Updated On - September 16, 2023 by Prakriti Malsuni |Reading Time: 6 minutes
Exchange Online is a cloud-hosted version of On-Premise Exchange Server but in general terminology, Office 365 is the word that users use interchangeably. Market trends are showing that many Office 365 users/ Exchange Online users struggle to delete Exchange Online user mailboxes. The main confusion is with the soft deletion, hard deletion, and retention policy.
Soft deletion is simply the deletion of the mailboxes by the Office 365 Admin Centre or with the cmdlet in Exchange Management Shell. Even after the deletion from the Admin Centre or Exchange Management Shell, the mailbox doesn’t delete permanently and can be found in Azure Active Directory’s recycle bin. It is termed a soft deletion. However, Microsoft Exchange Online has a retention period of 30 days, and after that period the soft deleted mailboxes get permanently deleted and this deletion is termed as the hard deletion. In this write-up, I will explain all the aspects to delete Exchange Online user mailboxes and will add a new perspective to this task.
How to Delete Exchange Online User Mailboxes?
Well, if you have decided to delete the Exchange Online user mailboxes then here are two ways to do so. Below, I have explained both of them:
Method 1: Using Windows PowerShell by running the command
- First, run the following command to the Office 365 Admin account using the Windows PowerShell Command:
$UserCredential = Get-Credential
- Now, provide the Office 365 Admin credentials and press OK.
- To create the connection, use the following given command:
$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
- Apply the below-mentioned command:
Import-PSSession $Session -DisableNameChecking
- Now the most important step is removing the Exchange Online mailbox.
Remove-Mailbox -Identity <mailbox identity>
- To delete Exchange Online user mailbox permanently, even from the Azure Active Directory Recycle bin, use the below-given command:
Remove-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName <mailbox identity> -RemoveFromRecycleBin
Method 2: From the Office 365 Admin Centre
- Firstly, log in to Office 365 and click on Admin.
- Follow the steps: Users> Active Users and make the selection for the mailbox that you want to delete.
- Finally, use the Delete user option to delete the specific mailbox. If you have to delete multiple users, then repeat the tasks one by one. Once you delete Exchange Online user mailbox it deletes from there but remains in the Azure Active Directory Recycle Bin till the retention period. The retention period is 30 days.
Why There is a Need to Delete Exchange Online User Mailboxes?
The decision to delete the Office 365 user mailbox varies from user to user as per the needs of the organization and conditions. Still, some of the common reasons are listed below:
- To lower storage and cost-cutting purposes, some organizations make decisions to delete unimportant mailboxes as well as cancel the license of that particular mailbox.
- If an employee leaves the organization, then also organization deletes the Exchange Online user mailbox.
- When an organization shifts from Exchange Online to any other platform then deleting after migration is an obvious task.
- Internal decisions by the admin can be affected by any scenario. One common scenario is acquisition.
Think Out of the Box: Backup the Mailboxes
Data plays an important role in our day-to-day life. Professional or personal emails are also an important thing for us. Hence, an email can be a jewel if in need. Hence, backup is a more genius step rather than deleting. If you want to delete Exchange Online user mailbox to reduce storage size, having a backup in local storage is a wise decision. To back up Exchange Online Mailboxes, Regain Software has developed an advanced tool boosted with an advanced algorithm. This Regain Office 365 Email Backup Tool (Regain Office 365 to PST Converter) has a lot for its users; some of its highlighted points are:
- It offers several commonly used file formats to backup mailboxes, such as PST, MSG, EML, MBOX, HTML, et cetera.
- You can easily select among User Mailboxes, Archive Mailboxes, and Public Folders/Shared Mailboxes for the backup.
- If you back up in PST file format, you can limit the size limit for the resultant PST file format.
- Along with Office 365, you can also backup Exchange Server mailboxes using this multi-purpose utility.
- Users can easily specify the desired folders while adding the mailboxes. It helps to back up only the required folders.
- Regain email backup software has a very user-friendly GUI; hence, any user without technical expertise can easily back up the Exchange Online mailboxes.
- A free trial version of this advanced tool is also available to download.
How does this utility work?
The process to backup Exchange Online mailboxes, before you delete Exchange Online User Mailboxes is very simple and straightforward:
- Firstly, download and install the Regain Office 365 Backup Tool.
- Now, connect to Office 365 by entering the login credentials.
- Make a selection for the items/folders that you want to back up. If you want a complete backup of mailboxes, then just select the mailbox.
- Here, select the file format in which you want to save/backup Exchange Online mailboxes.
- Finally, provide the destination path where your email backup will save.
- You will get a completion message once the backup process is completed.
So, just follow the above-given steps to back up the Exchange Online mailbox before you step ahead to delete the Exchange Online User Mailbox.
This blog covers all the concerns related to Exchange Online and the dilemma of deleting Exchange Online User Mailbox. I have mentioned simple manual ways to delete Exchange Online User Mailboxes and suggested backup mailboxes. The write-up explains how to back up Office 365 mailboxes effectively and efficiently. This is compatible with all Windows O.S. A free demo version is also available to download that you must install and launch to explore the tool before purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. Will my mailboxes get deleted from Exchange Online after having a backup in local storage?
A. No, your mailbox data will not be deleted if you take a backup using this professional utility. The tool will only backup a copy of your mailboxes; no changes to Exchange Online mailboxes. Your mailboxes will delete only when you delete manually, and that too after the retention period.
Q2. Can I back up my own using the Regain Office 365 email backup tool? I am not that technical.
A. This tool has a very user-friendly GUI and hence offers very simple processing. You can easily back up Exchange Online mailboxes. If you need assistance with this task, you can easily contact our technical support team. Our team is 24*7 available to help you!
Q3. Will I get the same hierarchy of folders after saving the mailboxes in the PST file format?
A. Yes, you will get the same folder hierarchy even after having a backup of Office 365 mailbox to PST file format.
Q4. How this free demo version is different from the licensed one?
A. The free demo version is just a restricted version of the licensed one/ full version. The demo version allows to processing of the 30 items per folder, while there is no such restriction with the licensed version. After getting satisfied with this professional utility’s demo version, you can easily upgrade to the full version.