Exchange Archiving

What Is Exchange? Online Archiving?

Exchange Online Archiving is a new email storage option that has been implemented for Exchange accounts allowing messages to be quickly and easily archived to simplify mailbox quota management. This solution utilizes server-side storage that works in a similar manner to the traditional Personal Folders (PST) files most of us are used to. The advantage with this approach is that the archive is backed-up nightly, can have messages moved into it automatically, and is available within Webmail so it can be accessed from off campus. The initial archive size, and plan for making it available for use, will be determined by the DCA? or IT support group for each department.

While this solution is designed to replace the traditional PST file, and will meet the needs for the majority of Exchange users, there may still be situations where other options are better suited. If would like suggestions on how to best manage your mailbox, including how to incorporate this archiving option, contact your DCA or IT support group for assistance.

 

How Does It Work?

The automatic archiving is accomplished through the use of policies which determine the frequency in which messages are moved to the archive. Once your IT support entity has enabled the service for your mailbox the archive policies can be set at the mailbox level, folder level or on individual messages. By default there is no Parent Folder Policy set server side so if you want to have items moved to the archive automatically you will need to assign a policy to your mailbox, subfolders, or messages.

When a policy has been applied, the affected messages are moved into the online archive overnight. When items are moved to the archive by policy, the mailbox folder structure is preserved (i.e. if a policy is set on a folder, all of the messages that meet  the policy criteria will be moved to a folder of the same name within the archive).

 

How Do I Know If I Have It Enabled?

If Exchange Online Archiving has been enabled for your mailbox you will see an additional entry under the Exchange mailbox in Outlook 2007/2010 and OWA called Archive or Online Archive.

  1. The picture below shows how you can tell if archiving is enabled on your mailbox in Outlook (the name of your archive my be different than in the screenshot):archive visability

  2. The picture below shows how you can tell if archiving is enabled on your mailbox in OWA (the name of your archive my be different than in the screenshot):archive visability OWA

 

How Do I Assign An Archive Policy?

Outlook

Outlook Web App

From Outlook Client

Note: Only Windows users can change archiving/retention policy from within Outlook client. Mac users will need to change their settings in OWA.

To assign an archiving policy to a mailbox, complete the following steps:

  1. Right click on the mailbox you want to enable archiving settings for.
  2. In the context menu, click on Data File Properties.
  3. Select the Policy tab on the dialog box that comes up.
  4. Under the Online Archive section select the drop down menu and pick the archiving policy that will best meet your needs.
  5. Click on the Apply button to save the change then click on the OK button to close the dialog box.

To assign a policy to a single mailbox folder, complete the following steps:

  1. Right click on the mailbox folder you want to enable archiving settings for.
  2. In the context menu, click on Properties.
  3. Select the Policy tab on the dialog box that comes up.archive settings in Outlook
  4. Under the Online Archive section select the drop down menu and pick the archiving policy that will best meet your needs.
  5. Click on the Apply button to save the change then click on the OK button to close the dialog box.

To assign a policy to a single message, complete the following steps:

  1. Right click on the message you want to enable archiving settings for.
  2. Click on the Assign Policy option in the context menu
  3. Select a policy from the menu that comes up.
  4. If you want to change your settings in the future you can select the mailbox, folder, or individual message then click on the Assign Policy option in the Outlook ribbon to select a different policy from the menu that comes up.

    assign policy tab

     

From Outlook Web App (OWA)

Note: In OWA, archive/retention policies can only be set at the folder level and not the mailbox level.

  1. To assign an archiving policy to a folder, right click on the folder you want to enable archiving settings for.
  2. In the context menu, click on Archive Policy.
  3. Select the archiving policy that will best meet your needs.
  4. Repeat the process for any remaining folders you wish to configure. archive settings in OWA

 

How Do I Transfer My PST Files Into The Online Archive?

This process can only be accomplished via Outlook for Windows as the .pst file format is not compatible with Microsoft mail clients for Macintosh or OWA. To move a message or folder from a PST to the online archive simply left click and drag the message or folders from the PST and drop them (release the mouse button) into the archive. You can also move messages or folders by right clicking on the item you wish to move and selecting Move or Move Folder from the context menu. You will be presented with a dialog box that allows you to select an appropriate new location and an OK button you can click on to complete the process.

 

How Do I Remove My PST Files From Outlook When I Am Done With Them?

It is recommended you remove the unneeded/empty PST files from Outlook to avoid confusing them with the Online Archive. When you have transferred all of the folders and messages from your .pst file to your new Online Archive you can remove the PST file from Outlook (Windows only) by right clicking on the PST and selecting ‘Close “Name of PST”’ from the context menu. The PST file will not be deleted, it will just stop being accessible from Outlook.

 

What Else Do I Need To Know?

There are a few limitations associated with the Exchange Online Archiving feature. These should have a minimal impact on most Exchange users, but are listed here to make everyone aware of what they are.

  1. The online archive is not available for OWA Light, Microsoft mail clients for OS X, or Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. As a result, messages that have been moved to the archive will not be accessible in Outlook 2011 or on mobile devices.
  2. When this option is enabled on a mailbox the AutoArchiving feature for that mailbox will no longer function in Outlook (this applies to Windows clients as Mac clients do not have the option to begin with). You can recreate the auto archive functionality using the Archive Policy options.
  3. When using the Search dialog in Outlook for Windows, you can select the 'All Outlook Items' option to return results from both your mailbox and the online archive simultaneously. This does not work in OWA so you will need to select the Online Archive before entering search criteria.
  4. 100MB and voice mail mailboxes do not qualify for an online archive.