Archive Mailbox In Exchange 2010

Archive Mailbox is one of the many welcoming features in Exchange 2010 Server. This feature solves issues related to PST files which gives headache for any exchange admins. Let me explain how archive mailbox feature will address the existing problems. There is no company which doesn’t have staff using PST files. Archive mailbox gets rid…

Archive Mailbox is one of the many welcoming features in Exchange 2010 Server. This feature solves issues related to PST files which gives headache for any exchange admins.

Let me explain how archive mailbox feature will address the existing problems.

  • There is no company which doesn’t have staff using PST files. Archive mailbox gets rid of PST files by giving the user an additional mailbox.
  • PST files are local to the user’s machine, gets corrupted easily and is hard to include the files in backup. Archive mailbox sits in the same mailbox database as the user’s main mailbox and can be included in the backup easily.
  • Archive Mailbox is available in Outlook as well as Outlook Web App (OWA), which is a huge improvement. Users can access their email archive irrespective of where they are.
  • Archive Mailbox is included as part of the Exchange Enterprise CALs and hence no extra cost is required (for those who have ECALs).
  • Retention policies can be set for emails/folders in the archive mailbox.
  • User has the option to search for emails in archive only or both primary & archive mailbox.
  • Archive Quota can be set separate to the primary mailbox.
  • Emails in existing PSTs can be dragged into the archive mailbox very easily.
  • Users get Conversation View scoped to archive mailbox as well.
  • The archive and primary mailbox share the same user account.
  • Only one archive mailbox can be configured for a user.
  • Archive mailbox gets created on the same mailbox database as the primary one, which is a drawback. Future service packs might bring the option to create the archive mailbox in a different database.
  • The default quota warning for the archive mailbox is 10GB, which can be changed.
  • All in all, it is good news for admins as they don’t have to worry about issues like a lost laptop with PST files in it, corrupted PSTs etc.

How To Configure Archive Mailbox?

Configuring an archive mailbox is very easy. You can configure an archive mailbox while the user account is created. Just check the box in the wizard!


To configure archive mailbox for an existing user, launch EMC & navigate to Recipient Configuration, right click the user and select “Enable Archive”.


A windows prompt reminds that an enterprise CAL is necessary. Click OK and an archive mailbox is configured for the user.


Note that the icon denoting a user with archive mailbox is different to the normal users.


Select the properties of the user and navigate to the “Mailbox Features” tab. You can see that the archive mailbox feature is enabled and selecting the properties brings up a box to give a name for the archive mailbox. The default name is “Online Archive – Username”. You can give a different name if you want to.


In order to change the default quota warning, navigate to “Mailbox Settings” tab, select Archive Quota –> Properties.


Launch Outlook 2010 and you will see that the archive mailbox is displayed. You can create new folders, move emails, set retention policies etc.


Launching Outlook Web App (OWA) gives the same look and feel & your archive mailbox is available for sure!



  1. Hi Rajith,

    Could you please tell me how many times you can export an EV archive ? You can export it one time or you can export it as many times as you want until you import it on a new region ?

    Thank you

  2. Hi,

    all my users are unable to access archive emails only upon searching, What that means they have all their emails in their online archive mailboxes and it is shown as well in the Outlook but when user tries to search for it, outcome is nothing. MS EXchange 2010 SP2..

  3. Hello Rajith,

    I have some mailclients that have the archive on.
    How can I disable the archive-setting so, that the mail comes again in the main mailbox of the client.
    The reason is that we wil change servers and version of win2008 to win2012 and the latest exchange version.
    The way we did it before is to export the pst-files om the workstations and afther reinstalling the new servers import all the pst-files.

    please give me your oppinion,

    The Netherlands

  4. Ashish Kale says:

    Hi Rajith,

    how to monitor the mails are moved live DB to archive DB?
    for 100 users….

    1. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

      There is no built in monitoring Ashisk. May be you can write a simple script which shows all the folders and item count in the archive mailbox.

  5. Micheal Leeson says:

    Answered my questions.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Thanks Micheal.

  6. I think you can create a separate mailbox database called archive in exchange and point the users archive mailbox to a separate database

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      You can!

  7. Hi Guys,

    Disregard my first post. Assigning Full Mailbox Access Permission fixed the issue. Anyway, I have another question. Is it possible to use this archive mailbox for AutoArchive?


    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Yes, you can use archive mailbox for auto archive. You can configure policies from the server side.

    2. ChappedBackside says:

      Hello All,

      Having the same problem, archive showing in owa but not in outlook. I have tried all the fixes listed above but no good. Why is it called office 2010 home and business, when the business features don’t work? I mean are you just trying to rip us off by not fully explaining what features work on each product. I’m about to put office 2007 back on his machine and just say F to anymore upgrades.

      1. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

        Hi Chapped,

        If I remember correctly, you need 2010 Professional Plus version for archive mailbox to work.


  8. Hi Rajith,

    Great post! I followed this guide on setting up an archive mailbox. However, I have a similar case with Ronaldo. The personal archive created does show on OWA but in Outlook 2010 it is not. I have tried recreating the profile but it still doesnt show up. Any resolutions about this issue?

    Thank You,

  9. Bhavin Patel says:

    Hi Rajith,

    I work for a small boarding school in NY and am running Exchange 2010 SP2 with RU3. We are about to enable archiving for certain users, mostly some of the administration and staff. We have about 65% of the people on MACs and the others on Win. Will archiving work with Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 AND most importantly for us, Outlook 2011? If not, will they be forced to use OWA to access their archived mailbox?

