Messages moved / deleted by auto-archive are not synchronized to exchange

spfautsch

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
I'm posting this in the Exchange Admin forum but it could just as easily fit in the Outlook forum. Mods please feel free to move if deemed appropriate.

Long time Outlook user and sysadmin here. Managed a few Exchange servers back in the mid 90s but have been away from it for 20+ years after taking a position with a company using sendmail and then postfix. As the company slowly migrated users from Eudora to Outlook I've gleaned a wealth of knowledge lurking this forum, but have never had cause to ask a question until now. I've recently been tasked with migrating our company to Exchange server, and have spent the last few weeks developing a plan.

Paramount in the long-range plan is management of the mailbox storage and implementing some more or less automated methods to keep the storage as well as backup requirements from snowballing out of control.

Having researched the options available I decided to try auto-archive on the client side with Outlook in cached mode. Unfortunately I'm finding this plan is falling short presumably due to sub-folder nesting. To test I set an archive rule on some folders where I regularly store logs from our firewalls. These folders are nested under my mailbox thusly:

Code:
mailbox root
   inbox
   sent items
   deleted items
   parent folder
      target folder1
      subject folder
         target folder 2
   etc.
After rebuilding the local .oft cache repeatedly by deleting and allowing Outlook to re-create it, I'm never quite able to get these folders to synchronize. Looking at the folders in owa the messages that have been deleted by auto-archive remain on the exchange server, while similarly moved or deleted items from sent items and deleted items seem to synchronize without issue.

Wondering if anyone has ideas. As mentioned I've tried rebuilding the offline cache by both deleting the entire .oft file and by using the 'clear offline items' button. I also see nothing in my Sync Issues folder. Additionally, the 'dont permanently delete ... until after backup' option is NOT enabled on the mailbox database, but just to be safe I re-synced the folders manually after the nightly backup. I'm stumped.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Did the folders finish updating after the archive ran? Messages are moved client side immediately but the changes need to sync back to the server. Depending on how much you archived, it can take a while for the changes to fully sync.

Oh, and the last modified date is important... by default, it uses that, not the received date.
 

spfautsch

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Yes I've been waiting until I see the folders in question show as being synched to a time after the archive finishes (running it manually from 'clean up old items').

Oddly, after re-creating the .oft several times I'm seeing new stuff in my inbox getting out of sync also - primarily things being moved by rules. I don't recall seeing anything like this before setting the cache depth to 'all messages' which I found was necessary because archive seems to only be aware of local message stores.

I'd applied that registry fix several days ago (use received date instead of last modified).
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Autoarchive does only work on the local store - it doesn't go up to the server to grab mail. If mail in some folders doesn't need kept you can set a retention policy on the folder so older mail is automatically deleted. This works good on Deleted Items and Junk mail. I use it on some shared mailboxes I use for automated mail that doesn't need to be kept long.

Add the last modified field ot the view and see if it's after the date the items are to be archived... and set the reg key so it uses the received date.
 

spfautsch

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
If mail in some folders doesn't need kept you can set a retention policy on the folder so older mail is automatically deleted. This works good on Deleted Items and Junk mail.
That works for deleting messages but we have users that would if allowed to, keep everything, forever. Having the ability to use archive to move this type of data to a local .pst store seems a good compromise.

I've seen an online archive mentioned also. Maybe I'm too "old school" but I really don't see the point of one.

Add the last modified field ot the view and see if it's after the date the items are to be archived...
The messages are being treated appropriately in the local store - I have them set to delete permanently and they are being deleted by received date.

I'm thinking I might try deleting + recreating my outlook profile. Something seems to be broken - messages being deleted manually from my inbox are synching but not messages being moved automatically by rules. I didn't notice this previously when using the default 1-year cache depth from initial account setup.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
>> I've seen an online archive mentioned also. Maybe I'm too "old school" but I really don't see the point of one.
It's a collector of garbage so you can access it from anywhere. :) Archive PST are the same but can only be accessed from the local computer.

I have an online archive mailbox - while it has some important mail in it, it also has a lot of crap (ads and newsletters) I didn't delete. I use office 365 and have a 100Gb mailbox and a 100 GB online archive... it makes me lazy and i don't delete as much stuff as I should.

I'm thinking I might try deleting + recreating my outlook profile. Something seems to be broken - messages being deleted manually from my inbox are synching but not messages being moved automatically by rules. I didn't notice this previously when using the default 1-year cache depth from initial account setup.
They definitely should be moved.
 

spfautsch

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
I have an online archive mailbox - while it has some important mail in it, it also has a lot of crap ... I use office 365 and have a 100Gb mailbox and a 100 GB online archive... it makes me lazy and i don't delete as much stuff as I should.
This is the one perk to SaaS - unlimited storage for the stuff you shouldn't even be getting to start with. <lighthearted sarcasm intended> The powers that be here are trying to move away from having to pay for shared calendar services and such by hosting our own Exchange box. The downside is to keep up with it we'll have to add a terabyte per year, per snapshot to our offsite backup storage strategy.

After several different experiments I'm baffled on this one. The messages being moved from the inbox by the rule still aren't being synched to the server. I've deleted my outlook profile and re-created, and even tried fresh on a machine with Office 2013 on it. I even tried deleting and re-creating the rule. Yet a test rule acting on a message sent from my gmail account seems to work.

I'm sure that these were getting sycnhed correctly with the default 1-year local cache depth. But the way that works I think will cause more confusion for users than it's worth.

These are kind of the things that make me want to drive to Redmond and plant my foot up the backside of some twenty-something coder.
 

spfautsch

New Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2019 32-bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Oh, and the last modified date is important... by default, it uses that, not the received date.
Sorry to ask another off-topic question here, but does anyone know if this registry setting (ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime) takes effect on the Deleted Items folder?

I'm seeing stuff in my deleted folder not being removed, and the only explanation is that it's ignoring the aforementioned setting and using last modified for the deleted folder. Ironically, they're messages that were deleted from other folders by archive rules that did honor the received date instead.

I found that one of my folder sync issues seems to have been caused by the number of messages in the folder. I suspect there's an issue with the synch engine that is looking at message timestamps or something else. After manually deleting the messages from the server that should have been deleted by folder synchronization, the folder is now staying in synch after an auto-archive.

The rules issue where moved messages weren't being synched seems to be a non-issue if I create server side rules. This kinda sucks however, because there's such a discrepancy between what server rules you can create (and subsequently import) from outlook, and what can be created through OWA. Adding the 'Mark as read' action for example immediately causes the rule to change to client only, but the action is clearly supported on the server b/c OWA allows it.
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Sorry to ask another off-topic question here, but does anyone know if this registry setting (ArchiveIgnoreLastModifiedTime) takes effect on the Deleted Items folder?
i never really paid attention it to, but it should apply to the deleted folder. Provided the folder is set to be autoarchived. i'll test it.
 
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