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Microsoft 365 Online Email Archiving FAQ

What is Microsoft 365 Online Email Archiving?

Email archiving is a feature that allows you to move mail out of your primary inbox, and into a secondary mailbox called an email archive. This can be a way to reduce the size of your inbox and clear out older emails that you no longer need in your primary inbox but still need to retain.

After you turn on archive mailboxes, users can access and store messages in their archive mailboxes by using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook on the web (formerly known as Outlook Web App). Users can also move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox.

Why you should turn on Microsoft 365 Email Archiving?

Your Microsoft 365 mailbox has a limit on how much mail it can hold. For the majority of plans, your primary mailbox size will be 50GB and while this is usually more than enough for most, users who deal with a high volume of mail can quickly reach this limit.

Once this limit is reached users can be faced with the choice of having to clean out their old mailbox to make space, which can be a stressful and time-consuming process.

Microsoft 365 Email Online Archiving Archiving can be used to automatically remove old clutter from your mailbox without the stress of deleting older items, it also effectively increases a users mailbox size without having to purchase a more expensive licence for the mailbox.

Depending on your licence, your archive can increase your effective mailbox size by 50GB,100GB, or even unlimited.

How does Microsoft know which items to move to the Email Archive?

This is set by policies applied to your mailbox, by default, Sentrian will configure mail older than 4 years to remove from your primary inbox to your archive.

The archiving policies are completely configurable and it is possible to have both a company-wide setting and a per-user setting.

How can I prevent important items from being moved to the archive?

It is possible to configure and apply per item/folder archive policies. These policies will take precedence over any mailbox wide policies that have been applied. You can apply policies to keep items in your main mailbox forever, or even apply policies to archive a folder or item after 7 days, it is completely customisable.

These policies are applied by right-clicking on an item/folder and then selecting an archive policy.

How do I access my Email Archive?

Outlook for desktop
By default archive mailbox appears as any other additional mailbox would(like below), it will have the name “Online Archive – User@company.com”.
It can also be configured not to be shown in Outlook automatically.


Outlook Web Access
You can also access your archive in OWA(Outlook Web Access) It will appear very much the same as the above Outlook for desktop, with the exception being that it will be called “In-Place Archive – UserName”

Updated on July 26, 2021

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