    Also, as am I sure you know, the SP2 upgrade allows you to put the archive mailbox in a seperate database. Currently, we have three seperate DAGs (one for faculty, one for administration and stadd and the other for students). I am planning on creating a new DAG for archiving and create the new archive mailboxes here.

    What are you thoughts? Great article, thanks for the information.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      HI Bhavin,

      Exchange archives WON’t work on Macs, Entourage or Outlook 2011. Will work with Outlook clients on Windows and OWA.

      Why do you have a seperate DAG for each section of your users?

  10. have a question concerning Exchange CAL licenses. Is it correct that the requirement for using archiving in Exchange 2010 is:
    • Exchange Standard CAL and Enterprise CAL
    • Office 2010 Pro Plus Volume Licensing

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Aftab,

      Yes, you need Exchange Std CAL and enterprise CAL to use archive.
      Std cal is necessary for all Exchange users. And extra number of enterprise CALs for users who use premium features like archives.

  11. Hi,
    We have Exchange Server 2010 with online archives enabled and I’m using a Win 7 (64bit) client with Outlook 2010 (32Bit) and for some reason my online archives are not showing on the outlook, but on the OWA the online archives do show. This happened after I did a reinstall of the windows 7 client and Outlook 2010, before the re-install it was showing on both. any ideas or solutions????

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Ronaldo,

      Try deleting the Outlook profile and create it again.

  12. Hi,
    Is there a way to do perform the archive mailbox task, to another database, on a mass scale?
    As our client has 200 user mailboxes which we need to perform this task on.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Craig,

      Try Get-Mailbox -Archive | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase DBName. Modify it to suit your needs.

  13. Hi !

    Thank you for your tutorial, it is great.

    I have one small question.

    Is it possible to make the Online Archive email available while using Outlook 2010 only when the user is connected to the Exchange server 2010 ?

    What we are trying to achieve is to avoid that a cache of the Online Archive is being created on every users computers.

    Thank you in advance

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Gildas,

      The archive mailbox needs a live connection to Exchange server. Otherwise, you won’t see it. It doesn’t create an OST file and hence the need to have a live connection for it to work.


      1. Hello !

        Thank you for your reply.
        The reason why I asked that question is because I have noticed that the OST file on local user computer is, somehow, feed by the primary mailbox AND the Online Archive.

        I couldn’t believe it when I noticed it but it is what is happening in my company.
        The emails stored in the Online Archive are available while disconnected from the server (offline mode, not even an Internet connection active).

        There is only one OST file and it is way too much bigger (more than 20 Gb for some users) from what we expected. (primary mailbox is supposed to store only the last 3 months emails as requested).

        That’s so weird…

        1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

          It is weird Gildas!

  14. waqasaftab says:

    I would like to say that exchange 2010 supports both archive and .pst solutions so it is a meaningless question . Its an addition option for Network person by which way one can provide better services to users and data security.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Thanks Waqasaftab

  15. And also if i disable the Archive does it put the emails back into the mailbox?

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Hussain,

      It will not move emails from archive to primary mailbox. Like any mailbox, if you delete it, the content gets deleted with it.

      1. Bert-Pieter says:

        Oh, boy. So you say;

        I enabled a archive for a certain mailbox.
        when I disable the archive all the mail in the archive is lost!!!!

  16. HI.

    I wanted to know if in SP1 you can tell Exchange what database to store the Archive on or not??

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Hussain,

      Yes, you can tell Exchange in which database to store the archive mailboxes. So, you can have a couple of databases running on cheap storage purely for archive mailboxes.


  17. Hi Rejith,
    Thanks for the response!!

    I was asking about the third party only, you have any ideas on some of the products which commonly used in the exchange environment.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:


      Enterprise Vault is commonly used, but it is very expensive. All depends on the money you have to spend and the features required.

  18. Hi Rejith,

    YOu have any idea on Email Archiving methodologies.

    1. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

      Hi Sukesh,

      The only option available in Exchange 2010 is to use the archive mailbox along with retention policies. If you need more features, you need third party apps like EnterpriseVault. What do you have in mind?


      1. I was mentioning about third party only, can you give me some list of most used ones in exchange environment.

  19. Hi Renjith,

    YOu have any idea on Email Archiving methodologies.

  20. Rajith Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Harry,

    In Exchange 2010 SP1, when you assign Full Mailbox Access right to a mailbox, the delegate you assign the right to also has access to the user’s personal archive.

    Let me know if you have more questions.


  21. Harry Bijl says:

    About sharing the Archive…
    It still is not clear to me if a secretary can see and use the archive of her boss. I tried to set it up like that, but failed. I am afraid Microsoft forgot to add this possiblity. Which is a logic option considering the fact that some secretaries have to clean the inboxes of their bosses.

    Did I overlook something?


  22. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:


  23. Anonymous says:

    Re Outlook 2010 not showing the online archive folder when OWA does, a previous poster mentioned that you have to assign the mailbox owner Full Access permissions on their mailbox. This solved the problem for me.

  24. Hi Guys,

    The clue is in the fact that Outlook Web App shows online archive but Outlook does not!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith,

    As we have enabled litigation hold for particular user,and user has deleted some mails from his mailbox,So can you help where we can check that deleted mails at administrator end?

  26. Anonymous says:


    In outlook 2010 After keeping outlook ideal for some time, it does not display archive folder it is showing "cannot display the folder. microsoft outlook cannot access the specific folder"

  27. Anonymous says:

    As i tried this can not be done on HUB transport, it has to be done on Mailbox only,and is there any provision in forefront security 10.2 sp2 to apply filter on body of the message rather then subject line filter and word filter etc…

  28. Anonymous says:

    In exchange 2010 sp1, if active database copy gets corrupted will passive copies also get corrupted ?. And both active & passive copies get simultaneously updated.So when client connect to passive copy as active is corrupted he/she will get proper data or passive copies will also have corrupt data.

