Enable or Disable an Archive Mailbox in Exchange Online Account

Anurag | November 14th, 2017 | Exchange Online, User Management

The archiving of mailboxes is allowed in MS Office 365 so that users get additional mailbox storage space. This option is called In-Place Archiving. The archive mailbox also acts as an alternate storage location to store old data. Enable or Disable an Archive Mailbox in Exchange Online Account can be implemented via Powershell command or through EAC (Exchange Admin Centre) By default, the email in-place archive is disabled for all mailboxes. The user can enable it and use it to store messages. The email in-place archive can be accessed by the user with the help of Outlook Web App and Outlook. These applications help the user to view the messages quickly in the archive mailbox. Also, MS Office allows the users for easy move/copy of messages between the primary mailbox and archive mailbox.

Some Points Regarding the Email In-Place Archive

Before proceeding further, it is for the user’s knowledge that some points regarding the email in-place archive be cleared, as follows:

  • Every Exchange Online plan can have an in-place email archive.
    The email in-place archive is disabled by default for all the users. Hence, an administrator must enable it for it to be accessed.
  • The contents of the email in-place archive are stored in the cloud. As in the Inbox, they are not synced to the local disk.
  • Only Outlook version of the Professional Plus product has the email in-place archive visible. They may be present in other versions of Outlook, but it will not be displayed. Hence it important to learn how to enable or disable an archive mailbox in Exchange Online Server.

Manual Methods to Enable Archive Mailboxes

There are some manual ways, which one can use for free without paying a penny to sort things out. Sure they do a good amount of technical intelligence, so for those endowed with such capabilities, such methods can prove a boon to enable archive mailbox in Office 365
Let’s start:

Method 1: Using Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

  1. The user has to login to the Office 365 Admin Portal.
  2. In the lower left corner of the window, select exchange to log into the Exchange Admin Center at //outlook.office365.com/ecp/
  3. Select Recipients -> Mailboxes
  4. The mailbox which you intend to enable in the in-place email archive is to be selected.

    Note: Multiple inboxes can be selected to perform bulk archiving. The user has to use Shift + Cntr keys to select multiple mailboxes. Click the More options in the detail pane and then click Enable under In-Place Archive.

  5. In the right-hand panel, select Enable under the In-place Archive heading
  6. You get a window asking ‘Are you sure you want to enable the archive?’ Select Yes.
  7. After some time, a new folder appears in Outlook Web and is named as In-Place Archive- or is visible in Outlook desktop as Online Archive- <name>.
  8. The archive is ready and the users can drag and drop items into the archive folder.

    Note: Under the in-place archive, the administrators can see an option View Details. The details of the mailbox will be provided when this option is selected. This option may vary depending on the subscribed Exchange Online Plan.


Method 2: Using PowerShell

The other method to enable archive mailbox in Office 365 account is through Powershell command.

  • The user has to connect the Exchange Online using Windows PowerShell. Use the enable-mailbox command to enable the archive for a particular mailbox-
    • Enable-Mailbox –Identity user@domain.com –Archive
  • To enable an archive for all user mailboxes, use the following command:
    • Get-Mailbox –Filter {ArchiveStatus –Eq “None” –AND RecipientTypeDetails –eq “UserMailbox”} | Enable-Mailbox –Archive

Manual Methods to Disable Archive Mailbox Office 365

Method 1: Using Exchange Admin Center (EAC)

  1. Sign in to the Office 365 account and click Admin.
  2. In the lower left navigation pane, click Admin Centers -> Exchange.
  3. In the Exchange Admin Center (EAC), go to Recipients -> Mailboxes
  4. Select the mailbox that you want to disable. You can select multiple mailboxes also to disable archive mailbox office 365
  5. In the right-side details pane, click Disable which is placed under the In-Place Archive

Method 2: Using Windows PowerShell Command

The way to disable archive mailbox in Office 365 account is as follow

  • To disable an archive use the following PowerShell command-
    • Disable-Mailbox –Identity user@domain.com –Archive

Disadvantages of Manual Methods

The manual methods are time-consuming and lengthy process whereas the user has to have the technical expertise to execute the commands. The question “How to enable archive mailbox in Office 365 using PowerShell” still remains the question. In nutshell, the manual way to enable or disable an archive mailbox in Exchange Online server is difficult to interpret so it’s better to automate the process through some tool.

Third-party Tools

One of the best-automated approach to enable or disable an archive mailbox in Exchange Online is Office 365 Restore. It is a sure-shot and error-free method to allow or disallow the mailboxes to get archive without the contents getting corrupted or the data being lost. The utility is safe and secure to use. Moreover, there is no size limitation imposed on Outlook PST files to import in Office 365 account.


This blog deals with both the manual and the automated approach to enable or disable an archive mailbox in exchange online. The manual method that helps to archive Office 365 mailboxes is very typical to understand. It’s better to use the automated way to archive mailbox in Office 365.