Exchange Online Inactive User - Delayed/Cancelled

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Please note, this recent announcement from Microsoft relating to changes to Exchange Online Inactive Mailboxes and shared mailboxes has been delayed and/or cancelled until further notice. (as of 03.10.17)

For further information regarding this, please speak to your Bytes Account Manager or call 01372 418500 alternatively email tellmemore@bytes.co.uk


Office 365 makes it possible for you to retain the contents of deleted mailboxes. This feature is called inactive mailboxes. Inactive mailboxes allow you to retain former employees’ email after they leave the organisation. A mailbox becomes inactive when a Litigation Hold or an Office 365 retention policy (created in the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center) is applied to the mailbox before the corresponding Office 365 user account is deleted.

The contents of an inactive mailbox are retained for the duration of the hold that was placed on the mailbox before it was made inactive. This allows administrators, compliance officers, and records managers to use Content Search in the Security & Compliance Center to search and export the contents of an inactive mailbox. Inactive mailboxes can't receive email and aren't displayed in your organisation's shared address book or other lists.

Up until now it was possible to assign an Exchange Online Plan 2 license to a mail box so that a Litigation Hold or an Office 365 retention policy can be applied, once Exchange Online mailbox is deleted the licence assigned to it became available meaning that it could then be assigned to another user.

What is changing

From 1st October ‘Inactive Users’ are now required to have an appropriate license (Exchange Online Inactive User).

How does this impact existing customers?

Existing customers do not need to take any action until their renewal. At renewal this policy applies.

How does this impact new customers?

Customer’s purchasing or renewing after 1st October 2017 should licence Exchange Online Inactive User for inactive mailboxes and no longer need licenses for Shared & Group mailboxes for compliance features.


Want to keep informed? Sign up to our Newsletter

Get a quote...

Email instead Call us