  29. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    Can you not use HUB transport rules?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith

    In exchange 2007 sp2 we are using forefront security 10.2 sp2,can we apply filter on body part of the message.Like i want to block the line "Time is money" in body part of the message.As we are not using Edge transport server,and i want this for internal mail flow only.

  31. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    So, it's down to the setting on that machine. Any changes made recently? Easiest will be to re-image the PC if you have an image.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Only on one particular machine it happen. And all users who login to that machine face the same issue

  33. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Does it happen to all Outlook clients on all machines? Or is it with one machine alone? ANd if so,does it happen with all users who login to that machine?

    We need to narrow down the problem and hence the questions.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Rajith,

    Hey whenever i start or restart outlook 2007 it goes to offline mode,then i manually have to connect to server.Can u help me why it happens? as i tried with creating new outlook profile and reinstalling outlook but still same problem persist.

  35. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    """Anonymous said…

    can you guide me the procedure to make new certificate in exchange 2010 sp1.can you tell me what should be new name and existing name?

    The names depend on your company, whatever your company wants. You don't have to have both addresses if you don't want OWA while co-existing.

  36. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Meindert,

    Have you looked at the retention policies in Exchange 2010 SP1? That should satisfy your needs. Create custom policies to suit your needs.

  37. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Are you upgrading within the same domain? If so, nothing has to be done as they are AD objects with Exchange attributes. Exchange 2010 will pick up your distribution groups.

  38. Anonymous says:

    As we are doing transition from exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1.In our current scenario we are having many distribution groups,so how can we migrate all this groups from exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1 ?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith,

    Great article (and great responses to comments)! This is a gold mine for questing nerds like myself.

    I was wondering: is it possible to specify policies that perform actions on archived mailboxes? For example, it might be that certain folders that have been moved to archives should be kept indefinitely, and that we wish to keep every message with an attachment for a period of 10 years for legal reasons, and wish to jettison the rest after 7 years. Is that in any way possible with Exchange 2010 sp1 (maybe through .net scripting?), or would that require use of a 3rd party app?

    kind regards, Meindert

  40. Anonymous says:

    can you guide me the procedure to make new certificate in exchange 2010 sp1.can you tell me what should be new name and existing name?

  41. SHaymanSyd says:

    I have configured archiving on a User (Company Owner's) Account in Exchange and the Archive can been seen in his Outlook 2010 client and via the Web (owa) (All is Fine on that front)
    This user (Company Owner) has a PA who has full permissions to his mailbox, she has Outlook 2010 configured and can see her own mailbox (as per normal) and his Mail Box, she can also see the (Company Owner's) archive. FYI We are using the default Archive Policy in exchange 2010.
    The default policy on the Exchange server moves items to the archive that are older than 2 years, so it moved a heap of items to the archive and retained mailbox structure when it was enabled which is correct operation.
    Issue is she can see not other items in the (Company Owner's) archive apart from Deleted Items. however if she creates a folder manually in is archive from her PC he sees it on his Outlook and she sees it too, yet she cannot see the complete folder structure which he sees on his.
    I'm sure this is permissions related but not sure how to give more as the PA already has full mailbox access to (Company Owner's). Is there any hidden permissions to make this work.
    There is very limited detail on this on the NET that I can find.
    I need to get the resolved ASAP as I have approx 20GB of PST's to import into the (Company Owner's) archive, but the PS needs to be able to see and search it..
    Help please

  42. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    1. That will be the current log, Exchange needs that to work.

    2. You can have active and passive copies & instruct the backup software to backup from passive, to reduce the load on the active copy.

  43. Anonymous says:

    1.No we are not using Circular Logging.. and its E01.log

    2.While taking backup,the exchange server should contain only passive database copies or it can contain both passive & active database copies.

  44. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    1. If you need OWA to work seemlessly during migration, you need a new cert with a new name and the existing name.

    2. Are you using circular logging? Is it E00.log?

    3. Both will do the job, as long as it has compatible versions running. More of a preference and cost.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith,
    1.As we are doing transition from exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1,so can we export same SSL certificate of exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1.If yes,then can u help me to do same,if no,what are the pre-requiste to generate new one.
    2.When i archive mails from primary mailbox to archive mailbox,everytime one extra 1MB log gets generated in archive log path.
    3.For 4oooo users,which backup solution is preferable i.e DPM or Veritas.Does DPM 2010 has disk-tape facility or disk-disk-tape

  46. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith,
    1.As we are doing transition from exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1,so can we export same SSL certificate of exchange 2007 sp2 to exchange 2010 sp1.If yes,then can u help me to do same,if no,what are the pre-requiste to generate new one.
    2.When i archive mails from primary mailbox to archive mailbox,everytime one extra 1MB log gets generated in archive log path.
    3.For 4oooo users,which backup solution is preferable i.e DPM or Veritas.Does DPM 2010 has disk-tape facility or disk-disk-tape

  47. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Rajith for prompt response,
    As per above discussion,exchange server should contain only passive copies while taking backup or it can also contain active copy as well ?

  48. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Yes, netbackup will detect the DAG and will take backups from passive copies (once configured). But, make sure that the version of Netbackup you have is compatible with Exchange 2010.

    Check the vendor's site for more info.

  49. Anonymous says:

    we are using veritas netbackup for exchange 2007 sp2,and we take backup from passive server.As we are now migrating to exchange 2010 sp1.Can we continue to take backup from passive database copies or you can kindly recommend me any other option.

