy does not automatically run.


The issue occurs because the retention policy runs automatically one time every 7 days for mailboxes that are larger than 10 MB.

However, the retention policy does not automatically run for mailboxes that are smaller than 10 MB or within 7 days’ work cycle.


To resolve the issue, manually run Start-ManagedFolderAssistant –Identity <mailbox> cmdlet to force Managed Folder Assistant to process the specific mailbox in Exchange Online for Office 365.

And also its important to make sure that RetentionHoldEnabled is set on False.

If you did all this and its still doesn’t work right away you just need to wait couple of days until you see mails in your Archive mailbox.

How to Enable unlimited archiving in Office 365.

Run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable auto-expanding archiving for your entire organization.Copy

Set-OrganizationConfig -AutoExpandingArchive

Run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable auto-expanding archiving for a specific user. As previously explained, the user’s archive mailbox (main archive) must be enabled before you can turn on auto-expanding archiving for that user.Copy

Enable-Mailbox <user mailbox> -AutoExpandingArchive

Author: Meni T.

IT Infrastructure Manager

2 thoughts on “How to enable Office 365 archive for your users who have reached they mailbox limit….”

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