People let their email pile up. Some let it get to astronomical levels, which used to (still does in some cases) impact the performance of their local system. But it doesn’t matter anymore, that is, if you leverage all the free space provided by your Office 365 subscription.

By using In-Place Archiving and a Retention Policy, you can automate the process so that your primary mailbox never becomes unwieldy and your Archive mailbox never runs out of space.

NOTE: The In-Place Archive mailbox should not be confused with the default Archive *folder* within your primary mailbox, although these can work together as described later on.

The screenshot below shows my email account in ‘Outlook on the web’ – the web-based version of Outlook that reflects the contents of the Exchange mail server’s contents for this respective mailbox.

In my case, Archive1 below happens to refer to the default Archive *folder* within my primary mailbox in Outlook. When I click on the Archive  button (in Outlook desktop on the Mac), this easily processes mail from the Inbox folder to the Archive folder as a kind of temporary holding bin.

By right-clicking on a *folder* like Archive1 above, you can assign Messaging Records Management (MRM) policies, such as moving all items to the In-Place Archive after 30 days. In this case, I send the most inconsequential email messages to the Archive folder within my primary mailbox by clicking the Archive rather than the Delete button. But after 30 days, it automatically gets moved to the In-Line Archive mailbox, which expands automatically as space is needed.

Below we can how my Office 365/Exchange Online user account is split into three sections:

  1. Primary Mailbox
  2. In-Place Archive
  3. Recoverable items (topic of another conversation)

A little quick math shows that I have 270 GB of mailbox storage. And after 5 years (since 2014), I’ve only accumulated about 27 GB of email content or about 10% of total storage capacity. That is, until the In-Place Archive automatically kicks in and expands.

 


 

“Archiving in Office 365 (also called In-Place Archiving) provides users with additional mailbox storage space. After you turn on archive mailboxes, users can access and store messages in their archive mailboxes by using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web App. Users can also move or copy messages between their primary mailbox and their archive mailbox. They can also recover deleted items from the Recoverable Items folder in their archive mailbox by using the Recover Deleted Items tool.”

Last November, I answered a help-wanted email from a contractor that Microsoft hires to provide customer service for their Office 365 cloud services and software. The recruiter responded to my email and resumé with greater excitement than my own! We proceeded through a two-month-long hiring and subsequent onboarding process.
 
Right from the start, I was told that a wired internet connection was required, as well as a minimum download speed of 10 Mbps. I thought to myself, “That’s okay. I can use the Ethernet port on my mobile broadband router to run a cable directly into the Ethernet port on the computer that they would provide.” I went a step further and purchased a wireless router so that I could have a hard-wired solution for them, as well as wireless for my own personal devices.
 
And I took it yet another step further by ordering a new mobile broadband modem, one that promised greater speeds by the ability to lock onto specific cell towers. It arrived in a timely fashion and I proceeded to get it all set up. It worked, but then it didn’t – I could get slightly faster speeds, but it was an inconsistent connection.
 
During the first day of training, we were introduced to the employee manual, which stated explicitly, “mobile broadband is not acceptable”. Ugh. At first, I thought that maybe I shouldn’t mention anything. But overnight my wireless broadband internet service took a nose dive – I could barely get .10 Mbps let alone the required 10 Mbps. There was no way that I could bluff my way through such a condition. I sat down and wrote them a letter of resignation.
 
Because I was honest and upfront with them, they’ve designated my status as “Welcome to Return”, so all is not necessarily lost. But in the meantime, here I was stuck with having spent hundreds of dollars on equipment and I was still ‘dead in the water’ with almost no internet. I fiddled with settings, repositioned the device, rebooted, updated the firmware, fiddled, moved things around, added an antenna, removed the antenna…. Several days later, I now have stable, high-speed internet service! I’ve been getting 30-50 Mbps for the past 4 days straight. What a pleasure!
 
Of course, it was too late. The contractor had become aware of my unacceptable network configuration that violated our employment contract. My only direction forward was to resume my own businesses, dba Resolute IT for local work and Office 365 Tech Guy nationally. And I’m very glad to be back with renewed enthusiasm. But I was truly honored to be given the opportunity to work (indirectly) for the company that created the focus of my business – Microsoft Office 365.