What is Office 365 Archive/ Microsoft 365 In-Place Archive

Enterprise plans (E3 – E5) grant 100 GB primary mailbox quotas to users, If primary mailbox reaches its quota limit (100GB), archiving in Office 365 (also called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. An archive mailbox can be defined as an online-only extension of the primary mailbox.

How to Enable Archive  –

  • On the Exchange Admin Center -> Select the recipient -> Mailbox Features, you will see the option to enable Archive for mailbox.
  • On the “Security & Compliance Center” https://protection.office.com.
    • Under Information governance > Archive, select the recipient and you can enable/disable the Archive.

You can also enable Archive using PowerShell.

Enable-Mailbox -Identity User@domain.com -Archive -AutoExpandingArchive

The Archive mailbox Size is 50GB, and you should have AutoExpand enabled to increase the size of Archive automatically.
Once, Archive is enabled, we will see the Archive mailbox under your primary mailbox (Left bottom of your mailbox).

You can also disable Archive, on EAC or Compliance portal, by just clicking Disable [same as we enabled.]
Or using the below PowerShell command.

Disable-Mailbox -Identity User@domain.com -Archive

Although, disabling an archive prevents user access to the archive, it does not remove the content from the database where the archive data is stored. Instead, a 30-day retention period starts.

During this time, you can recover the archive and reconnect it to the primary mailbox by re-enabling the archive. Any content in the archive mailbox will be removed from the database once the 30-day deleted mailbox retention period expires.

Pros and Cons of Archive Mailbox –

  • Archive mailboxes can only be accessed online. Outlook does not synchronize any archive folder into the OST. So, your Archive mailbox will not be as fast as your Primary Mailbox.
  • Searches can find items stored in archives but only if the user specifies that Outlook should search “All Mailboxes”.
  • ActiveSync clients cannot access an archive mailbox because the protocol does not support this type of resource.

So, consider above points before you decide, which emails should go to Archive.

In the next Article, we will see how to create and apply retention policies and check Archive mailbox size.

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