Changes to Shared Mailboxes in Exchange Online

As many of you know, we’ve done numerous Cloud Migration projects and have strong experience with Office 365 as well as Exchange Online. We have always advised our clients not to take “free” Shared Mailboxes for granted. With recent Microsoft’s enforcement on how to provision and use shared mailboxes it’s a time to reevaluate the current usage of the Office 365 mailboxes.

According to the official documentation, Microsoft allows its customers to create and use shared mailboxes in Exchange Online for up to 50GB for free. During our projects we’ve seen many use cases when shared mailbox concept was heavily abused by customers and those mailboxes contained data larger than 50GB. Yes, Microsoft allowed this despite their official documentation. Now, starting the end of July, any larger size mailbox (over 50GB) needs a license to be assigned.

Based on the recent announcements, Microsoft is going to enforce default size of free 50GB and any data over will require at least an Exchange Online Plan 2 license. We hope we don’t need to explain that any mailbox without assigned license (if mailbox requires license) will eventually be deleted.

Don’t take this risk! If your business is currently working with free shared mailboxes with over 50GB, we can help you with assessments of your infrastructure and provide the recommendations how to address the current challenge.

Just for your references, here is the key summary of Microsoft Exchange Team announcement:

  • Formerly created unlicensed shared mailboxes with a default size of 100GB will not automatically be switched to 50GB. (Certain exceptions may apply.)
  • Switch will happened when a license on the mailbox is changed.
  • The 100GB status for that mailbox will be irreversibly lost.
  • To prevent the lost of your data, you will need to assign at least an Exchange Online Plan 2 license.

For the detailed information on how the default size change will effect existing mailboxes, please read instructions by the Microsoft Exchange Team.

If you have any question, or require assistance adjusting Share Mailbox provisioning and sizing, please feel free to contact us.

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