Understanding Email Archiving in Office 365

Understanding Email Archiving in Office 365


Archiving emails is a commonly overlooked feature even if it is already built-in to most email services. It is meant to help users organize their email boxes better by freeing up space for storage. Additionally, businesses can keep a record of important communication while meeting compliance and security needs.

Archiving in Microsoft Office 365

Within Microsoft Office 365, In-Place Archiving facilitates email archiving. In-Place Archiving acts as a separate folder which appears very similar to a normal inbox. Both users and administrators prefer this method because it does not require data storage on the PC or the server.

Methods of archiving

The In-Place Archive allows two ways of Office 365 email archiving:

  • Manual archiving. This process involves dragging and dropping emails into the archive folder.
  • Retention policy. The administrator sets a default time when emails are automatically archived.

This feature does not allow users to set their own rules for archiving. Also, it is the administrator who can enable the archiving feature manually for each mailbox.

Other methods of preserving emails

In addition to the In-Place Archive feature of Microsoft 365, there are two different ways by which Microsoft retains emails. Some people may not consider such methods as strictly archiving options, but they are still useful in storing and preserving copies of important emails.

  • In-place Hold. This method operates on specific rules targeting specific types of emails according to retention policies.
  • Litigation Hold. On the other hand, this method will archive all kinds of emails.

Both these holds will prevent the deletion or alteration of emails. Businesses need to use these holds for compliance purposes. However, these holds are available depending on the product or type of subscription purchased.

Addressing issues with storage capacity

One of the typical considerations for email archiving solutions is the storage capacity. Some Office 365 business plans don’t have unlimited storage options, but Microsoft now offers the ability to boost the storage space of Enterprise plans to unlimited by adding storage space in incremental portions upon reaching the data limit.

Another limitation of email archiving in Office 365 is that there is no option for journaling. As a way to resolve this, businesses can opt for cloud services were journaling, archiving, and search solutions are already available without having to pay a high cost.

Benefits of cloud-based journaling

One of the pitfalls of using Office 365 email archiving is the limited accessibility. Cloud-based office journaling is scalable. The company can increase usage as needed without paying a high fee. Data storage and retrieval are also fast and easy. There are cloud-based services that offer companies no contractual agreements.

Another benefit is the ability to migrate any legacy journal information seamlessly without losing pertinent details such as meta-data, BCCs, and email distribution lists. Most importantly, email journaling is essential in ensuring that a business is compliant with specific regulations imposed by the government. Emails are stored for future reference precisely as written originally, even when the user has already altered or deleted the original version.


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