Exchange 2010 retention policy.

Posted on 2014-07-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-07-22

I am setting up a Retention Policy for a network with 38 mailboxes.
Those mailboxes were never controlled and have grown up to 15GB on 2 users and the rest is between 1 ~ 5GB.
In this network i'd like to use the Exchange 2010 policy's for retention.

I configured for test purposes a test user with a test mailbox, in this mailbox are messages of 40 days+, i have this test user filled with 40 days+ emails so i can apply a 30 day policy.

The settings:
- TEST 30 days archive
- TEST 30 days deletion

I connected these policies to 1 user, this user is getting in OWA an extra 'online archive'. Inside the network in Outlook i get nothing extra.
So far it looks like it is working, the last thing i want to do is to test if these policies are really apply'd good on this test user.

I've used the following command in the Exchange shell to start the policy:
- Start-ManagedFolderAssistant - Identity testuser@domain.com

My questions:
1. Is there a shell command for a status update on the account, so i can see how far he is with the policy checking the users mailbox?
2. How long is this supposed to take in a normal situation with mailboxes between 10-15GB? Should i set this on Friday so the server can apply the policy in the weekend or shouldn't it be a problem to run this during day times?
3. Am i supposed to get an extra mailbox in outlook aswell? Right now i don't get it in my current mailbox in Outlook, i do get it in OWA.

Thank you.

Greetings, Jack

I was busy in some other part of the forum since i could not select any topics where to post my question during an open question.
Here is what i found/ did:

On youtube i found a link and here i saw i made a mistake with adding the policy tags inside the retention policies.
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6thZsarZH4

Testing right now again with the following command in the exchange shell: Start-ManagedFolderAssistant - Identity testuser@domain.com

* EDIT *

Right now i've waited 50 minutes.
For a moment i was being disconnected from my OWA and when i logged on it said there was something with the mailbox.
The mailbox has a total of 89 Items, the mailbox in size is: 6551 KB
For this reason i expect it may not take much longer than a couple minutes before its finished, correct?

After 1 minute i could logon again but emails older than 30+ days still remain inside the mailbox. Same for the Deleted Items.

* EDIT *

I logged into OWA and right click the 'Deleted Items', there i found the policy name i created, this means its connected and it found the policy. It is connected to the policy but nothing is removed/moved out of there.

The policy for Inbox has not been apply'd yet, there it still remains with the tag: File Structure Policy. (if i translate it good)

* EDIT *

It seems to be a bug in Exchange 2010 on the Deleted Items: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/56260407-4b15-407e-9079-2a97c79abf0c/retention-tags-expired-items-not-deleted-from-deleted-items?forum=exchange2010
As far as i know its not confirmed yet by Microsoft.

On another forum they said you should test with 1 day policies, testing now on deleted items. http://www.outlookforums.com/threads/77523-exchange-2010sp1-retention-policy-will-not-delete-messages-from-deleted-item/

* EDIT *

With the Sent Files items its working like a charm... Anyone got more information regarding this matter?
Question by:eltie
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Hypercat (Deb) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40205338
Here's an article about how Exchange management tools, including the Managed Folder Assistant work:


Basically the idea is that the Managed Folder Assistant works on a cycle and there's no predicting exactly when it will run and process mailboxes. I don't recall exactly, but I had someone with a @40GB mailbox and it seemed to process the archiving policy, after it was applied, and finish archiving the items within a few hours. Depending on the level of logging set in Exchange, you may see event log entries when it runs.

As to why you don't see the archive mailbox in Outlook, you have to have a certain type of Outlook licensing, I believe it's either an Enterprise-level Outlook license or a Microsoft Office Pro license, in order for Outlook to display the personal archive mailbox. So, unless you have one of those, OWA is going to be the only way your users will be able to view their archive mailboxes.

Author Comment

ID: 40210877
Hello Hypercat,

We do not have a Exchange enterprise license.
Our policy's we created will not work and also a shared box is not created.

We will go make manual archive's by hand. Right now it is not possible to get a new license.

Besides all this should the default policy's work, as it says that in the license discription from Microsoft.
This is not working but i will not put more time in it.

Thank you for your answer.

LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 40211761
Possibly the problem with your policy is that you moved or copied items into this mailbox, rather than using an active mailbox that was receiving email on a regular basis. When an item is moved or copied from one folder to another, the "received" date is changed, even though the received date on the email doesn't actually show a change.  So if you leave your test mailbox in place and wait 30 days, it will probably start archiving.  I would test this on an active mailbox first before you give up completely. Manual archiving is a chore that you and/or your users might not want to accept, and archiving from Outlook to a PST is also not the best solution.

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 40211879
Thanks once again for your answer!

Is this aswell the case by a migration?
We have renewed the server at the beginning of 2014 Januari from 2003 to 2008 r2.
This could be the reason why my policy is not working on the emails that are older than 1 or 2 years.

I've been testing it as well on a existing user with a small amount of mails that are at most 3 years old.
I couldn't get it to work as well, now you mention that copy date's are being set instead of the receiving date, the only thing we did is a migration in the meantime what is less than i year ago.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 40211960
It depends on how the migration was done. I know that if you moved the mailboxes by exporting them to PSTs and then importing them into Exchange 2010, the dates on the system level (i.e., the date used by Exchange for archiving) would have been changed to the import date of the PST. I'm not sure, but I think that if you used the Exchange 2010 mailbox move feature, then the original received date would be preserved.

The way online archiving works is through retention tags.  When the Mailbox Assistant processes a mailbox, it marks each item with a retention tag.  Here's how that works - maybe it will be helpful to you to understand that:


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