Place all mailboxes on hold

Your organization may require all mailbox data to be preserved for a specific period. You can use Litigation Hold or In-Place Hold to meet this requirement. After you place a mailbox on Litigation Hold or In-Place Hold, mailbox items that are modified or that are permanently deleted are preserved in the Recoverable Items folder for the duration specified by the hold. 


Place all mailboxes on Litigation Hold

You can easily and quickly place all mailboxes on hold indefinitely or for a specified hold duration using the Exchange Management Shell. This command places all mailboxes on hold with a hold duration of 2555 days (approximately 7 years).
Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited -Filter {RecipientTypeDetails -eq "UserMailbox"} | Set-Mailbox -LitigationHoldEnabled $true -LitigationHoldDuration 2555
The example uses the Get-Mailbox cmdlet and a recipient filter to retrieve all user mailboxes in the organization, and then pipes the list of mailboxes to the Set-Mailbox cmdlet to enable the Litigation Hold and specify a hold duration. For more information, see Place a mailbox on Litigation Hold.

Place all mailboxes on In-Place Hold

You can use the EAC to select up to 500 mailboxes and place them on hold. For details, see Create or remove an In-Place Hold.
To place more than 500 users on In-Place Hold, use the Exchange Management Shell. See New-MailboxSearch.

More information

  • When you place all mailboxes in your organization on hold, only the mailboxes that exist at the time you run the command are placed on hold. If you create new mailboxes later, run the command again to place them on hold. If you frequently create new mailboxes, you can run the command as a scheduled task as frequently as required.
  • Placing mailboxes on hold preserves data by preventing items in the Recoverable Items folder from being deleted until the specified hold duration for an item expires. If a hold is configured to hold items indefinitely, items won't be purged from a mailbox. Also, when a mailbox is on hold the original version of a message is saved before it’s modified. Combine Litigation Hold or In-Place Hold with a Retention Policy, which can automatically delete messages (and move them into the Recoverable Items folder) after a specified period, to meet your organization’s email retention requirements. See Retention tags and retention policies for details.
  • The Exchange Management Shell command used in this topic to place a Litigation Hold on all mailboxes uses a recipient filter that returns all user mailboxes. You can use other recipient properties to return a list of specific mailboxes that you can then pipe to the Set-Mailbox cmdlet to place a Litigation Hold on those mailboxes.
    Here are some examples of using the Get-Mailbox and Get-Recipient cmdlets to return a subset of mailboxes based on common user or mailbox properties. These examples assume that relevant mailbox properties (such as CustomAttributeN or Department) have been populated.
    Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter 'CustomAttribute15 -eq "OneYearLitigationHold"'
    Get-Recipient -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter 'Department -eq "HR"'
    Get-Recipient -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter 'PostalCode -eq "98052"'
    Get-Recipient -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter 'StateOrProvince -eq "WA"'
    Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited -Filter {RecipientTypeDetails -ne "DiscoveryMailbox"}
    You can use other user mailbox properties in a filter to include or exclude mailboxes. For details, see Filterable properties for the -Filter parameter.

              Litigation Hold- the entire mailbox is held for a period of time
              In-place Hold- key words drive the hold

              Default limit is 100gigs- this can be adjusted with an archive mailbox-
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About Tom DeMeulenaere

Highly accomplished information technology professional with extensive knowledge in System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Server, SharePoint, and Office 365.
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