Thursday, October 24, 2013

Enabling Exchange Online Archive

One big point of confusion I find with people and Exchange in Office 365 is around the concept of an email in-place archive. There are some important things that should be pointed out when it comes to this in-place archive:

1. Every Exchange Online plan (except Kiosk plans) has the ability to have an in-place email archive. (In-Place Archive isn’t included in Exchange Online Kiosk. However, it can be purchased as an add-on through Exchange Online Archiving.)

2. By default, on all plans, the in-place email archive is disabled for all users. An administrator must enable it before it can be accessed.

3. The in-place email archive contents are stored ONLY in the cloud. They are never synced to a desktop like the Inbox is.

4. The in-place archive folders are only available with the Outlook version in the Professional Plus SKU. Other versions of Outlook will not display the archive folders. See:

for more details.

5. Plans that include Exchange Online Plan 2 (E3, E4) have an unlimited archive. Plans that have Exchange Online Plan 1 (P1, P2, M, E1) have a limit of 50GB of storage between the Inbox and the Archive. For example, in Exchange Online Plan 1 you could have a 25GB Inbox and a 25GB Archive, or a 10GB Inbox and 40GB archive. With Exchange Plan 1 the total size of the Inbox combined with the in-place archive cannot exceed 50GB.

This is the process you need to enable the in-place archive via the portal.


You can see that the above mailbox only currently has an Inbox and no archive.


First step is to login to the Office 365 portal as an administrator and select Admin in the top right corner of the window. From the menu that appears select Exchange.


Select the mailbox you wish to enable the in-place email archive. From the information in the right hand side panel select Enable under the In-Place Archive heading.


Select yes to enable the in-place archive.


After a few minutes (the process is not instantaneous) a new folder will appear in your Outlook (web and on the desktop) called In-Place Archive – <name> as shown above.

The archive is now ready to use. Users can drag and drop items in there and email policies (user and organizational) can now utilize that folder.


As an administrator, if you again look at the mailbox, under in-place archive you will see an option Details. Selecting that will show you a window like that shown above providing details of the mailbox. Remember, this options vary depending on the Exchange Online plan the mailbox is subscribed for.

You can of course do the same thing with PowerShell. To configure PowerShell access to Office 365 see:

then use the command:

Enable-Mailbox –Identity user@domain -Archive