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Old emails not moved to archive

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I migrated a bunch of old email over to Office 365 recently. Even though I set the archive policy on a bunch of old emails in my Sent Mail folder to "1 day archive" they don't appear to be moving into the archive. Likewise there are tons of emails in my Deleted Items folder that have Expired but are still there. So in general it doesn't seem like the online archiving/deleting feature is working. Here are some more specifics:

 

I believe my mailbox is Archive enabled because I can see an "Archive" mailbox when I use the Outlook web client. I can also navigate into the archive using Outlook 2010 and manually drag stuff around in there.

 

After I moved all my old emails over to Office 365, I suspected that the expiration dates on those emails would be based on when they were last touched/modified by me rather than by the dates they were originally received/sent. So to force archive to happen soon I created a new Personal retention tag called "Move To Archive Immediately". I set the retention period to 1 day after which it should move to the archive. I then applied this retention flag to tons of old emails in my Sent Mail folder. I waited weeks for something to happen. And now, when I right click on any of those old emails and choose Assign Policy I can see that the archive policy is 1 day. And yet these emails still appear in my Sent Mail folder.

 

When I right click on my Deleted Items folder, I can see the Folder Policy says "Deleted Items (60 days)." According to the online configuration I can see that this policy is supposed to cause these items to be held for 60 days after which they are "Delete (Temporarily Recoverable)". The Online Archive policy for this folder is "Use Parent Folder". When I browse the old email in my Deleted Items folder I can see many emails where the expiration date is long past. I don't understand why these emails are still visible in my Deleted Items folder.

 

I saw in another post somewhere that online archiving only happens if the mailbox is bigger than 10mb. I have far more than 10mb of data.

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  • Hi Jmagaram,

    Based on the current situation, I would suggest you run the Managed Folder Assistant for testing or troubleshooting a retention policy or retention tag settings.

    the Managed Folder Assistant tries to process every mailbox in your cloud-based organization once every seven days. If you change a retention tag or apply a different retention policy to a mailbox, you can wait until the Managed Folder Assist processes the mailbox, or you can run the Start-ManagedFolderAssistant cmdlet to start the Managed Folder Assistant to process a specific mailbox. 

    The following command runs the Managed Folder Assistant for a specific mailbox:
    Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity <name of the mailbox>
    For more information about it, please refer to the link below:
    help.outlook.com/.../gg271153.aspx

    For Retention Policy ,you can refer to this link:
    Set Up and Manage Retention Policies in Exchange Online  
    Learn More About Retention Policies and Archive Policies

    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan
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  • I just ran the managed folder assistant on my mailbox using the powershell command Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity <myemailaddress>. The command appeared to succeed - no error message. But just to make sure it was really finding my mailbox I ran the same command but typed in an incorrect email address and got an error message. No emails were moved to my archive. I still have messages in my Deleted Items folder that are marked as expired. And I've still got emails in the Sent Items folder with a 1-day archive policy.

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  • Hi jmagaram,

    First please check that if Archive feature has been enabled
    http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/ms.exch.ecp.enablearchivemailbox.aspx

    Please make sure that the retention policy you created is right. I suggest you delete it and recreate a new retention policy.
    For Retention Policy ,you can refer to the below link:
    Set Up and Manage Retention Policies in Exchange Online  
     
    After doing so, please run the Managed Folder Assistant with Remote PowerShell to see if any improment.
    Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity <name of the mailbox>

    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan


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  • Hi jmagaram, 

    Did the above reply answer your question?
    If you need more assistant, please feel free to let me know.

    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan

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  • Your first comment was "please check that if Archive feature has been enabled". If you look at my very first post you will see that yes, the archive is enabled. I followed your additional steps and yes, the archive is enabled. And of course I can browse my archive from within OWA. I don't see the point in "make sure that the retention policy you created is right." I just examined my outlook data in OWA - rather than in Outlook - and here is what I see.

    DELETED ITEMS

    I can browse the emails from most recent to oldest and see that in the "will expire in x days" status, the value of x decreases as the date gets older. For example, an email dated 7/11 shows that it will expire in 24 days. And email dated 7/10 shows it will expire in 23 days. This is consistent with the 60 day retention policy I have set up on the Deleted Items folder and which I can see when I right-click on Deleted Items and view its properties. Strangely, though, email on 6/15 and 6/14 shows it will expire in 0 ZERO days. I'm not sure why these still exist. Maybe the managed folder assistant hasn't gotten to them yet? Most older email shows it will expire in 4 days. Maybe these are emails I migrated over. I suppose I can wait 4 or 5 days to see if this all gets sorted out. For the record, the Deleted Items folder shows a retention policy of 2 months and archive policy of "use folder policy".

