Inactive Mailboxes

Not applicable


I have an E1 license and I am receiving conflicting information about inactive mailboxes.  I realize that Microsoft was going to start charging for inactive mailboxes, but I also understand they have at this point decided not to.


I also researched the steps to make a mailbox inactive and it seemed pretty straightforward:


1)  Buy one Exchange Online Archive license (since I am E1)

2)  Assign to a user

3)  Put a hold (through EAC) creating a litigation hold

4)  Wait 60 minutes for hold to take place

5)  Make sure OneDrive has retention set for 10 years (as we want to retain)

6) Delete user account

7) Apply license to next user and rinse and repeat.


Now I am seeing in my research that if you remove a user account, even if mailbox is on hold, the data will only be kept for 30 days (info on a Microsoft site).


I am also seeing in my research that you need to disable, not remove and you need to keep the extra license (if you are E1) for each user you want to make the mailbox inactive, other sites say differently.


It would be great to have some clarity.

Thank you.


All my best,


2 Replies

Hi.  I received an answer to my question about the 30 days, in that it doesn't apply if you are in the cloud which I am, but since I posted this I have now run into another problem.


In the instructions,


it indicates if you're an E1, to apply an Exchange Online Archive license.  When I tried to do that, I received the following message:


You can't assign licenses that contain these conflicting services: Exchange Online (Plan 1), Exchange Online Archiving for Exchange Server. Review the services included with each license, and try again.



When an E1 employee leaves, apply an E3 license. Wait a day or two to make sure it sets, then place your hold and then remove the E3 license. Once done that way the content of the former employees mailbox should be eDiscoverable for as long as it remains on hold without using any additional licenses.