  50. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    If you are not going to take backup, then you need to enable circular logging on all archive databases, so that the logs are "re-used" and not grown in numbers.

    Make sure that you have enough copies of archive database, if you are going backup-less.

  51. Anonymous says:

    how to manage the archieve server if it is made in different server and if we think not to take backup,then how we can purge the logs created.

  52. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Vijay,

    Yes, archive DB can be part of a DAG group and you can have multiple copies. In short, treat it as a mailbox database.

    You an even have a different DAG for archive databases, all depends on what you want to achieve.

    Archive DBs are no different to normal DBs and Exchange keeps track of where the DBs are mounted, so archive DB restore is no different than a normal restore.

  53. Vijay Dalimkar says:

    Thanks Rajith for your reply.
    My another query is – Can we add Archive DB in DAG group?

    Small company Scenario….
    The company is having only a Exchange server with Backup software like Symantec Exec to backup exchange database and Mailboxes.

    Now somehow exchange Archive DB had some problem and Exchange admin restore the Archive DB from backup media.
    so my question is how users will get pointed to restored Archive DB (whoever is Archive mailbox) Automatically. (How exchange server maintain information who is having Archive mailbox and which database)

    Vijay Dalimkar

  54. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous.

    1. Archive is online only, available in Outlook & OWA. When users access folders with too many items, they may face performance issues. Depends on the available bandwidth between the sites.

    2. You can search both live and archive mailbox.

    3. Cpntent indexing is much improved in Exchange 2010. Make sure you install Office 2010 IFilters and Adobe IFilters so that both type of attachments are indexed as well.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Rajith! This has been a very useful article and conversation.

    I have a small company (70 users), with one Exchange Server, but 4 locations. Currently on 2003, but I'm using PST files for archive, and running close to my 75 GB db limit, so it's time to change, and I'm trying to determine if I can get away with strictly using Exchange 2010 and not a 3rd party for archiving.

    Couple of questions:
    – Since I see that the Archive is not cached, will the users in the 3 remote locations find working with archive painfully slow (connecting over a single P2P T1) when they access folders with lots of items (from OL, not OWA)

    – Assuming I move up to Outlook 2010, does search automatically search both mailbox and archive, or does the user have to specify?

    – This one is off topic, but if you are willing to comment: Is search any "smarter" than in older versions? Using OL2007 with Exch2003, my search relies on local indexing, and there's no advanced search that can do things like date range, and / or options, etc. At least not that I know of.

    Thanks for anything you can offer!

  56. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Vijay,

    The DR plan will be company specific, but treat archive database like the mailbox database for HA. That means, have one or more database copies for your archive database.

  57. Vijay Dalimkar says:

    Now with Exchange 2010 SP1, the personal archive will be on separate database.What will be DR plan for Archive database? I mean how do we restore archive database and thereafter how use will get access of their Archive mailbox?

    Vijay Dalimkar

  58. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Which problem are you referring to Frank?

  59. Frank Verstraten says:

    You have to give the user full access rights on their mailbox (the self rights aren't enough).this solved the problem for me

  60. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    I dont have any idea why it would have cause that. Maybe it tricked Outlook to believe that it is running Professional version as well.

    It will be hard to get an answer for this given that Microsoft doesn't support it!

  61. Anonymous says:

    The issue is consistent across users on a machine. I did find that installing Visio Premium caused the Archive folder to show up, and removing Visio also removed the view of the Archive folder. Do you know why this behavior occurred in this fashion?

  62. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:


    We really cant do much as Std isn't supported for archive mailboxes. Does user2 see the archive mailbox when logging into User1's machine?

  63. Anonymous says:

    Hi Rajith –
    Thanks for your quick reply!
    All users can see their Archives in OWA, which is where I become most confused. I understand that Office Standard is not supported, but it does not then follow that it would work for one user and not another.
    What do you think?

  64. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:


    Can both users see archive in OWA 2010?

  65. Anonymous says:

    Interesting discussion – let's hope that some of you are still reading!
    I have an office where some Outlook 2010 Standard computers can see their archives, and some can not. I can not figure out the difference in configuration – does anyone have any ideas, please?

  66. Ripu Daman says:


    IS it possible to share is archive mailbox/mail to other user.

  67. Anonymous says:

    you need office professional plus to see online archive…office 2007 with the cumulative december patch and office 2010 will both see it as soon as it gets installed. office professional (without plus) did not let me see it in either version 2007 or 2010.

  68. I have a similar problem. We have a 2003 exchange server and a 2010 exchange server in one forest.
    My mailbox is moved to the 2010 server but still no online archive. In OWA yes but outlook 2010 and 2007 no
    Can it be that autodiscover finds the 2003 first?

  69. Anonymous says:

    I am running 32Bit Office 2010 Standard on XP on a domain-member pc.
    Installed 2 clients using Office 2010 Standard MAK key. One is showing the online archive, the other isn't.

  70. Anonymous says:


    I am running 32bit Outlook 2010 right now on a non-domain member PC (Windows 7 though) with the online archive showing with no issue. Autodiscover MUST be configured correctly for the online archive to show up.

  71. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Home doesn't support it for sure. Businees, I am not sure. The only one Microsoft confirms at the moment is Professional version with volume licence keys.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great article. It works on our system on the web-interface, but not in Outlook 2010, Home and Business Version. It works in outlook 2010 Professional version. Is it possible that Home&Business; does not support this?
    Thanks for your anwser!

