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How to use recipient policies to control mailboxes in Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003

This article was previously published under Q319188
SUMMARY
You can use recipient policies to control e-mail address settings and to manage mailboxes. This step-by-step article describes how to use the recipient policies feature of Mailbox Manager to automatically process the contents of users' mailboxes. Recipient policies come with preconfigurable options, including e-mail notification and automatic deletion of unwanted messages.

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Requirements

The following list outlines the recommended hardware, software, network infrastructure, and service packs that you must have:

Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
  • Active Directory
  • Exchange Server 2000 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Note The Mailbox Manager feature is available only after you apply Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later for Exchange 2000 Server.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 3 (SP3)
  • Active Directory
  • Exchange Server 2003
  • Exchange Server 2000 with Service Pack 1 (SP1)
This article assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:
  • Exchange System Manager
  • Recipient Update Service
  • The mailbox sizes that your users require to perform their jobs
Note For more information about how to use the Recipient Update Service in Exchange 2000, see the REFERENCES section.

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A description of the Mailbox Manager recipient policy functionality

Mailbox management recipient policies are a set of configurable rules that run on a schedule and that evaluate the mailboxes on the local server. The policy uses rules to filter all the recipient objects and to selectively apply mailbox management settings to messages in folders that go past the limit of the predefined rules.

The mailbox management process detects folders in a mailbox that contain messages larger than a certain size. If a message remains in a folder after a predefined time has passed (by default, 30 days), a number of predefined actions can be taken, including the following:
  • Generate a report only and send the report to the mailbox owner.
  • Move the message to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Move the message to System Cleanup folders.
  • Delete the message immediately.
Note Use caution when you use the Delete the message immediately option, because users may have to recover their messages.

If you use recipient policies, it is easy to apply or revise the rules. You do not have to reconfigure settings individually on each object. You can also change recipient policy priority levels to change the way that multiple policies are adjusted.

Note There is no default recipient policy for mailbox management (unlike the e-mail recipient policies). However, you can add the required property page to the default recipient policy if you want to create a mailbox management policy that applies to all recipients.

Policies are applied according to the schedule that you set up on each server. This prevents mailbox management from running on all servers in the organization at the same time. However, you can force a manual update if you want a recipient policy to apply immediately.

Note Like e-mail recipient policies, the highest priority recipient policy that applies to an Exchange Server object is the effective policy. Lower priority policies are no longer evaluated after a match has been made.

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Use recipient policies for mailbox management

When you use mailbox management recipient policies, you can configure a filter rule that specifies the subset of messaging-enabled objects that the recipient policy applies to. The recipient policy is then applied to objects that match the filter conditions.

This is useful when you have a subset of users who have different storage requirements. For example, there may be a technical author in your organization who regularly sends out very large attachments that must be stored. You can use a less restrictive mailbox management policy for this user.

Note You can configure mailbox storage limits to obtain a similar result. However, make sure that you note the following differences between mailbox storage limits and mailbox management recipient policies:
  • Mailbox storage limits limit the total size of the mailbox.
  • Mailbox management recipient policies limit messages over a certain size.
For more information about how to configure storage limits, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319583 How to configure storage limits on mailboxes in Exchange 2000
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Create a mailbox management recipient policy

Note Before you create a new recipient mailbox management policy, you must determine the following:
  • What limits you want the policy to enforce.
  • What group you want the policy to control.
  • How you want the policy to handle messages that go past policy limits.
The following procedure configures a mailbox limit for users in the accounts department of a test environment.

To create a mailbox management recipient policy, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. In the left pane of Exchange System Manager, expand the Recipients object, right-click Recipient Policies, point to New, and then click Recipient Policy.

    The New Policy dialog box appears.
  3. Click to select the Mailbox Manager Settings check box, and then click OK.

    Note If you do not see the option for Mailbox Manager Settings, reapply the Exchange service pack. It may not have been correctly applied.
  4. The Properties dialog box appears. Type a name for the recipient policy in the Name box.

    Note We recommend that you use a descriptive name, such as "Accounts Department Mailbox Settings."
  5. Click Modify.

    The Find Exchange Recipients dialog box appears.
  6. Click the General tab. In this example, mailbox management settings apply only to accounts that have an Exchange mailbox. Therefore, click to clear the Users with external e-mail addresses check box, the Groups check box, the Contacts check box, and the Public Folders check box to exclude these groups from the recipient policy.
  7. Click the Storage tab to configure mailbox management recipient policies that are specific to a particular Exchange 2000 computer. Then, do one of the following:
    • Click Mailboxes on this server, and then click Browse. The Select Exchange Server list box appears. Select the server that you want to use, and then click OK.
    • Click Mailboxes in this mailbox store, click Browse to search for a store, and then click OK.
  8. Click the Advanced tab, and then click Field. You can now select any of the following options:
    • User
    • Contact
    • Group
    • Public Folder
  9. For this example, click User, and then click Department to select Department in the field value.
  10. Under Condition, click any of the following:
    • Starts with
    • Ends with
    • Is (exactly)
    • Is not
    • Present
    • Not present
  11. If you click Starts with, Ends with, Is (exactly), or Is not as your condition, type a value in the Value field. For example, click Is (exactly), and then type Accounts to find all employees who work for the accounts department.
  12. Click Add to add the condition to the list.

    Note You can add additional conditions, but remember that all conditions must be true for a match to be displayed.
  13. After you have finished adding conditions, click Find Now.

    Any matches to the conditions are displayed in the new list that appears in the Find Exchange Recipients dialog box.
  14. If the list displays the correct users for this recipient policy, click OK. If not, revise the search conditions until your search displays the correct users for this recipient policy.
  15. Click OK. You receive the following message:
    When a recipient policy filter changes it does not mean that proxy addresses for recipients who may no longer be under the control of the policy will be automatically re-evaluated. For these recipients to receive proxies from the new policies that they belong to, use 'Apply this policy now' on the policies that now affect these recipients.
    This message does not affect mailbox management recipient policies. Click OK.
  16. Under Filter rules, the LDAP filter statement shows the current filter rule. Click the Mailbox Manager Settings (Policy) tab.

    Note If the Mailbox Manager Settings (Policy) tab is not available after you apply Exchange 2000 Server SP1, right-click the recipient policy, click Change Property Pages, and then click to select the Mailbox Manager Settings check box.
  17. Under When processing a mailbox, click one of the following options for handling messages that go past the policy limits:
    • Generate report only
    • Move items to Deleted Items folder
    • Move to System Cleanup folder
    • Delete immediately

      Note Use caution when you use the Delete the message immediately option on folders, because users may have to recover their messages.
  18. In the list of folders, select the folder that you want to configure, and then click Edit.
  19. In the Folder Retention Settings dialog box, type an age limit when you want the selected processing action to occur, specify a size limit for the messages that you want the action to apply to, and then click OK.

    For example, if you type 90 and 2048, all messages that are older than 90 days and over 2 megabytes (MB) are processed.
  20. Repeat steps 18 and 19 for each folder in the list that you want to configure.
  21. Click Send notification mail to users after processing if you want to send users an e-mail message notifying them when their mailboxes have been processed. Click Message to edit the notification message.
  22. Click the Insert the number of messages processed check box if you want a summary of the number of oversize messages processed. Click OK to return to the Properties dialog box.
  23. If you want to exclude certain message classes (for example, to prevent the processing task reports), click the Exclude specific message classes box, and then click Customize. The Message Classes dialog box appears. Type a message class in the Exclude Message Classes field. For example, type IPM.Task, and then click Add. Add all the classes you want to exclude.

    Message class types include:
    • Calendar IPM.Appointment
    • Contacts IPM.Contact
    • Inbox IPM.Note
    • Journal IPM.Activity
    • Notes IPM.StickyNote
    • Tasks IPM.Task
    • Meeting Requests IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Request
    For a full list of message classes, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa262246(office.10).aspx
  24. After you have finished adding message classes, click OK to return to the Properties dialog box.
  25. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.

    The new mailbox management recipient policy is displayed in the right pane in Exchange System Manager.
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Configure mailbox management at the server level

To schedule the day and time when a policy will run, change the settings at a server level. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. In the left pane of Exchange System Manager, expand the Servers object.
  3. Right-click the computer that you want to configure, and then click Properties.

    The Servername Properties dialog box appears.
  4. Click the Mailbox Management tab to display the current settings.
  5. Under Start mailbox management process, do one of the following:
    • Click the drop-down list to select a time for the mailbox management to run.
    • Click Customize, click a day in the left column, and then click a time on the top row. After you select the times that you want, click OK.
  6. Click Reporting to select the type of report (either a detailed report or a summary) to create when mailboxes are processed. You must also select a recipient to receive the reports. Click Browse, select a recipient, and then click OK.

    Note You cannot send reports to distribution lists.
  7. Click OK to accept the mailbox management settings.
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Manually run mailbox management

To run mailbox management immediately, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. In the left pane of Exchange System Manager, expand the Servers object.
  3. Right-click the computer that you want to process, and then click Start Mailbox Management Process.

    Mailbox management starts after a short delay, depending on the current resource utilization on that computer.
Note Avoid using the mailbox management process when the system is busy, because this may affect server performance.

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Confirm that your new mailbox management policy works correctly

To confirm that your new mailbox management policy works, follow these steps:
  1. Create a test Exchange user account.
  2. Configure the filter rule so that the recipient policy applies only to the test account.
  3. Import old and large messages to the test account.
  4. Run the mailbox management process manually from the server.
If your new mailbox management policy works, messages are moved according to the policy settings, and you receive the notification message as configured in the policy.

Note Mailbox Manager does not process mailboxes in the priority order that the mailbox management recipient policies are applied. When Mailbox Manager runs, it iterates through all the private stores on the server, and then iterates through all the mailboxes in each store. Each mailbox is cleaned based on the recipient policy that is applied to the user object for that mailbox in the Active Directory directory service by the Recipient Update Service. The order or priority of the recipient policies does not affect the order that the mailboxes are processed

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Troubleshooting

The most common errors that occur when you use recipient policies to control mailboxes occur because of incorrectly configured filters. For example, if you configure Mailbox Manager to send detailed reports or summary reports to the administrator's mailbox after mailbox management is complete, when you start the mailbox cleanup process manually or the mailbox cleanup process starts according to its schedule, an administrative report may not be generated. Confirm that the filters are configured correctly by following the steps in the Create a mailbox management recipient policy section. Make sure that the filter produces the expected results when you click Find Now in the Find Exchange Recipients dialog box.

Another common issue occurs when policies do not apply as you expect. This can be caused by overlapping policies. Only one mailbox recipient policy can be applied to each user. If you have more than one recipient policy applied to a user, make sure that the recipient policy membership does not overlap. If two mailbox recipient policies are applied to the same user, the priority of the recipient policies determines which recipient policy is used.

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MORE INFORMATION

How to use one Mailbox Manager recipient policy to move items to the Deleted Items folder and then to delete the items

Problem description

In Exchange 2000 and in Exchange 2003, a customer wanted to use one Mailbox Manager recipient policy to move items to the Deleted Items folder after 30 days. Additionally, the customer wanted a second Mailbox Manager recipient policy to delete the items from the Deleted Items folder after five days. By design, only the highest priority recipient policy is applied. Therefore, if two recipient policies are created, only the first recipient policy is evaluated.

Solution

In Exchange System Manager, create one Mailbox Manager recipient policy to perform both actions. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Specify the action to "move items to the Deleted Items folder" from any specified folders. This forces the items to be moved to the Deleted Items folder.
  2. In the same policy, set the Age Limit for the Deleted Items folder. This forces Mailbox Manager to delete the items that have reached the age limit that is specified for the Deleted Items folder.
This behavior occurs because the items that are moved to the Deleted Items folder cannot be moved to another folder. Instead, the items are deleted.
REFERENCES
For more information about configuring recipient policies in Exchange 2000, see the Exchange 2000 Server Resource Kit and Exchange 2000 Server Help. For more information about how to use recipient policies to control e-mail addresses in Exchange 2000 Server, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319201 How to use recipient policies to control e-mail addresses in Exchange 2000
For more information about how to configure storage limits, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319583 How to configure storage limits on mailboxes in Exchange 2000
For more information about Exchange 2000 Mailbox Manager, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302804 Message age limit properties that are used by Mailbox Manager in Exchange Server 2003 and in Exchange 2000 Server
288115 How to exclude mailboxes from the Mailbox Manager process
For more information about how to use the Recipient Update Service in Exchange 2000, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
319065 How to work with the Exchange Recipient Update Service
319204 How to use custom attributes to organize recipients in Exchange 2000
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Properties

Article ID: 319188 - Last Review: 10/25/2007 17:23:22 - Revision: 8.4

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • kbhowtomaster KB319188
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