litigation hold – recoverable items quota

As an office 365 admin, you need to watch for many things to keep it running smoothly for your organization.

One such thing is recoverable items Quota which can become huge over time because of retention and litigation/in-place hold policies set by your company.

I am not going thru the licensing required for litigation hold and other services mentioned in this article.

By default recoverable item quota is limited to 30 GB but if the mailbox is put on litigation/in-place hold, it is increased to 100 GB.

What will happen if this 100 GB quota is reached ?

  • Users will get errors and they will not be able to delete the items.
  • there will be issues with audit activity as well as that can not be saved.
  • litigation hold process itself gets impacted as versions can not be maintained.
  • Managed folder items is also not able to work on that mailbox.

What is the proactive solution that you can implement ?

We have implemented this for one of our impacted customer who is utilizing litigation hold/in-place hold for years worth of data.

  • Enable Archive for the mailboxes.
  • Enable auto-expanding for archives.
  • Enable retention-tag that will move recoverable items from primary mailbox to archive mailbox.

This will provide unlimited storage for recoverable items.

Note: Minimum Exchange Online P2 license is required for these features.

  1. Enable Archive for the mailboxes

This we have scripted for all the E3 and above users for the customer.

For hybrid organization, below is the command.

Enable-remotemailbox -identity “mailbox” -Archive

      2. Enable auto-expanding for archives

This you can do at organization level or you can do it at mailbox level.

Individual mailbox level command:

Enable-Mailbox “mailbox” -AutoExpandingArchive

to check you can use the command: Get-Mailbox “mailbox” | FL AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled

Organizational level command:

Set-OrganizationConfig -AutoExpandingArchive

to check you can use the command: Get-OrganizationConfig | FL AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled

     3. Enable retention-tag that will move recoverable items from primary mailbox to archive mailbox

Create a retention tag for recoverable items movement to archive based on age, we have chosen 30 days as deleted items retention set for mailboxes for our customer is 30 days.

If deleted items retention is 15 days or other number for your organization mailboxes then use that limit as age for this tag so that recoverable items remain in primary mailbox till that time.

New-RetentionPolicyTag -Name “Recoverable Items 30 days Move Recoverable items” -Type RecoverableItems -AgeLimitForRetention 30 -RetentionAction MoveToArchive

ADD this tag to the existing retention policy applied to the mailboxes or you can separate out the retention policy for particular mailboxes where you want to implement this procedure.


Ones you will follow this process, you will never face the trouble with recoverable items quota.


Thanks for reading..

Tech Wizard



2 thoughts on “litigation hold – recoverable items quota

  1. In that case enable archive, Auto-expanding, and a retention policy should be enough to retain all mails including the deleted mails.

    there is no need to enable litigation hold on mailbox if the above said retention policy is enabled. Please correct me if i am wrong

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