  73. Anonymous says:


    What people don't understand is that Ex2K10 is another product than older Exchange version. The goal is to keep all the elements in stores beacause you can have a large disk space in sata for nothing ! The product was made to work with I/O optimized. You can have 16TB of database store in the Std version which is a big size, so you can store archive in whith no difficulty and decide not to backup it.

  74. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Thanks Sander. Let me know how it goes.

  75. Hi Rajith,

    We get it finally working: The XP client must be member of the same domain as the Exchange server.
    Still many open questions: Why does the 64 bits version doesn't have this 'requirement'; is there a solution or workaround for this…

    I've asked the Microsoft Support again.

  76. Hi Rajith,
    NO, I've tested the professional and professional plus versions only.
    Today we tested the 'working'Outlook 2010 32 bits version from my colleague: No online archives… Network is not the issue: No routers/firewalls etc. In my own testlab its one VMware server. There are no policies.
    So conclusion (at this moment) is that the issue is caused by the Exchange server.
    (… even it's working with OWA and 64 bits, and very basic design, in two test labs, independent installed by 2 experienced engineers – we should stop drinking so much-)

    Now I'm setting up the thirth testlab…


  77. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Sander,

    I take that you are using Outlook 2010 Professional edition, as online archive is not available on other "cheaper" versions like "home & Student Edition".

  78. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Sander,

    I am pretty sure that it is to do with the keys, as there was a known issue with Technet keys. I don't know whether there is a reduction in feature in some of the retail versions, but I can't believe that 32bit doesn't have online archive & 64bit has. I will test it in my lab soon and let you know.


  79. Hi Rajith,
    Thanks for your help.
    We tried already that. Also tried: Not cached mode, creating many profiles, deleting .ost files, different languages (OS&Office;). Tried the MSDN version, Technet, and trail versions. Tested in 2 -very basic- labs, at work and at home. And there is one common thing: No Online Archives in the 32bits version.
    A colleagua has this working in his own lab (so it should work..). Now I'm trying to get his 'working' OL2010-32bits here. Will be continued (not by Microsoft Support.. they cashed the money for a support call and give up already…)

  80. Rajith J E> (I'm the Anonymous @11oct)Yes, this sounds for me strange too.
    And I know for sure it can work with 32bits version, but in a 'fresh' testlab we (me & Microsoft) can't get it working (OWA and 64bits is working fine). We tried many versions and keys.
    After that they (Microsoft Support Europe)confirmed this:
    Hi Sander,

    After some research and consultation with Microsoft, I have received a confirmation that the archive option was not included in the Outlook 2010 version 14.0.4760.1000 (32bits)
    You will have to wait for the next update / release.


  81. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    That is news to me Anonymous. I will have to try it "again" in my lab and confirm. I can't believe 32bit behaves differently from a 64bit Outlook 2010!

  82. Anonymous says:

    The issue with Outlook 2010 and Online Archive which are not visible still exists: Microsoft Support confirmed me last week that the 32 bits of Outlook 2010 (Build 4760) version doesn't support the Online Archives in Exchange 2010. "Wait for next release, is the solution…."

  83. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    I agree Anonymous.

    Thanks for the comment.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Certainly the archive provides a methodology to keep the ost a reasonable size and therefore maximize performance. High level executives tend to not want to follow mailbox storage limits yet want high performance. Now the mailbox can be kept a reasonable size and Outlook provides a much better performance. With the archive, they get there cake and eat it too!

  85. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    A similar error was there for the Office 2010 which got released FIRST in technet. It was an issue with the product keys and Microsoft issued a statement to generate a new set of keys from the technet site & all the features were unlocked.

    If it is a retail version, I am not sure who to contact. Your retailer, Microsoft?

  86. Anonymous says:

    I just recently purchased two retail versions of Office 2010 Professional. Outlook 2010 will not show the Online Archive for the users that I have it enabled for. Any ideas or suggestions?

  87. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    The cals is for the features you use and depends on the number of users who use it as well. Hence if you have 100 users & 50 users archive feature, you need 100 std cals and 50 enterprise cal.

    The version of Exchange server doesn't have any relation to this.

  88. Anonymous says:

    The above says Exchange 2010 with Enterprise CALs "Archive Mailbox is included as part of the Exchange Enterprise CALs and hence no extra cost is required (for those who have ECALs)", does this mean I can buy Exchange Standard License but with Enterprise CALs or do I need Exchange Enterprise license too ?

  89. Anonymous says:

    How do you create a policy that automatically puts old mails to the personal archive after 1 year.

  90. Emmanuel Kassi says:

    I belive that we are all agree that MS has to rethink archiving solution. It has improved Exchange capabilities since 4.5/5.
    Currently the archiving presented to us is not helping.
    we understand that disk are now cheaper but why having two mailboxes if both are sitting on the same database?
    I hope the next SP will bring the expectation we are discussing here.

  91. I'd also like to know if it's possible to export the archive to PST via Export-Mailbox or similar on the Exchange server.

  92. Anonymous says:

    Good Morning

    I installed the Exchange 2010 server in my company, also enabled the Archive, but I can not export the content that goes into the archive, anyone know any command that I can export the archive to a file. PST?

    I await a response. Grateful
    Joao Fernando

  93. Anonymous says:

    We installed the archive function thinking we could get rid of our third party archiving system (SourceOne), however one month later we have removed all Exchange archiving and expanded our SourceOne system. Even if a SP adds more features this is not really an archiving replacement and if you go for lots of DAG's (like we do) then it is a lot of storage required for old archive data. With our SLA we can have our archive down for a day – so we continue to move and shortcut old data (which we can backup daily) using SourceOne and we only use Exchange for what it is good for. Please be warned – archiving as far as MicroSoft are concerned is different to our view of archiving, and finally, third party tools collect real-time from the journal mailboxes, in Exchange you leave everything in the journal mailbox, after only 1 month it took us 20 mins to open the journal mailbox – not good.

