Configure In-Place Archive in Office 365


In Place archive moves your users' data to an archive mailbox after a set amount of time. This archive mailbox will show up under the user's main mailbox in Outlook.

Before going further into this guide you need to understand the following:
  • Retention tags:
    • These are tags that can be applied to mail. This includes thing like "Delete draft items after 10 days", "Move Data to Archive after 5 years"
    • Retention tags get applied to Retention policies, they are not directly applied to users
    • There are three types of tags
      • Default policy tags (DPTs)    These are default retention tags for the entire mailbox.
        • Automatically gets applied
      • Retention policy tags (RPTs)    These are for default folders. The only valid action is to delete or delete permanently.
        • Automatically gets applied
      • Personal tags    These tags become available in Outlook and Outlook Web App. Users can use them to apply to a mailbox folder or an individual item.
        • User can choose to apply this
  • Retention Policies
    • In most cases you should edit the default policy since we usually want to apply Archive time settings to all users. However, be very careful when making changes. A mistake in the policy can lead to changes that will affect every user, and they will be extremely difficult to reverse.
    • These policies can be applied to users, and the contain retention tags
    • Only one retention policy can be applied to users
    • You would create new retention policies in the following scenarios:
      • You need to make a specific change for a few users, and you do not want to apply it to every single person.
        • You would create a new retention policy and apply it to certain users
      • You are testing a retention policy

Changing the Archive Time Threshold

This will show you how to change the threshold for emails that will be moved to a user's In-place archive. 
Be very careful when making changes. A mistake in the policy can lead to changes that will affect every user, and they will be extremely difficult to reverse.

This guide assumes that you want to change the archive threshold for all users in an Office 365 instance. If you only want to change it for select users please create a new Retention Policy and tags(below).

  1. Go to https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/
  2. Go to Compliance Management
  3. Click on retention tags
  4. Click on Default 2 year move to archive
  5. Change the retention period to your desired range in days.
  6. Change the Name of the policy to reflect the new threshold
  1. Click save 
  2. Click on Retention Policies at the top
  3. You should see a policy called Default MRM Policy
  4. Make sure that your edited retention tag has taken effect. (you might need to refresh the page)
  1. If there are multiple retention policies open the settings for the user's mailbox, and make sure that they have the correct policy
    1. Recipients/Mailboxes/User/MailboxFeatures

Changing the Archive Time Threshold for Select Users

This will show you how to change the threshold for emails that will be moved to a user's In-place archive. 
Be very careful when making changes. A mistake in the policy can lead to changes that will affect every user, and they will be extremely difficult to reverse.

This policy will show you how to change the archive policy for specific users. You would do this in situations where different Office 365 users require different Archive policies.

  1. Go to https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/
  2. Go to Compliance Management
  3. Click on retention tags
  4. Click the + button and select applied automatically to entire mailbox (default)
  5. Name the policy  X year move to archive  (where X is the years)
    1. The the appropriate settings. See: Changing the Archive Time Threshold
  6. Go to the retention Policies tab at the top
  7. Click the button and create a new policy. Name it something like X Year Archive MRM Policy
  8. Add all of the retention tags that exist on the Default MRM Policy. Except for the Default 5 year move to archive
  9. Add the X year move to archive tag that you just created
    1. Double Check to make sure that there is only one Archive tag in the Policy
  10. Go back to the root of ECP and navigate to Recipients/Mailboxes/User/MailboxFeatures
  11. Apply the new Policy to the select users

Enabling the Archive

  1. Go to Recipients/Mailboxes/%user%
  2. Click "Enable" under In-Place Archive on the right

Verification
Once the Retention policy has been applied to the mailbox, the user's archive mailbox should eventually appear in their Outlook or Outlook Web Access session. To speed this along, have the user close and re-open Outlook or their web browser. The archiving mailbox will appear below the user's mailbox in the Outlook folder pane, with the label Online Archiving

The archiving process to move messages to the archive mailbox will not begin automatically, but will begin on the next scheduled archiving run, which by default is usually once daily. To immediately initiate the archiving process and begin moving old emails to the archive mailbox, perform the following steps: 
  1. Connect to an Office 365 PowerShell session: Office 365 - Powershell Connect 
  2. Run the following command (replace %username% with the user's username):
    1. Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity %username%
Once you've run this command, access the user's mailbox in Office 365's Exchange Admin Center and click Mailbox Usage to monitor the user's mailbox size, and confirm that archiving is reducing the size of the mailbox. 

References

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