365-command-logoA very useful, yet often very under-utilized feature of Office 365 is mailbox archiving, or simply setting up archive mailboxes for your users.

Archive Mailboxes in Office 365

Take Free Trial of 365 CommandDesigned to Quickly Enable You to Manage Microsoft Office 365 Online Services Better: You will Save time & money with advanced Office 365 management tools, analytics, reports, security insights & more.


Every organization deals with the email “hoarders” who seemingly feel the need to keep every piece of email that they have ever received since 1999. Thus, they end up having huge mailboxes that often perform very sluggishly and often test the limits of every email platform no matter if they are cloud-based like Office 365 or an on-premises solution.

Encouraging users and enforcing/configuring policies for email archiving allows for a streamlined, crisp, and tight active mailbox, while still preserving the users’ legacy email data in a separate repository that is still as easily and readily available to them should they have the need to look for those 4+ year old emails that they may need to reference once every six months.

Today, I will outline how to enable archive mailboxes for each user using both the Office 365 GUI/portal and PowerShell. Additionally, I will show how PowerShell can be used to enable archive mailboxes for everyone in the organization through one, or a small set, of cmdlets.

Configure/Enable Archive Mailbox with Office 365 GUI (Single-User)

  1. Select “Manage My Organization” > “Users & Groups” > “Mailboxes”.
  2. Select the mailbox you want to enable the archive mailbox for and click Details.
  3. Under Mailbox Features, select Archive and click Enable.
  4. In the Archive Mailbox window, accept the default archive name (Archive Mailbox – ) or type a new name.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Note that the status for Archive is now Enabled.

NOTE: = The display name of the user as it is listed within Office 365, thus if the user’s name is Jane Doe, the default name will be Archive Mailbox – Jane Doe.

Configure/Enable Archive Mailbox with PowerShell (Single-User)

Enable-Mailbox -Identity user@domain.com -Archive

This PowerShell script will accomplish the same thing as the above six steps performed within the GUI.

Configure/Enable Archive Mailbox with PowerShell (All Users in Organization)

There two ways to do this. This first way will configure the archived mailboxes for all users and simply assign them all the default name of “Online Archive -”

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq ‘UserMailbox’)} | Enable-Mailbox -Archive

Now, if you want to configure a different name of the Archive mailboxes for everyone, for example “My Archive -” or “365command –

$users = Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq ‘UserMailbox’)}
ForEach ($a in $users) {$a.ArchiveName.Add(“365command – $a”)}
$users | %{Enable-Mailbox $_.Identity -Archive -ArchiveName $_.ArchiveName}

NOTE: The “365command” highlighted in green is arbitrary and can be something else per the organization’s preference.

And that, is Justin’s “Tech Tip of the Week”. Happy archiving everyone!

If you have missed any of Justin’s previous “Tech Tips of the Week”, you can view them here:

Shared Mailboxes Part I -What to do if you want or need to convert a full (user) Office 365 mailbox into a Shared Mailbox.

Shared Mailboxes Part II – How do you create a shared mailbox from scratch and then add permissions to them?