This is my first foray into E2010 retention policies and I am unsure I understand it all completely.

What I am hoping to do is turn off AutoArchive for users within my organization. I suppose many of you have seen this: AA is on, it pops up, and silos a bunch of mails on the user's computer.

Over the years, I've found various ways to turn it off that have mostly worked but they're solutions that affect one install at a time or are inconsistently applied.

Now that the organization is in Exchange 2010, I wanted to know if a retention policy could work.

Our Outlook users are not all internal. Indeed, many of them are using the Exchange server via Outlook Anywhere on machines that are not joined to the domain. For this reason, I think that the Outlook Group Policy templates and settings would not work in this case. Perhaps I am wrong about that?

I should also note we have a couple of Outlook Mac users. No one is running Outlook 2003 or older.

Has anyone successfully turned off AA in any other ways?



1 Answer 1


Auto Archiving is a client feature and thus you'd need control of the clients to turn it off. With that being said, if your hope is to just store everything in the mailbox instead of an archive, you'd be better off disabling the ones you can via group policy and sending a notice to all as to why they no longer need to auto-archive.

Assuming you're trying to purge data, and not let them archive, like i said, that will be tough for unmanaged clients.

Edit 1:

I stand by my original post but have some more info to add. First, i think this is more of a policy issue than a technical one so to speak. I realize of course that policy enforcement is easier said than done. Second, as i stated manage the ones you can and notify the ones you can't.

Now for some other ideas, you could put in some protective measures since i don't know of any preventive measures.

  1. If you're running exchange 2010, you can extend the time of the recycle bin. Just be mindful this will grow your store. http://www.simple-talk.com/sysadmin/exchange/single-item-recovery/
  2. Actually archiving everything could help as well, something like a Symantec e vault, Depending on which solution you use, this could also help to reduce the size of your mail store.
  • 1
    I don't believe that GP will work in this case because some clients are unmanaged. By "unmanaged" I mean they're on their own workstation that is not domain joined. My guess is that GP would NOT apply in their cases. The end-goal here is to make sure users can't delete data from their mailbox store. Thanks!
    – tcv
    Mar 22, 2012 at 14:09
  • see my edit above Mar 22, 2012 at 23:39

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