Exchange Online Managed Folder Assistant moving items in to the recoverable items folders

Iron Contributor



We have had an issue with two customers recently when enabling the Online Archive for their Exchange Online mailboxes.  The Managed Folder Assistant has moved items in regular named folders to the Recoverable Items locations making the message unavailable to the end users.  We have been unable to determine why this is happening. There are no mailbox policies in place or holds.  We are using the MFCMAPI tool to help move some messages back, but it is a time intensive process. We do have Microsoft Support cases open, but they are as baffled as we are.  Anyone else run into an issue like this?  If so, do you have any recommended troubleshooting steps or resolutions?


Thanks much in advance!

5 Replies
That should only happen if you have a retention tag with the Delete action, so check your policies. As for recovering the items, Get-RecoverableItems and Restore-RecoverableItems should help.

Holds play no role here, they help preserve content already in the RecoverableItems subtree.

@Vasil Michev 


Thanks for the quick reply.  Both customer tenants are using the default MRM archive policy.  There are no deletion tags in that policy except for personal type ones.  And both customers are not using them or have applied them to any folder or messages in the mailboxes.  I ran several PS cmds to make there were no holds in place.  I'm using the cmds you referenced now.  FYI for anyone else.  The cmds need the Mailbox Import Export role assigned.  I added the role to the Organization Management permission.

I used the Restore-RecoverableItems on the users' mailboxes which brought back some of the emails, but also a lot of emails that didn't need to be restored. Which didn't help matters. But users are still missing blocks of emails from folders (in the Online Archive). Using the Content Search, I performed a specific search in a narrow date range. The search produced the results we were looking for. Examining the results, the messages are in the desired folder but are invisible to the user in the mailbox and from mailbox search. Using the MFCMAPI tool, performed a search in the specific folder and located the messages. So, I now know they are there, but why can't they be seen in the mailbox by the user? I have access to the users' mailbox and I have tried multiple search techniques to locate the messages with no success. I am at a complete loss why this happening.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Perhaps an issue with the local profile? Have you tried OWA, can you see or search for the messages therein? Although if we are talking about the Online Archive, it shouldn't make a difference since it's always accessed directly from the server...
The affected users only use OWA. In my previous comment I tried the search from both Outlook desktop and OWA with no results.