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Using Custom Managed Folders in Exchange 2010 SP1

As many people may already know Managed Folders in Exchange 2010 SP1 have been removed from the GUI and now need to be managed via PowerShell, as stated here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998911.aspx. While they are still supported, the process to create them and assign a Managed Folder Policy is a little confusing, which I found out testing for a customer recently. In this particular situation it would be much easier to manage the users Inbox via custom retention policies and have the users classify their email, however an upgrade to Outlook 2010 or using strictly Outlook Web App was not an option and we needed a way for users to keep email in a Custom Managed Folder outside of a 30 day retention policy which was going to be set on the Inbox.

The first thing you need to do if you don’t already have Managed Folders in your environment from an Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 upgrade is to either create new folders or upgrade the existing Managed Folders. Upgrading them is a simple process that can be performed form the Exchange Management Console. For our example we will create a Custom Managed Folder called “PointBridge” for all of our users to move email to that they want to keep up to 90 days.

New-ManagedFolder -Name “PointBridge Folder” -FolderName “PointBridge Folder” –DefaultFolderType ManagedCustomFolder

Once the folder has been created it we must now set the retention on the folder. In this example we will set a retention policy for any items moved to the PointBridge folder to be sent to the Deleted Items folder after 90 days. Below is the PowerShell command for this:

New-ManagedContentSettings -FolderName “PointBridge” -MessageClass * -Name PointBridgeContentSettings -RetentionEnabled $true -RetentionAction MoveToDeletedItems -AgeLimitForRetention “90″

Now that we have both created our Custom Managed Folder and assigned a retention policy to the folder we have to create the actual Managed Folder policy and assign it to the user’s mailbox. Below are the commands to create the policy and to assign it to a mailbox:

New-ManagedFolderMailboxPolicy -Name “PointBridge Managed Folders” -ManagedFolderLinks “PointBridge Folder”

Get-Mailbox -identity EX10Test2 | set-mailbox -ManagedFolderMailboxPolicy “PointBridge Managed Folders”

The one thing about the Managed Folder Policies that threw me off at first, is they do not display as a property of a user’s mailbox from within the Exchange Management Console nor can they be set when creating a new user account. You can only view the set policy from PowerShell by issuing a get-mailbox command and set them for new mailboxes via PowerShell.

It appears that the direction from Microsoft going forward is going to be Retention Policies and the Archive Mailbox with Custom Managed Folders being removed from the GUI with Exchange 2010 SP1. For any customers who may already have Custom Managed Folders and are still running Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007, and are thinking about upgrading to Exchange 2010, this is definitely one area that will need properly planning up front to ensure a smooth upgrade as there are many factors to consider such as on-going management, licensing considerations as well as which Outlook clients are in use in the environment. A few things to keep in mind when looking at Custom Managed Folders with Exchange 2010 SP1, first they require the Exchange Enterprise CAL, and second and more importantly Custom Managed Folder Policies cannot be used with Archive Mailboxes! If you try to create an Archive Database for a user with Custom Managed Folders you will receive an error message both within the Exchange Management Console and within Exchange Management Shell stating they are not both supported on a mailbox.

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2 thoughts on “Using Custom Managed Folders in Exchange 2010 SP1

  1. Trent Weiler Post author

    Have you tried running the Set-ManagedFolder command and changing the FolderName parameter? The FolderName parameter specifies what the user sees in their Outlook client.

    Example: Set-ManagedFolder -Identity MyFolder -FolderName NewFolderName

  2. Ed Dorminy

    Is there a way to re-name existing Managed Folders that have been created and linked to a MF policy

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