  94. Anonymous says:

    I know this is reperating the obvious, but Micrsoft have completely missed the point here. My business manages muliple SBS boxes for clients. Our overriding problem is managing the (single) enormous Exchange database. With SBS you don't even have the option of creating multiple stores – what possible reason could MS have for imposing this restriction in SBS?

    Here we're talking about small businesses. They typically don't have multiple servers or the capability to offsite data to multiple centres. They operate from one premises and typically have one server (SBS). For disaster recovery, we need to be able to offsite their database reliably every night. The only feaible way of doing that is with offsite backup software to a remote storage site.

    Here we're talking about small businesses. They don't have big-pipe, expensive leased line internet connections. They'll typically have ADSL, bonded if lucky, SDSL if really lucky. Hence upload capacity is severly restricted.

    To backup even a relatively small 15GB Exchange database offsite each night is not a simple matter. We use intelligent software to do differential backups that makes it possible to backup each night, but we still have to run regular full backups when the differentials get too large. Forget incrementals, they use too much offsite storage and make restoring a full backup a real headache.

    So what do all my small business customers need? A way to manage their Exchange mailbox so it contains just the data they need, which is tyically the last 6 months. What we really want is a way to archive mails to individual stores on the server which can then be accessed via the client. PSTs themselves aren't the problem. The problem is that they have to reside on the local machine. If users could have PSTs on the server that actually work across a LAN then we'd have no problem. What we don't want is another mammoth database that will just become another headache to backup.

    We need to be able to break up each users archive into manageable chunks so that we have a set of much smaller files, say 6 month archives for arguments sake. That would allow us to make decisions on what get's backed up when and where.

    What Microsoft have come up with is pointless as far as small business is concerned. The solution is simple – don't drop PSTs, make them usable across the LAN. A simple server service that provides a secure interface to multiple local PST files without the client having to physically open the PST across the LAN is all that is needed.

  95. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    Thanks for the update. Yes, SP1 will give more options around archive mailbox.

  96. Anonymous says:

    To be honest with you I could have accomplished more with just using Public folders and restricting rights to the users. Create a public folder for each user, locate the public folder on a cheap NAS and have the users just dump there email into it.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Well, I can tell you tha after just installing a pair of Enterprise 2010 exchange servers I was very dissapointed to see how the archiving works. I have users with over 50GB in PST files I was hoping to centralize into a Database. I have about 2 TB of PST files I need to find a location for and I was waiting to see what 2010 had in store. Man o Man only to find out that it doesn't even work without Outlook 2010 was a bit of a surprise as well. I sure hope there is a patch on the way. I can imagine the CEO's face when I tell him he has to access his online archive through the web client. :) He is gonna have a cow.

  98. Anonymous says:

    AND with SP1 the archive is now available to OL2007. Roll on June/July…

  99. Anonymous says:

    So SP1 details have arrived and answered a lot of discussion points in here. Now you CAN move the archives to different storage and separate this from the mailbox, allowing for different backup schedules, cheaper disk and import the god awful PST files directly into them!
    Seems that M$ have listened to customer complaints and solve at least some of the issues..

  100. Anonymous says:

    "Anonymous said…

    This sounds ok for us. We're on Ex2003Std and have reached our database size limit of 75GB.
    We don't want to delete emails, we don't want to use PST. We have some mailboxes upto 15GB and they use OST files too!

    So Ex2010 with mailbox archive is good for us – even with all the limitations mentioned above."

    Why not just use Ex2010 without the archive mailbox feature? You can make larger primary mailboxes, and there is no 75gb limit afaik.

  101. Anonymous says:

    Lets imagine. Here is a basic solution for archiving without using and troubleshooting 3. party strange, painfull and mysterious tools.

    1-E2k10 should expand archiving to a different server and store installed on cheap disks
    2-Expand journalling: e2k10 can journal all mails that are send and archiving exchange pulls the mails from journal and stores into a read only journal archive store
    3-allow users to search and recover mails in both pst archive and journal arhive store

    I think it should be so difficult: ESE db is there, mapi access to journal mailbox is there, exchange search, owa 2010 is there. All ms needs to do is reuse and combine them.

  102. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    There is always a catch Anonymous. The only other option is to use OWA 2010, it will give the archive mailbox feature.

  103. Anonymous says:

    This sounds ok for us. We're on Ex2003Std and have reached our database size limit of 75GB.
    We don't want to delete emails, we don't want to use PST. We have some mailboxes upto 15GB and they use OST files too!

    So Ex2010 with mailbox archive is good for us – even with all the limitations mentioned above.

    But, I've just discovered we have to use Outlook 2010, which means we have to upgrade all our clients office package! Now that's ridiculous. A plugin for our Outlook 2003 and our Outlook 2007 clients, and we would have had the perfect solution – sort of. There's always a catch with Microsoft isn't there.

  104. Anonymous says:

    How about a read oly database that will incude all past emails for consultation only?

  105. Anonymous says:

    Here's a quick poll:

    How many of you have had to deal with users who have 5+ GB OST files?
    Ever have to recreate an OST (after recreating an Outlook profile) off of the LAN?

    Archives aren't cached to the OST and they negate the need for PST files on the user's laptop (which will ultimately get bricked, lost, or stolen at some point). Archiving in Exchange 2010 isn't a replacement for Enterprise Vault of NearPoint, it's a bridge between PST files and an enterprise-class archiving solution.

