Create a Discovery Mailbox to Store Search Results

 

Applies to: Office 365 for enterprises, Live@edu

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-23

When you run a mailbox search, copies of the search results are stored in a special type of mailbox, called a discovery mailbox.

Discovery mailboxes have these important characteristics:

  • They have a 50 GB quota, which is allows you to store large numbers of search results.

  • Only members of the Discovery Management role group have permissions to open the default Discovery Search Mailbox, which Microsoft Exchange creates.

  • E-mail messages can't be received by a discovery mailbox.

When you use the Exchange Control Panel to create a mailbox search, search results can only be stored in a discovery mailbox.

When do I create a discovery mailbox?

By default, Microsoft Exchange creates a discovery mailbox named Discovery Search Mailbox. If you want to limit who can access the results of a mailbox search in your organization, you may want to create additional discovery mailboxes and assign permissions to open those mailboxes to specific people.

For example, let's assume that personnel in your legal, human resources (HR), and information technology (IT) departments each have specific business needs to search users' mailboxes. You'll want to restrict who can access the search results to authorized personnel from the department who ran a specific search. In this case, you can create a discovery mailbox for each department and then assign permissions to open each of those mailboxes to the appropriate people.

Create a discovery mailbox

To create a discovery mailbox, run the following Windows PowerShell command:

New-Mailbox -Name <String> -Discovery

For example, to create discovery mailboxes for the legal, HR, and IT departments, run the following command:

New-Mailbox -Name Legal_MailboxSearchResults -Discovery
New-Mailbox -Name HR_MailboxSearchResults -Discovery
New-Mailbox -Name IT_MailboxSearchResults -Discovery
Identify the discovery mailboxes in your organization

Discovery mailboxes aren't displayed on the Mailboxes tab in the Exchange Control Panel. To list all the discovery mailboxes in your organization, run the following command:

Get-Mailbox -Resultsize unlimited -Filter {RecipientTypeDetails -eq "DiscoveryMailbox"}

To list the display name of the discovery mailboxes in your organization:

Get-Mailbox -Resultsize unlimited -Filter {RecipientTypeDetails -eq "DiscoveryMailbox"} | FT DisplayName
Assign permissions to open a discovery mailbox

You have to explicitly assign users permissions to open a discovery mailbox that you've created. By default, members of the Discovery Management role group only have permissions to open the default Discovery Search Mailbox.

To assign a user permissions to open a discovery mailbox and to access the results of a mailbox search, run the following command:

Add-MailboxPermission <Display name of discovery mailbox> -User <Display Name> -AccessRights FullAccess

For example, to give Dan Park permissions to open the discovery mailbox created for the HR department at Contoso University, run the following command:

Add-MailboxPermission HR_MailboxSearchResults -User "Dan Park" -AccessRights FullAccess
Identify which users have permissions to open a discovery mailbox

To list the users who can open a specific discovery mailbox, run the following command:

Get-MailboxPermission <Display name of discovery mailbox> | Format-Table User,AccessRights,Deny

For example, to display the users who can open the default Discovery Search Mailbox, run the following command:

Get-MailboxPermission "Discovery Search Mailbox" | Format-Table User,AccessRights,Deny

In the output, the users who have a FullAccess value for the AccessRights attribute and a False value for the Deny attribute have the necessary permissions.

Next steps

 
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