    SENT ITEMS

    When I right-click on the Sent Items folder I see that retention is "use folder" and the archive policy is 1 year. Most of my email was migrated over and isn't technically older than 1 year according to the managed-folder-assistant, I think. But a couple months ago I did manually adjust the archive policy on a bunch of old email. When I right-click on these old emails I see a retention policy of "use folder" and an archive policy of "Move to Archive Immediately (1 Day)". In OWA I verified the settings for this archive flag. The Retention Action is "Move to Archive" and the retention period is "When the items reaches the following age (in days): 1". I don't understand why these haven't been archived yet. Maybe the managed-folder-assistant can't handle a retention period as short as 1 day?

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  • Hi jmagaram,
     
    Thank for your detailed explanation.
     
    According to you description, I understand that you have migrated some user's mailbox to Office 365, and you applied some new retention tags to the folders such as Deleted Items, Send Items of the migrated mailbox, after this, the emails existed before the migration cannot be archived with the new retention policy. If there is any misunderstanding, please feel free to post.
     
    If I understand correctly, then this issue is normal as it is impossible to force the existed emails also follow the new applied retention policy. Only the emails received after the Retention policy applied can be moved or archive as the policy specified. Given this situation, we can manually move the old emails to the Archive Mailbxo by dragging them through Oultook client.
     
    If there are any unclear, please feel free to let me know.
     
    Thanks,
    Jolin Qiao
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  • Yes, most of the old email was imported. I find it very strange, however, that I can manually set and view an archive policy for these emails, and that Outlook shows me some messages as "expired", and yet it is ignored. Are you sure the archive tags only work on newly received email? If yes, is there any official Exchange or Technet documentation on it? I found a few instances on the web of people having a different experience.

    forums.msexchange.org/.../tm.htm

    social.technet.microsoft.com/.../37ded1c8-971e-4f4e-9553-f5f61f96cf53

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  • Hi jmagaram,

    Based on my experience, the retention policy is based on the date that the message was received.

    Based on your description, the issue occurs may be because the retention policy runs automatically one time every 7 days for mailboxes that are larger than 10MB. However, the retention policy does not automatically run for mailboxes that are smaller than 10MB or within 7 days’ work cycle.

    You can try to the following steps to resolve the issue:

    1. Connect Widows PowerShell to cloud-based service.

    2. Manually run Start-ManageFolderAssistant –Identity<mailbox> cmdlet to force Managed Folder Assistant to process the specific mailbox.

    There is an article about Satrt-ManageFolderAssistant : technet.microsoft.com/.../aa998864.aspx

    Thanks,

    Anna Shi

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  • Hi jmagaram,

    Did the above reply answer your question?

    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan
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  • No. This question has not been answered: "Yes, most of the old email was imported. I find it very strange, however, that I can manually set and view an archive policy for these emails, and that Outlook shows me some messages as expired, and yet it is ignored. Are you sure the archive tags only work on newly received email? If yes, is there any official Exchange or Technet documentation on it?"

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  • Hi jmagaram,

    I've tested it. Old emails can be moved to archive folder after we apply the retention policy for them. But please note that the retention policy runs automatically one time every 7 days.So it’s impossible to let the emails be moved to archive folder every day. You need to manually run StartManageFolderAssistant –Identity<mailbox> cmdlet to force Managed Folder Assistant to process the specific mailbox.

    For details, please refer to the steps below.

    1.Create retention tag in exchange online control panel (ECP).


    2.   outlook web access (OWA) -> options ->See all options


    3. Apply archive policy to one folder.


    4. run StartManageFolderAssistant –Identity <yourmailbox> 

    Use Windows PowerShell in Exchange Online

    http://help.outlook.com/en-us/140/cc546278.aspx

    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan


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  • Hi jmagaram,

    Did the above reply answer your question?


    Thanks,
    Aaron Yuan 

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  • No. In my first post I wrote "I waited weeks for something to happen". So that 7 day issue shouldn't matter. And in my second post I wrote that I tried the managed folder assistant and it still didn't work. So email I imported is not getting archived even though there is a 1-day archive policy. If it is really true that imported email can not be archived, I'd like to see some technet or other documentation to this effect. But it sounds like you were able to get imported email to archive, if that is what you mean by "old email".

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  • Hi Jmagaram,

    Based on my understanding, yes, the emails imported can be archived, the retention policy age start to calculate when the day the emails imported, because when an email was imported, the email will be re-create. Other emails the retention policy age calculates by the date the email was received.
    For more detailed information about how retention age is calculated, please refer to the link below:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb430780.aspx

    Thanks,
    Eric Sun

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