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Inactive mailboxes on Exchange Online




Today we´ll cover something new in Office365 Exchange Online and Exchange 2013, it´s about Inactive Mailboxes. These mailboxes let you keep the contents of a mailbox you´re about to delete indefinitely without the need of a license.

The only requisites we must have in order to get this feature working are:

  • Have an Exchange Online Plan 2 or the Online Archive feature.
  • Activate the «In-Place Hold» function on every mailbox before the deletion. If we´ve already deleted the mailbox without activating this function, we can bring it back during 30 days from it´s deletion and actívate the function.

So, how do we do it?.

  1. First of all will be create/convert a mailbox into inactive. To do so, we must define an undefined retention or a time based retention:
    1. Via GUI:
      1. Access the Exchange Administration Console (EAC)
      2. Click on Compliance Management
      3. Click on the “In-Place eDiscovery & Hold“ tab.
      4. Click on the “+” button.
      5. Give a name and a description to the retention policy and click on “next
      6. Select the mailboxes you want to include on the retention policyand click on “next
      7. Click once again on “next” and mark the checkbox that says “place content matching….” and select the time we want to hold the content, indefinitely or by days.
      8. Click on “Finish
    2. Via PowerShell:
      1. Prepare our environment to run with PowerShell
      2. Run the following command:New-MailboxSearch “Retention_Name” -SourceMailboxes -InPlaceHoldEnabled $true
  2. The second thing will be to delete the mailbox we want to retain via the Office365 Administration portal or with the PowerShell command “Remove-Mailbox”

Well, we now have our mailbox archived and hold indefinitely (or the days we want to), so how do we access that content?, via PowerShell:

  1. Run the following command on PowerShell:

    New-MailboxSearch “Search_Name” -SourceMailboxes “Source_mailbox” -TargetMailbox “Discovery Search Mailbox” -IncludeUnsearchableItems -LogLevel Full

We´ll get the results on our discovery mailbox

Until next time!

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