    Let's try to keep this in perspective.

  106. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Ken,

    Totally agree with you. I consider archive mailbox only to be an option to get rid of the local PST files. You can block users creating new PST files or dropping content into existing ones by using group policy.

  107. Ken Hughes says:

    In a 'real' Compliance / Retention environment there is no way you would be allowed to leave the decision / action of manually importing the PST files into the Archive Mailbox to the end users.

    1. Do they even know where their PST files are.
    2. Will they actually do it
    3. Do they even care

    It needs to be a centrally controlled, automated process as with all Compliance related tasks – leaving it to user is opening yourself to risk…

    .. Ken

  108. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    I completely agree with you Marald. Let's hope that MS will provide us with an option to select the database for archive mailboxes in the coming service pack!

  109. MS has been optimizing OST files since Outlook 2007 SP2 / 2010, so taking out the availability of offline archive is somewhat redundant.
    Although disk performance has been increased sufficiently in Exchange 2010, having the same database for archiving doesn’t make any sense.
    Archives are less frequently accessed and should be stored on low costs disks.

    How are archived mailboxes being backed up, as they don’t need the same intensity as the normal mailbox store backup. At the end of the day the mailbox store (in our situation) will still have a very large size, which may cause issues in , storage, maintenance, backup and restore.

  110. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Valid point Anonymous. Unlike normal mailbox, Archive mailbox doesn't use OST files!

  111. Anonymous says:

    I do not agree that the online-archive is totally useless.

    If your goal is the reduct the size of your Outlook .OST file, then the archive achieves this.

  112. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Edward,

    Archive mailbox is only available in Outlook 2010 and OWA 2010.

  113. Anonymous says:

    HI Rajith

    Is achiving supported on outlook 2003, I have enabled achiving on one mailbox, but i don't see archive folder automatically appearing



  114. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    I agree Ivan. Lets hope that SP1 brings the necessary improvements for archiving.

  115. Rajith,
    Yes it is a drawback like everyone has commented, however the problem at hand is not actually that it is on the same database. Although it is not ideal for us Admins, we can now move our databases to cheap disks. I will be taking mine off our FC disks and onto SAS.
    I will also be creating more Storage Groups to divide the database size.

    The actual problem i am facing is backups, and now me requiring to back up the identical data nightly.

    Hopefully SP1 will come with the added functionality.


  116. Anonymous says:

    Hi, will this be available from Windows Mobile?

  117. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    The fact that we can't choose on which mailbox database the archive mailbox resides is a big drawback. Hopefully, it will be corrected in SP1.

  118. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a bummer. And to think I was excited about the Archive capability just to find out it is useless. What the hell were they thinking. As said many times in this thread " you might as well give them bigger mailboxes". Very Disappointing that I cannot use this to actually Archive mail to a cheaper storage solution.

  119. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    I totally agree with you. MS has to develop the feature giving admins more options.

    But, I have seen smaller companies using PST files because of lack of budget for more storage & admins are forced to show the "PST route" for users whose mailboxes get filled fast and still needs to keep all those old emails.

    Thanks for your comments. And yes, it is not archiving at all!

  120. Anonymous says:


    I've been using Exchange for over 10 years as a consultant and in my own business. Yes, I've seen companies use PST files but that was early on. I've delt with over several hundred clients and can tell you that in the past 8 years no compnay I've done business with uses PST files. As stated earlier PST files corrupt easily. Allowing users to create PST files also compromises a companies security. In my opinion an Exchange Administrator that allows the use of PST files isn't doing his job.

    Based on the above comments it seems that the consensus is that this is not a an archive solution. I agree that it's not.

    Microsoft should spend more time listening to what people want instead of telling them what they want. Until this solution allows for true compressed archiving to a different media than it not truly archiving. Putting everything in the same databse file and calling it archiving is ridiculous.

  121. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Matthew,

    I do take your point and as I have repeatedly said in my previous comments, Microsoft has to come up with an option to have archive mailboxes on a mailbox database of our choice, so that we can have those on cheaper disks.

    But, I disagree to the point that it is completely useless. There are thousands of companies who have staff with PST files on their local drive. These emails are hard to manage, backup and against complaince standards. The archive mailbox is an attempt to get rid of PST files (a first step in the process) and at the same time make things a bit easier for admins.

    I do agree that it has to improve a lot! First will ofcourse be the option to host it on a database of admin's choice.

  122. Matthew Trotter says:

    Ok seriously Rajith, I don't think you really understand what everyone here is trying to say…

    None of the people posting here care at all about having non-centralized PSTs. They care about one thing, offloading old Exchange mail from their primary server onto slow bulk storage. If I have a 1GB mailbox and a 10GB online archive, why don't I just make an 11GB mailbox? Then the users don't even have to look through 2 different places for their mail, it's all in one spot. Because the online archive data is stored on the same heads, you will suffer the same performance decrease whether your 10GB of mail is in one mailbox or two.

    Pleasae understand that this feature is truly USELESS for anyone in an enterprise environment.

    Your argument about being able to centrally manage mail as opposed to using PSTs is moot because you can just make the user's primary mailbox 11GB and have EXACTLY the same result, no PST and online availability.

    As well your point about differing backup schedules is moot as well because if users maintain the ability to update the Online Archive whenever they want, you will HAVE to back it up at least as frequently as your primary mailbox anyways.


  123. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Hi Jason,

    I agree to the second half of your comments. Microsoft has to come up with a feature to have the archive mailbox to be run on cheap storage. But, I can't agree to the fact that it is the user's responsibility to backup PST files and take care of it. It is because of lack of allowed mailbox space that they tend to go for PST files.

    One good thing with having archive mailbox is that all mails are searchable with the new Cross Mailbox Search feature and the users can access their emails at all times irrespective of their location.

  124. Jason Carter says:

    It sounds like to me that Microsoft thinks people create PSTs for the shake of creating PSTs and this would be a way to centrally manage and store them. However, that is not the case in our experience/enviroment. The people who are creating PST's are people who have archived mail off the server because they were reaching their quota level. It is then THEIR responsibility to backup and manage that PST file if they need something out of it. We don't have space to give them space for a mailbox AND a seperate archive mailbox. If we did, we would just increase their quota on their main mailbox. So still, for us, the archive mailbox is pointless unless we can move it out of the mailbox database the user currently sits in. We could then move it to slower speed storage, and maybe a location that gets backed up less often to cut down on backup time/storage/tapes.

  125. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Ben, One of the main aim of archive mailbox is to get rid of the PSTs which are hard to manage. With archive mailbox, you can set a higher storage quota, like 10gb. Exchange 2010 brings in huge performance improvement and can cope with large mailbioxes.

  126. Ben Schrempp says:

    So would it be fair to say that if you have an archive mailbox set up for a user, as opposed to just giving them a huge primary mailbox, that they would see a performance increase when working in their primary mailbox? Or does it not really matter how big the primary one is if it's all the same database on the same disks?

  127. Jason Carter says:

    I agree with the posts on what is the point if it has to stay in the same database as the main mailbox. Instead of giving them 2 mailboxes, with two seperate quotas, just increase the quota on the main mailbox and let them keep all their messages in the main mailbox. The whole point of PSTs in the past was the save space on the storage that Ecxhange is using. This doesn't solve this problem at all. I don't even see that as a benefit for small businesses for the exact same reason. They have LESS money for storage than larger companies. How is this USEFUL at all! Sure it lets you access your PST files through OWA, but you mine as well just keep your e-mails in your main inbox.

  128. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    As far as I am aware, you can still use PST files. If you don't want to, you could probably prevent users from using it by using GPO.

  129. Anonymous says:

    Dumb question, but…. Are local archives (PSTs) still supported?

  130. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    Though it is in the same database, you can have the archive available in Outlook & OWA, which is an improvement. Different quota settings can be applied for archives as well.

    I agree that MS has to give an option as to where the archive mailbox has to be created, so that we can have a dedicated database for archives which runs on cheaper hard disks.

  131. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  132. Ugh. What is the POINT of creating the archive in the same database!? Why not just load all the archived mails back into the users mailbox?

    Thanks for nothing, Exchange 2010!

    /Dusts off his copy of Exchange 2003.

  133. Deepak Khandelwal says:

    Intresting point about backup schedule but not sure if many people would like to do a mailbox level backup these days when you could take a database level backup and restore to individual mails and if you are doing so, archive mailbox in the same database does not solve any problem.

    Yes for small Environment it does add some value.

  134. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:

    I do agree partially Deepak.

    But, good thing is that you can have massive archive mailbox (>10Gb) & can even change the backup schedule to back it up only once in a month or so. Having a very large mailbox as a primary one will reflect in performance whereas with an archive mailbox, you will only use it once in a while & have the peace of mind that all your mails are available anytime from anywhere!

  135. Deepak Khandelwal says:


    Main reason for creating PST files was to manage the growth of databases and to reduce mailbox and database size if archive mailbox have to be on the same database store, I don't see it helping in teams of managing the database size, you might itself keep the messages on primary database and don't put in PST files, it is effectivily shifting the problem to other mailbox in same databases..

    I can see it may be useful to some customer but for most it is like another feature which may not have too much use, I will certainly not recommand as archiving solution unless the database size is preplaned with enough room to keep both primary and archive mailbox in database so database size never reach 200GB or so, which does reduces the number of mailbox it can host, it have seen archives in EV reaching 10-15 GB.

  136. Rajith Jose Enchiparambil says:


    I do agree that the archiving feature in 2010 RC is not for enterprises. It is aimed for small to medium businesses. You definitely need a third party software if you are a large enterprise.

    But, I disagree with you regarding your statement that archive doesn't solve issues with PST. With archive mailboxes, you don't have the headache of managing issues like corrupt PST files and thereby loss of emails, backing up PSTs, lost laptop with PST files in it etc. With archive mailbox, a user can access his archive mailbox wherever he is, using OWA and Outlook which is a great improvement compared with PST access.

    The explanation Microsoft has for having the archive mailbox in the same database is that, with DAG you don't really need to have a RAID solution, thereby reducing the hardware cost for storage. Hence, it doesn't really matter where the mailbox is. But, I would like to have the option to select the archive mailbox database. Maybe SP1 will bring it to the table.

  137. Deepak Khandelwal says:

    Rajith… Again a great article..

    "Archive mailbox gets created on the same mailbox database as the primary one, which is a drawback. Future service packs might bring the option to create the archive mailbox in a different database"

    I am disappointed by this feature since I was hopping it will allow to do it in other database which was the sole purpose of the feature to be able to restore them at different time and manage database growth differently then primary mailbox.

    I don't think this feature, as it stand, solving any storage problem with database and don't see these to be replacement of PST files since Admin won't like to be move the problem to other mailbox in same database.

    I guess there must be a technical reason for this not availble since it added both the mailboxes to same user object in AD and I guess there are not enough atribute defined to handle them on seperate mailboxes.

    I would like microsoft to improve this feature with even cabability to host archive mailbox on different database and different server if needed, that would make Exch 2010 stand out to Enterprise vault and other similar archiving products.

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