Did you know that the emails you store in Microsoft 365, Exchange Online and Outlook aren’t automatically backed up and archived even though many companies are legally obliged to do so?
Read on to find out everything there is to know about professional and efficient email archiving in Microsoft 365.
Microsoft 365 has established itself as the most popular suite of productivity and collaboration solutions for businesses worldwide. According to the market research firm Osterman Research, for example, more than 80% of North American companies use Microsoft 365 for email.¹ Used in equal measure by small startups and large corporations, Microsoft Outlook, in particular, has proven itself as the leading email client.
Despite the emergence of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, email remains the preferred means of corporate communication. According to Statista, the volume of global email traffic is set to increase further in the coming years to around 392.5 billion emails in 2026.²
Trotz des Aufkommens von Kollaborations-Tools wie Microsoft Teams bleibt die E-Mail das bevorzugte Mittel für Kommunikation in Unternehmen. Laut Statista wird der E-Mail-Verkehr in den kommenden Jahren zusätzlich weiter zunehmen auf ca. 392,5 Milliarden E-Mails Im Jahr 2026.²
As email volumes increase, so do the challenges companies face in terms of email management. As well as coping with overflowing mailboxes, sluggish email systems and the need to guard against data loss, businesses must comply with all the statutory and regulatory requirements governing the retention of business-relevant documents. Because emails can contain important information such as contracts and invoices, statutory retention laws often require these documents to be held for years in a form that is tamper-proof, faithful to the original and permanently available (see compliance). And as with all files containing personal data, emails must be processed and stored in compliance with privacy legislation such as the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Microsoft provides various options for securing emails depending on the plan you choose (Business Standard, Business Premium, Enterprise). Some of these are provided free of charge as part of the basic Microsoft 365 package or the Exchange Online email service it contains, while others are included only in the more expensive Enterprise plans.
But are these archiving methods sufficient to solve the technical challenges posed by modern email archiving and help with compliance issues? The short answer is, in most cases, no.
Although Microsoft 365 does offer a number of different options for archiving emails, you should be aware of a number of inherent weaknesses and idiosyncrasies in order to protect your organization from the risks in hand.
In conclusion, Microsoft 365’s native email archiving functions often fail to provide a fully effective and secure archiving environment. The limited options can quickly give rise to a lack of data security, inefficient data management and legal risks.
MailStore Server is an independent email archiving software developed specifically with medium-sized businesses in mind. It is simple to set up, can be installed in just a few minutes, fits seamlessly into existing infrastructures, and is compatible with virtually all the usual email systems. More than 80,000 companies from a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on MailStore for their email archiving needs for years.
With MailStore Server, you not only get GDPR-compliant data storage and fast search functions, but also full control over your archived emails. Our goal is to make your email archiving more secure, more efficient, and support you with compliance.
Get started today with our free 30-day trial and see the benefits for yourself.
The Benefits of an Independent Email Archiving Solution for Microsoft 365 Users
Produced in collaboration with the market research institute Osterman Research, this white paper is aimed principally at small and mid-sized businesses who are already using Microsoft 365 or intend to do so in the near future.
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Need to migrate your emails to Microsoft 365? MailStore Server can make it happen! Learn how Indianapolis International Airport used MailStore Server to migrate from the old Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 to Microsoft 365 (formerly Microsoft Office 365).
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Best-Practice Examples for IT Admins When Using MailStore Server With Microsoft 365
Thousands of companies from a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on MailStore for their email archiving needs for years. Read here to find out what our customers experienced and the problems that were solved.
Why do I need an email archiving solution in Microsoft 365, and is backing up my emails in Microsoft 365 enough to keep them safe? You’ll find answers to these and other questions here. If you want to know more about email archiving, we recommend that you consult our free white papers and guides.
What Options Do Companies Have for Archiving Their Emails in Microsoft 365?
Microsoft provides several options for archiving emails in M365. They include the “Archive” button in Outlook, storing emails in the form of PST files, and using an archive mailbox that has to be configured separately (with or without Exchange Online Archiving). Alternatively, a professional third-party email archiving solution can be used.
Does Microsoft 365 Automatically Archive Emails?
No. Emails are not archived automatically in Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 users must take responsibility for securing their emails themselves and decide which email archiving option best meets their corporate and, potentially, legal requirements.
Do Companies Need to Archive Their Emails in Microsoft 365?
Yes. Emails containing business-critical information should be archived to protect this precious information resource and get the most out of it. Often, legal requirements apply to the retention of business-relevant emails and this makes the use of a professional email archiving solution essential.
Is It Sufficient Just to Create Backups of My Emails in Microsoft 365?
No, the purpose of a backup is to save data (e.g. emails) and systems (e.g. the email server) regularly in the short and medium term, and is primarily a means of disaster recovery. Any data produced or modified between two storage cycles will not be protected against loss and manipulation. First and foremost, the objective of any email archiving solution is to store copies of all emails including their file attachments for many years in a form that is faithful to the original, quick to find, and permanently available. This is essential in order to optimize the use of the precious information resource that is email, while complying with the legal requirements.
What Is the 3-2-1 Rule?
The 3-2-1 rule states that to ensure reliable backups, you should keep three copies of your files on two different storage media, with one of the copies separate from the primary system.
Quick and easy to use; low-maintenance and reliable – even when the going gets tough. Discover MailStore’s email archiving software solutions now.
The standard for email archiving: Developed specifically for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).
Offer your customers email archiving “as-a-service”: Run the MailStore Service Provider Edition on your own infrastructure.
 Osterman Research, 2023.
 Number of sent and received emails per day worldwide from 2017 to 2026 | Published by L. Ceci, Aug 22, 2023