It usually starts with the following question: Is there a way to release the license of an Exchange Online user that left the company, but at the same time, keep the mailbox content? To get this done, we have a feature called Inactive mailboxes, but as we have seen some of our customers being a bit confused about the sequence of steps that needs to be taken to do this correctly, I wanted to cover this scenario.
David is a cloud-only user. David currently has an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license. David leaves the company, so as an Admin, I’ll need to remove his account, but I still need to have access to his emails.
Note: In this article, we will provide the steps that have to be taken in order to correctly move a mailbox from the Active state to the Inactive state. Details about how to access the content of an inactive mailbox can be found here.
1. Put the mailbox on a hold (which will also place the Archive on the hold, if it is present). For this scenario I’ve used LitigationHold, but, any hold from Exchange Online, or Security and Compliance can be used:
Set-Mailbox David -LitigationHoldEnabled $True -LitigationHoldDuration Unlimited
Note: The hold setting may take up to 60 minutes to take effect.
2. Ensure the mailbox has Litigation Hold enabled: