How to search and delete messages in Office 365 Dedicated/ITAR (vNext)


In Microsoft Office 365 Dedicated/ITAR, there are several scenarios that may require an administrator to remove specific email messages from mailboxes. These include the following:

  • If sensitive information is accidentally emailed to a large group of users
  • If messages that contain malware or spam are spreading through the environment
  • If mail is sent to many recipients, and replies or forwards of the message cause some delay in normal mail delivery

    Note This process is also known as a message purge.

More Information

This section outlines the permissions that are required and the process to recover deleted items for Legacy Dedicated and vNext customers.

Permissions required

Legacy Dedicated

Refer to the applicable self-service guide at Office 365 Dedicated Release Collateral.


To complete this task, the Discovery Management role group is required.

A screenshot of Exchange admin center page, showing Discovery Management

For more information about permissions in vNext to perform self-service tasks, see the following TechNet articles:

Process steps

Legacy Dedicated and vNext

The process steps are the same for both legacy Dedicated and vNext customers. To preview a log of the messages that are found in the search before they're deleted, run the Search-Mailbox cmdlet by using the /LogOnly switch.

For more information, see Search and delete messages.


Article ID: 3140334 - Last Review: Apr 5, 2016 - Revision: 1