How to create an archive mailbox in Office 365


This article gives you an overview of the supported options for creating and enabling archive mailbox features in Microsoft Office 365.

More Information

Create an archive mailbox for a cloud-based mailbox

Cloud-based mailboxes are mailboxes that were either created directly in Office 365 or created as the result of directory synchronization. Users connect directly to Exchange Online to access the mailbox data. Administrators can use the Exchange Control Panel to create an archive mailbox for user mailboxes.

Users can use the archive mailbox, also called a personal archive, to store historical messaging data by moving or copying messages from their primary cloud-based mailbox to their archive mailbox. The archived messages reside in the cloud, and users can access it from any computer by using Microsoft Outlook 2010 or Outlook Web App.

To create an archive mailbox, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 portal as an administrator.
  2. Click Admin, and then under Exchange Online, click Manage.
  3. Click Users & Groups, and then click Mailboxes.
  4. Locate and double-click the mailbox that you want to modify.
  5. In the mailbox details window, expand Mailbox Features, select Archive, and then click Enable.
  6. Click Save two times.

Create a mailbox in a hybrid deployment

For organizations that have a hybrid deployment, a limited set of scenarios is supported to create archive mailboxes. These scenarios are as follows:

  • Primary cloud-based mailbox with a cloud-based archive mailbox
  • Primary on-premises mailbox with a cloud-based archive mailbox
  • Primary on-premises mailbox with an on-premises archive mailbox

Organizations that have a hybrid deployment can use the Exchange Management Console on the on-premises coexistence server to manage mailboxes in Exchange Online. Customers who are in a hybrid deployment scenario can use the following steps to configure an archive mailbox for users:

  1. On the on-premises coexistence server, open the Exchange Management Console.
  2. In the consolde tree, expand Recipient Configuration, and then click Mailbox.
  3. Double-click the mailbox for which you want to enable the Archive feature.
  4. Click the Mailbox Features tab, then click Enable Archive.

Note If the Enable Archive option is unavailable, you do not have a client access license (CAL) for enabling this feature. Contact your administrator for assistance.

For steps on how to create an archive mailbox for a cloud-based mailbox, see the steps in the "Create an archive mailbox for a cloud-based mailbox" section of this article.

For steps on how to create an archive mailbox for a user who has an on-premises mailbox, see the following Microsoft website: Enable a Personal Archive for an Existing Mailbox

For more information about how to enable archive mailboxes see the following Microsoft website:

Applies To

Microsoft Office 365 for Enterprise

Comments (10)
  1. For the record says:

    Besides being innacurate, this is also confusing.

  2. SmartPhone4dumbGuy says:

    huh? Do what? Outlook is too confusing, who thought this #$#@ up??

  3. rod says:

    Not sure what is confusing about this….one of the clearer articles I have read. Helped me….

  4. TeeC says:

    It’s confusing for me too.
    After logging into the Office 365 portal using the administrator account, I don’t see where I can "2. Click Admin, and then under Exchange Online, click Manage". This option doesn’t exist.

    I can create an InPlace archive using the following steps though. There’s a dropdown box at the top right called "Admin", that allows me to go to select "Exchange" (the Exchange Admin Center).
    Under "Recipients", select "Mailboxes", then select the mailbox and on the right pane, select Enable under In-Place Archive.

  5. ian_pick says:

    This may be outdated as of now "KB author 26 Apr 2012 2:42 AM 4", but it did clear up some questions my users have about the archiving features previous versions had. I.E. Auto Archiving
    A KB update would be good for this particular topic since so much has changed with the admin interface since 2012… To get to where you need to be per the article you would need to log into office 365 –>Select Admin next to your picture (Top right corner)–>select
    Exchange from the drop down selection–>select Mailboxes from the Recipients column on the page–> now select the user (double click)–>select Mailbox Features–> Scroll down to the bottom of the window and select enable under Archiving.

    Same as What TeeC commented. Hopefully either of these drill downs will help someone else.

  6. Jonjoe ETS says:

    This article is fine. Portal/console changes regularly, a few times since 2012 for definite but steps are basically the same. Why the moaning "For the record" . TeeC you got to where you wanted after this article so stop moaning. Not really confusing if
    you can think just a tiny tiny tiny bit outside the box. Hybrid is a bit vague as usual but it at least point you in the right direction.
    Thanks for this article it got me where I wanted to go. Short and sweet and to the point none of the normal MS long winded bull. Thanks again

  7. Subversive says:

    We’re set up in a hybrid. For cloud mailboxes, I can’t enable the archive feature, I get an "Error occurred during validation in agent…." error (KB2936559). Which says I need to perform recipient management using my on premises server. However when I
    try to do it from the EMC, it says I need a premium license. So stupid.

  8. Dave says:

    Subversive, in order for us to get our hybrid environment to use archiving I had to follow the following…

    This was for a cloud based mailbox (sync’d with dirsync) with a cloud based archive. It sucks we had to use ADSI to get this working, but it works.

  9. ryan says:

    This worked for me. Thanks.

  10. Old286 says:

    Teec’s reply had the right steps for me.

Comments are closed.

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