Managing Outlook AutoArchive Feature


I'm wanting to use a tool/method that will delete old emails from a mailbox on an on-going scheduled basis, removing any manual intervention.  Our environment is currently configured in a hybrid configuration with on-premise AD and Exchange Online mailboxes.


The mailboxes that I want this solution for are shared mailboxes which I've recently found cannot use AutoArchive feature being that it's a solution that can only be used with the Outlook desktop client.


I created a rule temporarily on these mailboxes using Outlook on the web in order to clean up the mailboxes, but to use AutoArchive feature for deleting emails, it requires an account with credentials, so I started to convert shared mailboxes both online and those created during our initial migration to Exchange Online to user mailboxes.  What I mean is that when you look at Active Users in Microsoft 365 Admin Center the sync status is either represented by the building icon for on-premise or the cloud icon for online only.  This applies for the anchor user account that's created/used by the shared mailboxes so how I reset the password is determined by this...either on-premise using AD or using MS365 Admin Center.


As I did this successfully with a few mailboxes, I wondered what happens after I've configured AutoArchive using Outlook desktop client and then that profile on the computer I'm using gets this feature still active on the mailbox to work unattended and automatic on its scheduled that I configured? Because if the answer is no...then here is my follow up question:


Would I need to enable the Archive feature on these mailboxes that would then allow me to manage these online similar to how I'm doing on the desktop?  Right now, we don't use the Archive feature on our mailboxes, but since we're only doing this with specific ones, it won't be an issue enabling this and using it only on what we need.



2 Replies
best response confirmed by A-CAST (Contributor)
If you need to preserve these messages, use the Online archive functionality. If you want to outright delete them, use a retention policy. No need to involve Outlook at all.
@Vasil Michev, yes I'm looking to delete the old mail items and found the article that you mentioned and created a retention policy, so monitoring and testing to make sure this is working but glad your reply was on-point with what I needed to know