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    Tech Tip: What to Do When You Are Near Capacity on Your Office 365 Mailbox

    What to Do When You Are Near Capacity on Your Office 365 Mailbox

    With Office 365, each licensed user receives a 50 GB mailbox. In most cases a mailbox that size will allow a typical user to work for years without ever having to worry about reaching capacity. But in some rare cases, a user may receive so many daily emails that they encroach upon that limit faster than most. This can begin to create complications with their ability to work, especially if they are using the Outlook client instead of OWA. The client-based version of Outlook uses cache mode (unless disabled) which means that an .OST file is created on their machine that contains all cached data. The larger this .OST file becomes, the more unstable it becomes. This results in unexpected errors with the Outlook client. This is very similar to the 2 GB requested limit imposed upon .PST files back with Outlook 2003.

    So, what can you do if this occurs? Well honestly, not much. Your options boil down to the following:

    • Clean up unneeded mail
    • Setup Mailbox Archiving

    Clean up Unneeded Mail

    There is no special technique to this, it sounds exactly as it is. You will need to comb through your emails and determine what needs to be saved, and what can be removed.

    Setup Office 365 Mailbox Archiving

    Microsoft offers unlimited archiving for mailboxes that require it. This can be added by purchasing an E3 license or an Exchange Online Archiving license. Once that license is added, an administrator will need to log into the EAC (Exchange Admin Center) and enable in-place archiving on that users account. The can be done under Recipients and Mailboxes. Click the user and on the right-hand side click Enable under In-Place Archiving.

    Office 365 mailbox

    Office 365 mailbox

    If you would prefer to enable it via PowerShell, this can be done with the following command:

    Enable-Mailbox “Anne Wallace” -Archive

    If you need to enable archiving for all mailboxes in your organization, this can be done with the following command:

    Get-Mailbox -Filter {ArchiveStatus -Eq “None” -AND RecipientTypeDetails -eq “UserMailbox”} | Enable-Mailbox -Archive

    Once enabled the user will see a new folder in OWA or their Outlook client called Archive. From there they can begin moving mail manually to the archive, or the administrator can create a retention policy to start moving mail based off certain criteria, such as date. Microsoft provides a comprehensive overview of how to perform this at the following link:


    With mail now being archived properly this will remove the concern of filling up your Office 365 mailbox. This will also lessen the burden placed on your local .OST file if you are using Outlook client.

    If you have any questions or would like more information, please call 877-788-1617 or email [email protected].

    Ready to get started? Contact us today to learn more.