Enable an Archive Mailbox

 

Applies to: Office 365 for enterprises

Topic last modified: 2011-11-23

You can create an archive mailbox for a user's primary cloud-based mailbox. Users can use the archive mailbox, also called a personal archive, to store historical messaging data by moving or copying messages from their primary mailbox to their archive mailbox. The archived messages reside in the cloud, and users can access them from any computer using Microsoft Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App.

This topic explains the following:

Why use archive mailboxes?

Archive mailboxes can help you implement and manage your organisation's archiving strategy. Users typically use personal store (.pst) files to store historical messaging data on their local computer, network shares or a USB drive. An archive strategy that relies on .pst files has many disadvantages:

  • The proliferation of .pst files that are stored in different locations

  • Limited access by administrators to .pst files that reside on a local computer or removable media

  • Risk of data theft because .pst files can reside on portable devices such as laptops, portable hard drives and USB drives

  • Difficulty searching .pst files for data relevant to legal cases

These issues with .pst files make it hard for an organisation to manage archived messages. Archive mailboxes help mitigate these issues in the following ways:

  • They provide users with a single, unified archive for managing their messaging data

  • They allow users to:

    • Access their archive messages from any computer, by using Outlook Web App

    • Easily copy or move messages between their primary and archive mailboxes

  • They help address compliance needs in the following ways:

    • Archive mailboxes are searched when you perform a multi-mailbox search.

    • When litigation hold is enabled, a litigation hold applies to a user's primary and archive mailbox.

Note   The default quota size for an archive mailbox is 100 GB.

Enable the archive mailbox

  1. Select Manage My Organisation > Users & Groups > Mailboxes.

  2. Select the mailbox you want to enable the archive mailbox for and click Details.

  3. Under Mailbox Features, select Archive and click Enable.

  4. In the Archive Mailbox window, accept the default archive name (Archive Mailbox - <display name>) or type a new name.

  5. Click Save. Note that the status for Archive is now Enabled.

After you save the change, the archive icon Archive Mailboxes is displayed in the mailbox list for the user's mailbox to indicate the archive mailbox is enabled.

Disable the archive mailbox

Caution   When you disable an archive mailbox, the contents of the archive are permanently removed. The archive won't be accessible by the user and you can't reconnect the archive mailbox to the corresponding primary mailbox.

  1. Select Manage My Organisation > Users & Groups > Mailboxes.

  2. Select the mailbox to disable the archive mailbox for and click Details.

  3. Under Mailbox Features, select Archive and click Disable.

  4. In the warning window, click Yes to disable the archive. At this point, disabling the archive mailbox is pending. You have to save this change for the archive to be disabled.

  5. Click Save to complete the process.

If you enable the archive mailbox after disabling it, a new archive mailbox is created, and it won't contain the contents from the previous archive.

Next steps

After you enable an archive mailbox, you can change its name. How? See Change the Name of an Archive Mailbox.

 
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