Use your Online Archive Mailbox with an Outlook Quick Step

Are you using your Online Archive? If not, this tip will help you quickly move items to your archive. But first, a short overview of the Exchange Online Archive.

Microsoft Exchange Online plans include an online archive to store all that email you want to keep, but don’t want sitting in your Inbox.

Exchange Plan 1

This plan includes an In-place archive. An In-place archive makes use of your total mailbox storage, now 50GB. As items are added to the in-place archive, the available Inbox storage is reduced.


Exchange Plan 2

This plan includes an archive mailbox in addition to your Inbox. Items added to the archive are moved from your Inbox to an entirely separate archive mailbox.


Some people like to manage their Inbox like a traditional In-tray. Once they have read and processed the email, they move it to either a sub-folder or delete the message. But they fear that they might still need the deleted message in the future. These people never empty their Deleted Items.

Deleted Items is an Archive to them.

The online archive included with Exchange Online Plans offers an alternative to using Deleted Items as an archive. But it’s not immediately apparent how to move items to the online archive. Sure, if you have the online archive in view in your folder list, dragging-and-dropping works.
But the reason Deleted-Items-Archivers “archive” the way they do is because they only have to push one key on the keyboard – Delete.

Outlook Quick Steps and your Online Archive

I hadn’t used Quick Steps up until now, but they are very useful for the purpose of shifting messages to the online archive. If you’re online archive has been enabled by your IT administrator, follow the steps below.

  1. In Outlook, Home tab > Quick Steps section, choose the arrow to expand
    the menu.
  2. New Quick Step > Move to Folder
  3. Choose Other Folder
  4. Choose the Online Archive mailbox. Create a new folder within the Online Archive.
  5. Name the folder and choose OK. I recommend appending the name with Archive or something similar to easily identify it in the Quick Step and differentiate from the Inbox folder in your mailbox.
  6. Select the newly created folder (e.g. Processed – Archive) and choose OK
  7. Click on Options
  8. Assign a Shortcut key from the drop-down menu. The shortcut key will be used in place of pressing the Delete key. The new shortcut key will move your item to the new folder in the Online Archive
  9. In Tooltip text, add a short description of what the Quick Task will do. The
    Tooltip will appear when you hover over your new Quick Task with your mouse
  10. To use the Quick Task, select the message or messages you want to move the folder in your Online Archive. Either use the Shortcut keys you assigned
    (CTRL+Shift+…) or choose the Quick Task from the Ribbon menu.

Using Quick Tasks and your Online Archive together means Deleted-Items-Archivers (and
everybody else), can make better use of their Online Archive.

IT Administrators

Refer to this link to enable the Online Archive mailbox. This article includes examples of PowerShell commands to bulk enable the Archive mailbox.
Enable an Archive mailbox –

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