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Exchange Email Archive - auto-processing messages

Copper Contributor

I have a user with with a Microsoft 365 E3 plan, which includes the Exchange Online (Plan 2) license. Her primary mailbox is almost at the 100 GB capacity, and her Archive mailbox is at around 75 GB (consisting of content that she has manually moved over). I am newer to the organization and see that currently there is not an automated process to move messages from the primary mailbox to the archive. I am creating one to at least use in these cases.

 

Her archive mailbox was not set to auto-expanding, so I now have that set so that it should expand beyond 100GB if needed. I have created the retention tag to move messages over 3 years into the Archive mailbox - this is applied to the entire mailbox. I tied that tag to a policy, and applied that policy to the user in question. This work was done 3 days ago. I have ran the Managed Folder Assistant against her mailbox sporadically, and it looks like it runs - but messages are not moving from the Primary space into the Archive mailbox. Based on what I am reading, the "Move to Archive" requirement is based on date date received or date created (if in Sent Items, for example). I thought I was being too impatient to see any progress on Friday but this morning both mailboxes are relatively the same sizes as they were Friday (with some increase in the primary mailbox). The user's mailbox is not under any type of hold.

 

I know she has many items over 3 years in age that should be moving into the archive. What am I missing? I thought that running the Managed Folder Assistant would at least ensure the mailbox would get processed immediately rather than "sometime within 7 days" but am I mistaken? Are there any other tennant-wide settings that could be preventing this that I'm overlooking? Our organization is an Exchange Hybrid setup, with Exchange 2016 on prem but all mailboxes living in Exchange Online.

3 Replies
The MRM background process runs on a 7-day SLA in Exchange Online, so it can take up to a week. The cmdlet you've run only "signals" it to try and process the mailbox when possible, it does not force the processing. In addition, the initial processing is always slowest, and given the size of the mailbox in question, it can certainly take few days.
If you can see items being tagged with the selected tag (both Outlook and OWA should show this), it's just a matter of time before they start moving. If not, I'd double-check the steps, most importantly the type of tag you created. If you want it to be automatically applied, it must be of type Default (applies to all folders) or Folder-specific one (i.e. Inbox). Personal tags must be manually applied.

@Vasil Michev Thank you for the response. I hoped it may be a case of me being impatient. I thought that triggering the Managed Folder Assistant would get the process started sooner than 7 days but thought that may be a misunderstanding on my end. I will keep an eye on it and will double check everything if it doesn't appear to be processing after the 7-day window.

best response confirmed by ghawkins (Copper Contributor)
Solution
I finally tracked down the issue. For some reason, RetentionHoldEnabled was set to $True for this user. I'm not sure why this was the case, this looks to be unrelated to litigation holds (no lit holds tied to the user either). I changed this to $False and her mailbox started processing as I would have expected. We've been having other issues with another user in the org and his was set to $True as well. We found ~35 to 40 mailboxes with this set to True. I found another thread where someone mentioned this could be tied to the PST import tool Microsoft has, which I know has been used in the organization in the past, so maybe that's what caused the setting to change. Regardless, it's now working as expected! Link to thread that helped me identify this setting: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/all/retention-hold-mysteriously-appears-on-sev...
1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by ghawkins (Copper Contributor)
Solution
I finally tracked down the issue. For some reason, RetentionHoldEnabled was set to $True for this user. I'm not sure why this was the case, this looks to be unrelated to litigation holds (no lit holds tied to the user either). I changed this to $False and her mailbox started processing as I would have expected. We've been having other issues with another user in the org and his was set to $True as well. We found ~35 to 40 mailboxes with this set to True. I found another thread where someone mentioned this could be tied to the PST import tool Microsoft has, which I know has been used in the organization in the past, so maybe that's what caused the setting to change. Regardless, it's now working as expected! Link to thread that helped me identify this setting: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook_com/forum/all/retention-hold-mysteriously-appears-on-sev...

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