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How to Create an Archive Mailbox in Exchange Server 2010

In Exchange Server 2010 an archive mailbox is a second mailbox provisioned for a user that is separate to their primary user mailbox.

To enable a personal archive mailbox for a user use the Enable Archive wizard in the Exchange Management Console.

Run the Enable Archive Wizard in Exchange Server 2010
Run the Enable Archive Wizard in Exchange Server 2010

The wizard can choose a database for the archive mailbox automatically, or one can be specified.  You can also use Microsoft Online Services (Hosted Exchange) to host the archive mailbox.

Choose a Location for the Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox
Choose a Location for the Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox

When the operation is complete the user attributes are updated to include the location of the archive mailbox.

Exchange Server 2010 user mailbox with Archiving enabled
Exchange Server 2010 user mailbox with Archiving enabled

You can also enable the archive mailbox using the Exchange Management Shell.

The archive mailbox settings can also be displayed using the Exchange Management Shell.

In Outlook 2010 the an archive-enabled mailbox user can access to the archive mailbox.

Exchange Server 2010 archive mailbox in Outlook 2010
Exchange Server 2010 archive mailbox in Outlook 2010

For users without Outlook 2010 they can also access the archive mailbox in Outlook Web App.

Exchange Server 2010 archive mailbox in Outlook Web App
Exchange Server 2010 archive mailbox in Outlook Web App
Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.
Category: Exchange Server


  1. Yair Wellner says:

    I’m sorry but… unless I install VISIO I can not see the archive in outlook (2010 or 2007)
    I can, however see the archive in OWA regardless of VISIO installation

    any idea???

    • Hi Yair, sorry I’ve never encountered that problem. Archiving has just worked for me without Visio installed. I’m surprised that is the solution. Perhaps installing Visio triggers the install of a particular Office component that archiving needs. Have you tried doing a full install of Office first before you resort to installing Visio?

      • Yair Wellner says:

        Sure, more than that I had Office 2007 and Visio 2007 installed on PC with WinXP Pro and no problems with the Archive folder. I replaced the PC with Win7 Pro 32 and Office 2010 BUT NO VISIO and no Archive folder.

  2. Dave says:

    You can only see the archive mail in Outlook if it is a Volume license Version not OEM, you need to check OWA to see the Archive items if OEM.


  3. Johnny says:

    Might be a late post, but i have office professional 2013 with exchange 2010 Sp1 and the user cannot see the Online Archive at all. Am i missing something or have they not included this with office pro?. Or do i need to update exchange to SP2 || Sp3?

  4. KJ says:

    It’s a permissions problem. It will appear in Outlook 2010/2013 if you remove ‘SELF’ from the list of users with Full Access Permissions, then re-assign the SELF user with full access permissions. Bizarre, but works every time!

  5. Dennis says:


    weird issue with one user’s online archive. It is definitely enabled but not populating. I even set a retention policy of just 6 months and then tell it to archive but nothing shows up. I confirmed that the user has mail older than 2 years. What might be the issue?
    Thanks so much!


      • Venkat says:


        I do have encountered a similar situation. When ever I try to enable an Archive mailbox for a Shared mailbox, the Archive mailbox doesn’t show up on the outlook for the users who already have the shared mailbox added to their Outlook before enabling the Archive?

        Usually re-invoking the permissions work s , in one scenario, adding the Full permission with Auto mapping enabled works?..How is it related?

        Also Can you tell me how to access online Archive of shared mailbox in OWA 2010?

        We are running with Exchange 2010 SP2 RU2 and Outlook 2010 Pro Plus.

  6. Will says:

    We created a archived database for a user but now we need to go back to what his mailbox was before we created the archive. Can you tell me the process please?


  7. Manish R Patel says:

    Hi Paul,

    We have Exchange 2013 with online archive mailboxes and policy “Archive 30 days old Mails from Primary Mailbox to Archive Mailbox “. But for few users this policy is not working and auto archiving not happening. Even after running Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity for these users.
    Let me know is there any logs that will help to analyse and resolve issue.

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Jorge says:

    To have this option I need Enterprise CAL with service or Without service?, I want to use a local archive and also online OWA

  9. techtrends says:


    Online archiving is not working for all our users, Error shown is below;

    [[The action couldn’t be completed. Please try again]]

    MS Exchange 2010 SP2
    Windows Server 2008

  10. Jason says:

    This will only work if you have Office Pro Plus or a standalone version of Outlook – https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Outlook-license-requirements-for-Exchange-features-46b6b7c5-c3ca-43e5-8424-1e2807917c99

    Pro Plus is only available through volume licencing, so for very small businesses (2-10 people), this is next to impossible to implement.

    You also require exchange enterprise CAL’s, even for SBS2011 installations, which again cannot be readily purchased through Microsoft. Microsoft could not even provide pricing on these as they do not appear in their price list and referred me to a partner, though I haven’t pursued this any further as it’s a dead duck without Pro Plus.

    Back to PST’s.

  11. Rajesh Ramlakhan says:

    Has anyone got the archive to appear in the new Outlook App? We recently starting using the app, only to notice that the online archive only appear in the OWA but not the new Microsoft App. Test in both platforms iOS and Android

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