Enable unlimited archiving in Office 365 - Admin Help

You can use the Exchange Online auto-expanding archiving feature in Office 365 to enable unlimited storage space for archive mailboxes. When auto-expanding archiving is turned on, additional storage space is automatically added to a user's archive mailbox when it approaches the storage limit. The result is unlimited mailbox storage capacity. You can turn on auto-expanding archiving for everyone in your organization or just for specific users. For more information about auto-expanding archiving, see Overview of unlimited archiving in Office 365.

Before you begin

  • You have to be a global administrator in your Office 365 organization or a member of the Organization Management role group in your Exchange Online organization to enable auto-expanding archiving for your entire organization or for specific users. Alternately, you have to be a member of a role group that's assigned the Mail Recipients role to enable auto-expanding archiving for specific users.

  • A user's archive mailbox has to be enabled before you can enable auto-expanding archiving. A user must be assigned an Exchange Online Plan 2 license to enable the archive mailbox. If a user is assigned an Exchange Online Plan 1 license, you would have to assign them a separate Exchange Online Archiving license to enable their archive mailbox. To see how to enable an archive mailbox, see Enable archive mailboxes in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center.

  • You can also use PowerShell to enable archive mailboxes. See the More information section for an example of the PowerShell command that you can use to enable archive mailboxes for all users in your organization.

  • Auto-expanding archiving also supports shared mailboxes. To enable the archive for a shared mailbox, an Exchange Online Plan 2 license or an Exchange Online Plan 1 license with an Exchange Online Archiving license is required.

  • You can't use the Exchange admin center or the Security & Compliance Center to enable auto-expanding archiving. You have to use Exchange Online PowerShell. To connect to your Exchange Online organization using remote PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.

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Enable auto-expanding archiving for your entire organization

You can enable auto-expanding archiving for your entire organization. After you turn it on, auto-expanding archiving will be enabled for existing user mailboxes and for new user mailboxes that are created. When you create new user mailboxes, be sure to enable the user's main archive mailbox so the auto-expanding archiving feature will work for the new user mailbox.

  1. Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell

  2. Run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable auto-expanding archiving for your entire organization.

    Set-OrganizationConfig -AutoExpandingArchive

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Enable auto-expanding archiving for specific users

Instead of enabling auto-expanding archiving for every user in your organization, you can just enable it for specific users. You might do this because only some users might have a need for a very large archive storage.

  1. Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell

  2. Run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable auto-expanding archiving for a specific user. As previously explained, the user's archive mailbox (main archive) must be enabled before you can turn on auto-expanding archiving for that user.

    Enable-Mailbox <user mailbox> -AutoExpandingArchive

Important: In an Exchange hybrid deployment, you can't use the Enable-Mailbox -AutoExpandingArchive command to enable auto-expanding archiving for a user who has a cloud-based archive mailbox. To enable auto-expanding archiving for cloud-based archive mailboxes in an Exchange hybrid deployment, you have to run the Set-OrganizationConfig -AutoExpandingArchive command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable auto-expanding archiving for the entire organization.

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Verify that auto-expanding archiving is enabled

To verify that auto-expanding archiving is enabled for your organization, run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell.

Get-OrganizationConfig | FL AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled

A value of True indicates that auto-expanding archiving is enabled for the organization.

To verify that auto-expanding archiving is enable for a specific user, run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell.

Get-Mailbox <user mailbox> | FL AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled

A value of True indicates that auto-expanding archiving is enabled for the user.

Keep the following things in mind after you enable auto-expanding archiving:

  • If you run the Set-OrganizationConfig -AutoExpandingArchive command to enable auto-expanding archiving for your organization, you don't have to run the Enable-Mailbox -AutoExpandingArchive on individual mailboxes. Note that running the Set-OrganizationConfig cmdlet to enable auto-expanding archiving for your organization doesn't change the AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled property on user mailboxes to True.

  • Similarly, the values for the ArchiveQuota and ArchiveWarningQuota mailbox properties aren't changed when you enable auto-expanding archiving. In fact, when you enable auto-expanding archiving for a user mailbox and the AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled property is set to True, the ArchiveQuota and ArchiveWarningQuota properties are just ignored. Here's an example of these mailbox properties after auto-expanding archiving is enabled for a user's mailbox.

    ArchiveQuota and ArchiveWarningQuota properties are ignored after you enable auto-expanding archiving

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More information

  • You can also use PowerShell to enable archive mailboxes. For example, you can run the following command in Exchange Online PowerShell to enable archive mailboxes for all users whose archive mailbox isn't already enabled.

    Get-Mailbox -Filter {ArchiveStatus -Eq "None" -AND RecipientTypeDetails -eq "UserMailbox"} | Enable-Mailbox -Archive
  • After you turn on auto-expanding archiving for your organization or for a specific user, an archive mailbox is converted to an auto-expanding archive when 90% of the storage quota for the archive mailbox is reached. It can take up to 60 days for the additional storage space to be provisioned.

  • After you turn on auto-expanding archiving, it can't be turned off.

  • Auto-expanding archiving is supported for cloud-based archive mailboxes in an Exchange hybrid deployment for users who have an on-premises primary mailbox. However, after auto-expanding archiving is enabled for a cloud-based archive mailbox, you can't off-board that archive mailbox back to the on-premises Exchange organization.

  • For a list of Outlook clients that users can use to access items in the additional storage area in their archive mailbox, see Overview of unlimited archiving in Office 365.

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