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.
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).
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.
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:
To assign a policy to a single mailbox folder, complete the following steps:
To assign a policy to a single message, complete the following steps:
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.
Note: In OWA, archive/retention policies can only be set at the folder level and not the mailbox level.
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.
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.
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.