Fixed Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

Hi everyone this is Prem, I have worked as Microsoft 365 support ambassador. In this blog I will share how to fix Emails not moving in Online Archive issue in Office 365.

For Emails to move into the Archive, we will have to check couple of settings and the configuration of the account having the issue to make sure it is correct.

We will first make sure if the archive is enabled for the users or not.

Check the Archive Status of the Mailbox:

To check the archive status to the user, go to Exchange admin center:

Click on Recipients tab and then click on Mailboxes tab:

exchange admin center

This will show you all the mailboxes in your Office 365, including User mailbox and Shared mailbox.

Search for the account which is having the issue with emails not moving to archive:

Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

If the account has Active Under Archive status column, then it means that the archive is Enabled, we can move to the next check. 

If you want to know how to enable Archiving, you can refer this ARTICLE.

For the user, they can check their Archive mailbox in their Outlook, they should see Online Archive – in Outlook desktop or In-Place Archive -username in Outlook on the web:

Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

If you have recently enabled Archive for a mailbox, then it could take 1 hour to show up in their Outlook.

We have to also confirm what retention policy is applied to the mailbox, if the user has default policy that means 2 years old emails should be moved to the archive mailbox by the archive policy.

Check the Retention Policy applied on the Mailbox:

To check the policy, go back to the same page in Exchange admin center: 

Search for the mailbox and click on its name :

Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

Then click on Mailbox tab and scroll down to the bottom and look for Retention policy:

Office 365


If you see Default MRM policy is applied there, that mean emails older than 2 years in the user’s mailbox should be moved to the archive, you can confirm if the user have emails older than 2 years.


If you want to create Retention policy for emails less than 2 years old to be moved to archive, refer this ARTICLE.

You can ask the affected user to filter the emails from oldest in their mailbox and see if the emails are older than 2 years from the current date.

Check the oldest email in the affected Mailbox:

To filter the emails they can go to Outlook on the web and then click on the folder which has the most emails in it, click on Filter > Sort > Oldest on top:

Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

Do keep in mind that the email age is calculated from current date and not from current year.

If you want, you can check the user’s emails by yourself, being an admin you can do so using Delegation.

After you have confirmed that the archive is enabled for the user account from the exchange admin center and the retention policy is set as per the need, check the below steps.

Steps to fix email not moving to archive issue:

We will need help of Windows PowerShell to perform the command, the PowerShell has to be first connected to Exchange Online and then it will allow us to execute the command.

To connect to Exchange Online please refer this ARTICLE.

Once connected, we will run the following command to force initiate emails movement from Primary mailbox to secondary mailbox (Archive):

Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity

Where, is the email address of the user whose email we want to move to archive.

For Example, my affected user account is

Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365

Run the above Start-ManageFolderAssistant command couple of times to make sure it has informed the server.

If you get error or specific error that the archive is offline then run the command again couple of times after 15-20 minutes.

The emails should start to move from Primary mailbox to Archive mailbox at least after 2 hours or Max 24 hours you should see the emails in the archive mailbox.

If after 24 hours the emails are still not moving to the archive then login into the affected user mailbox using Outlook on the web or open the mailbox using Delegation and then manually move couple of emails from the primary mailbox to the archive mailbox and run the PowerShell command again.


Check the below section if archiving was working earlier for a mailbox but is Not working now:
  • Create a new Retention Policy:

If you already have emails in the Archive mailbox and new emails are not moving to the archive, then you can try to create a new Retention policy with a new Retention tag and apply it to the affected mailbox.

Once applied, run the Start-ManagedFolderAssistant command again.

  • Check the Space in the Primary mailbox:

Make sure that the primary mailbox of the affected user has couple of GB free space available for it to move the emails to the archive.

If the primary mailbox is 100 percent full, then the emails does not get move to the archive, you will have to manually free some space in the primary mailbox.

To check the space in the primary mailbox from the exchange admin center, click on Recipients > Mailboxes and then click on the User’s name, Scroll down under General tab:

archive size mailbox size

To free up space, you can permanently delete some emails form the primary mailbox or manually move them to the archive mailbox using Outlook or Outlook on the web.

To move emails to the archive form Outlook on the web, select the emails at once and then click on Move > Select the In-place Archive and then it will ask for the folder in your archive to move emails to:

archive size mailbox size

  • Check the Space in Archive mailbox:

Do make sure that the archive mailbox is not full by going into the exchange admin center and click on Affected mailbox > Click on Others tab and then click on Manage mailbox archive option:

archive size mailbox size

Under Archive usage, you will see the current percentage of the emails storage used of the archive:

archive size mailbox size


If you archive mailbox is full and if you have exchange online plan 2, you can enable Auto expanding archive.


If you are currently on Exchange online plan 1 license, then you can simply Upgrade to Exchange online plan 2 License to get more storage of the archive and primary mailbox.


Auto expanding archive can be turned on only if you have Exchange online plan 2 assigned to the mailbox.


To turn on Auto expanding archive, you will have to connect the PowerShell to the Exchange Online and then run the below command:


Enable-Mailbox -AutoExpandingArchive

auto expanding archive


Note: There are few limitation of Auto expanding Archive, to check please refer Official Microsoft Article for the same.



In this way we Fixed Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365, do let us know if you have any question.

Date: 3/08/2022

Author: Prem

Tags: Fixed Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 3

3 thoughts on “Fixed Emails not moving into Online Archive Issue in Office 365”

  1. Baguette Helpdesk

    Hey, french pal here!

    Thanks for this article mate!
    I tried that, I’m actually waiting for old mails to transfer to the online archive. (Set archiving on 1 year)

    I’m monitoring the “Manage Mailbox Archiving” Menu in “Other” on the user mailbox, I hope this will work, this mailbox is close be full. (ExchangeOnline Plan2).

  2. Pingback: Office 365 Archiving Setup, Troubleshooting and Backup - The Admin 365

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