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 –

Wipe your stolen/lost Mobile Device in 5 easy steps

We all have mobile devices which we use to read our mails, documents and other sensitive stuff…

What to do when you’re precious device is lost or even stolen or you just fired somebody and want to wipe their device before the leave with sensitive data …

When you are not an admin

  1. Open your mailbox by clicking on outlook
  2. Open the Gear Wheel and go to options
  3. Click on Phone
  4. Select your Mobile device
  5. Click Wipe

When you are an admin and you

  1. Open your exchange admin
  2. Select the Recipient you want to wipe the mobile devices of
  3. On the right side and scroll to to mobile devices and click on look View Details
  4. Select the Mobile devices one by one
  5. Click Wipe

Admin’s can also choose to block instead of wipe.

Exchange Online Mail Protection Reports

Aside from the great reporting options available directly within the Office 365 portal, there is also an Excel add-in that allows administrators to download information directly in to Excel for data manipulation.  Obviously once the data is in Excel, then all of the various options with Office also exist, such as exporting to Word, PowerPoint, etc. and choosing which charts are appropriate for different organizations.


The Mail Protection Report is a separate MSI file, so it needs to be installed separately from Excel. Download it here


After downloading the file, a Setup wizard will be started (with Excel 2013 and .NET Framework 4.5 as pre-requisites):



Whether using Exchange Online or simply using Exchange Online Protection for your on-premises e-mail solution, the reports work the same:






Once finished, you can now open Mail Protection Reports from your Desktop (don’t try to find it simply by opening Excel 2013 – it’s not there).


Install the customization, after which Excel 2013 will open.  From here, select Query to get the admin authentication prompt and then choose your time interval:

MPR-11 MPR-12

You can see that the spreadsheet is blank until authentication is provided.  After entering the username and password, you will see the reports downloading:

MPR-13 MPR-14 MPR-15

Once all the information is imported, you can now navigate between the available tabs within Excel to view available data.  Different traffic types can be selected individually or collectively, and the data available based upon the time interval you selected have the same options (dragging the mouse even works for selecting multiple dates).


All of the standard Excel capabilities are available, as well, so edit and manipulate the data as needed, and then export to the proper reports or save as spreadsheet.

Small Business – Sorry, we can’t make changes to email aliases right now. Please try again later

SmallBus_AddingAliasesErrorIf you are creating a new user in a Small Business portal, there may sometimes be delays in provisioning the mailbox. This won’t be visible from the admin portal. If you immediately try to add an email alias, you will receive the message “Sorry, we can’t make changes to email aliases right now. Please try again later.”

You are receiving this message because there is no mailbox to add the alias to, even though there is an account created.

Allow some time for the mailbox to be provisioned for the new user, approx. 1-2 hours.

If you want more visibility to see if the mailbox has been provisioned yet, log into using an admin account for your Small Business tenant.

Look in Mailboxes for your new user’s email address.  If it’s not present, either wait for a few more hours or contact Office 365 Support for assistance.

Exchange Online: Global Address List Segregation

Sometimes people want seperate Address Lists, when you are merging several companies or divisions in one, when you want certain people not to see other person their address list, … Typical example of what I get a lot is different Address Lists for Students, Alumni & Staff members in Higher Education.

A few interesting things to know:

  • the ABP features are only available to customers with Office 365 for Enterprise (‘E’ plans) and Education (‘A’ plans).
  • this feature to allows you to create custom additional Address Lists (ALs), Global Address Lists (GALs), Offline Address Books (OABs), as well as ABPs within your tenant. So even if you don’t use ABPs, you can add additional custom Address Lists to your tenant if you so choose.
  • there is a limit to the number of ABPs and OABs you can create by default. The default for Office 365 for Enterprise customers is to allow 10 GALs, 10 OABs, 10 ABPs and 40 ALs.

Let’s do one for Students

First we create a Resource List for the Students

New-AddressList -name “AL_Students_Resources” -RecipientFilter {(((RecipientDisplayType -eq ‘ConferenceRoomMailbox’) -or (RecipientDisplayType -eq ‘SyncedConferenceRoomMailbox’)) -and (CustomAttribute1 -eq “Student”))} -DisplayName “Student Room List”

Second we create an Address List for the Students

New-AddressList -name “AL_Students” -RecipientFilter {(RecipientType -eq ‘UserMailbox’) -and (CustomAttribute1 -eq “Student”)} –DisplayName “Student Address List”

Third we create an Address List for the Students

New-GlobalAddressList -name “GAL_Students” -RecipientFilter {(CustomAttribute1 -eq “Student”)}

Fourth we create an Offline Address Book for Students

New-OfflineAddressBook -name “OAB_Students” -AddressLists “GAL_Students”

When we’ve created all these list we need an Address Book Policy

New-AddressBookPolicy -name “ABP_Students” -AddressLists “AL_Students” -OfflineAddressBook “\OAB_Students” -GlobalAddressList “\GAL_Students” -RoomList “\AL_Students_Resources”


Assign the ABP to the Students:

Get-Mailbox -resultsize unlimited | where {$_.CustomAttribute1 -eq “Student”} | Set-Mailbox -AddressBookPolicy “ABP_Students”

When you do the final test, you’ll see that mailboxes that have Student as the value of the CustomAttribute1, will only see students.

OWA Offline Mode

For organizations wishing to put greater emphasis on OWA use for their employees, network connectivity has always been a concern.  “How can I read my email if the Internet is down and I only have OWA?  I need Outlook for Cached Mode.”  That is no longer true with Exchange Online.  OWA can now be put in to Offline Mode, allowing for the Inbox, Drafts and 5 other folders to be accessible even in the event of a network outage.  Offline Mode can be enabled for any user by clicking through the following setup:

1. Click Offline settings in the user settings

2. Turn on offline access and then move through the 4-step setup/verification by clicking OK


3. Step 1 is verification of that other users can see your email if they access a computer storing your offline files


4. Step 2 is information on how to handle browser requests for more storage


5. Step 3 is a “tip of the day” on how to easily access OWA in an offline state


6. Step 4 is a final confirmation


If you then go back in to your Offline settings, you’ll also find the option to dictate which 5 folders are synched alongside your Inbox and Drafts.  By default, the 5 most recently used folders will be synchronized, but you have the ability to customize this view:



And that’s it!  OWA could potentially replace Outlook as a full-featured tool many years ago, but now it can also withstand a network outage.

Exchange Online: Manage OWA Access to users

Sometimes the company policies restricts external access to content and OWA is not a less, so if you need to restrict access to users here’s the commands you can run in PowerShell to enable/disable access:

Disable OWA Access

set-CASmailbox -OWAEnabled $false

Enable OWA Access

set-CASmailbox -OWAEnabled $true