Best Practices for Office 365 Mailbox Management

Himanshu Goyal Himanshu Goyal Updated On - 24 Oct 2019

Office 365 or Exchange Online have become a crucial part for most organizations, and soon almost every business might be relying on it for better services. But, as your business grows, the number of employees increases, and consequently the number of Office 365 mailboxes. In that case, it becomes important to manage Office 365 mailboxes with more efficiency. But, is it really that easy to manage the mailboxes?

Here, we discuss the best practices to manage Office 365 mailboxes.

Things to know before you begin

Exchange mailbox management involves everything related to successful administration and maintenance of mailboxes without any issues. Considering the vastness of the topic, here we are discussing the basics only.

Sometimes administrators need to make changes and set additional properties for user mailboxes. This can be done using the PowerShell or Admin Center. But, you should either be Global Admin, or you must have permissions to perform this procedure or procedures. You can check out the Mailbox Permissions to know about the authorities.

Now, let’s move to how to basics of user mailbox management.

Changing Mailbox Properties from Admin Center

To change the mailbox properties, you need to go to the Exchange Admin Center, and then follow the below steps:

  1. In EAC, go to Recipients > Mailboxes
  2. Go to the list of user mailboxes, select the mailbox for which you want to change the properties, and then click Edit.
  3. Here, you can change the user mailbox properties from General settings to Email Address to Mailbox Delegation.

Below is a short description of every property that you can modify for the user mailbox.

  • General
    The General section can be used to view and change basic information about the user, such as User Name, Display Name, Alias, User ID, Hide from Address Lists, and Custom Attributes.
  • Mailbox Usage
    The Mailbox Usage section can be used to view or change the mailbox storage quota and deleted item retention settings for the mailbox. You can customize settings for Last logon and Mailbox usage.
  • Contact Information
    The Contact Information section is used to view or change the user’s contact information. This information will be displayed in the address book. You can also look for additional boxes by clicking More Options.
  • Organization
    The Organization section can be used to record detailed information about the user’s role in the organization. The following sections that you can modify in the organization part include User’s Title, Department, Company, Manager, and Direct reports.
  • Email Address
    The Email Address section can be utilized to alter the email addresses associated with the user mailbox, which includes primary SMTP address and proxy address.
  • Mailbox features
    The Mailbox features section allow you to modify the following settings – Sharing policy, Role assignment policy, Retention policy, Address book policy, Mobile devices, Outlook on the web, IMAP, POP3, MAPI, Litigation hold, Archiving, Delivery options, Message Size restrictions, and Message Delivery restrictions.
  • Mailbox Delegation
    In the Mailbox Delegation section, you can assign permissions to other users so that they can sign in to another user’s mailbox. The following permissions that you can assign are Send As, Send on behalf Of, and Full Access. You just need to click the Add button and select the appropriate permission that you want to assign.

Changing User Mailbox Properties with Exchange Online PowerShell

If you want to manage user mailboxes via Exchange Online PowerShell, then you can do that easily with the help of Get-Mailbox and Set-Mailbox cmdlets. The most significant advantage of using Exchange PowerShell is that you can modify the properties of multiple mailboxes at once.

Editing User Mailboxes in Bulk

If you want to change settings for multiple user mailboxes, then using the Exchange Admin Center, you can carry it out quickly. The following properties that can be modified for bulk users in EAC are as follows:

Contact Information, Organization, Custom Attributes, Mailbox Quota, Email Connectivity, Archive, Retention Policy, Sharing Policy, Move Mailboxes to another database, and Delegate permissions.

Now, follow the below steps to bulk edit user mailboxes:

  1. Go to Exchange Admin Center and navigate to Recipients > Mailboxes.
  2. Select two or more mailboxes in the list and go to the Details Pane.
  3. In the Details pane, select the mailbox properties or feature that you want to edit under the Bulk Edit section.
  4. Make the ideal changes as per requirements and then save the changes.

That’s how you can edit the settings of multiple user mailboxes.

Now, to verify that the changes are applied to the mailboxes, do the following things:

  • Go to EAC and select each of the mailboxes that you bulk edited, and then click Edit to check the properties that you modified.
  • You can check the same in Exchange Online PowerShell by using the Get-Mailbox cmdlet. The advantage of using Exchange Online PowerShell is that it allows you to view multiple properties of multiple mailboxes. Have a look at the below cmdlet that can be used to verify whether retention policy applied to a mailbox or not.
    Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq ‘UserMailbox’)} | Format-List Name,ArchiveDatabase,RetentionPolicy

Similarly, you can verify the modified settings of other Office 365 mailboxes.

Well, managing Office 365 mailboxes using EAC or Exchange Online PowerShell is a bit complicated, as you have to verify every time whether the changes are applied or not. Similarly, backing up Office 365 mailboxes is more complicated than managing them, as the manual methods to backup Office 365 mailboxes are too difficult to understand. So, we recommend you use Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore utility to ease the process of Office 365 mailboxes backup.

Wrap Up

Efficiently managing Office 365 mailboxes crucial, as things keep changing in organizations. So, modification in your Office 365 mailboxes is required sometimes. We have tried to explain how you can modify your Office 365 mailbox properties from EAC or Exchange Online PowerShell. Also, we have talked about Office 365 Backup & Restore tool that is a simple solution to back up Office 365 mailboxes.