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Exchange auditing reports in Exchange 2013

Applies to: Exchange Server 2013

Use audit logging to troubleshoot configuration issues by tracking specific changes made by administrators and to help you meet regulatory, compliance, and litigation requirements. Microsoft Exchange provides two types of audit logging:

  • Administrator audit logging records any action, based on an Exchange Management Shell cmdlet, performed by an administrator. This can help you troubleshoot configuration issues or identify the cause of security-related or compliance-related problems.

  • Mailbox audit logging records when a mailbox is accessed by an administrator, a delegated user, or the person who owns the mailbox. This can help you determine who has accessed a mailbox and what they've done.

Export audit logs

On the Compliance Management > Auditing page in the Exchange admin center (EAC), you can search for and export entries from the administrator audit log and the mailbox audit log.

  • Export the administrator audit log: Any action performed by an administrator that's based on a Shell cmdlet and doesn't begin with the verbs Get, Search, or Test is logged in the administrator audit log. Audit log entries include the cmdlet that was run, the parameter and values used with the cmdlet, and when the operation was successful. You can search for and export entries from the administrator audit log. When you export your search results, Microsoft Exchange saves them in an XML file and attaches it to an email message. For more information, see Search the role group changes or administrator audit logs.


    By default, admin audit log entries are kept for 90 days. When an entry is older than 90 days, it's deleted. This setting can't be changed in a cloud-based organization. However, it can be changed in an on-premises Exchange organization by using the Set-AdminAuditLog cmdlet.

  • Export mailbox audit logs: When mailbox audit logging is enabled for a mailbox, Microsoft Exchange stores a record of actions performed on mailbox data by non-owners in the mailbox audit log, which is stored in a hidden folder in the mailbox being audited. Mailbox audit logging can also be configure to log owner actions. Entries in this log indicate who accessed the mailbox and when, the actions performed, and whether the action was successful. When you search for entries in the mailbox audit log and export them, Microsoft Exchange saves the search results in an XML file and attaches it to an email message. For more information, see Export mailbox audit logs.

Run auditing reports

When you run any of the following reports on the Auditing page in the EAC, the results are displayed in the details pane of the report.

Configure audit logging

Before you can run auditing reports and export audit logs, you have to configure audit logging for your organization.

Enable mailbox audit logging

You have to enable mailbox audit logging for each mailbox that you want to run a non-owner mailbox access report for. If mailbox audit logging isn't enabled for a mailbox, you won't get any results when you run a report for it or export the mailbox audit log.

To enable mailbox audit logging for a single mailbox, run the following command in the Shell.

Set-Mailbox <Identity> -AuditEnabled $true

To enable mailbox auditing for all user mailboxes in your organization, run the following commands.

$UserMailboxes = Get-mailbox -Filter "RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox'"
$UserMailboxes | ForEach {Set-Mailbox $_.Identity -AuditEnabled $true}

For more information about configuring which actions are logged, see Enable or disable mailbox audit logging for a mailbox.

Give users access to Auditing reports

By default, administrators can access and run any of the reports on the Auditing page in the EAC. However, other users, such as a records manager or legal staff, have to be assigned the necessary permissions.

The easiest way to give users access is to add them to the Records Management role group. You can also use the Shell to give a user access to the Auditing page in the EAC by assigning the Audit Logs role to the user.

Add a user to the Records Management role group

  1. Go to Permissions > Admin Roles.

  2. In the list of role groups, click Records Management, and then click Edit Edit icon..

  3. Under Members, click Add Add Icon..

  4. In the Select Members dialog box, select the user. You can search for a user by typing all or part of a display name, and then clicking Search Search icon.. You can also sort the list by clicking the Name or Display Name column headings.

  5. Click Add Add Icon. and then click OK to return to the role group page.

  6. Click Save to save the change to the role group.

In the details pane, the user is listed under Members and can access the Auditing page in the EAC, run auditing reports, and export audit logs.

Assign the Audit Logs role to a user

Run the following command to assign the Audit Logs role to a user.

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role "Audit Logs" -User <Identity>

This enables the user to select Compliance Management > Auditing in the EAC to run any of the reports. The user can also export the mailbox audit log, and export and view the administrator audit log.


To allow a user to run auditing reports but not to export audit logs, use the preceding command to assign the View-Only Audit Logs role.

Configure Outlook Web App to allow XML attachments

When you export the mailbox audit log or administrator audit log, Microsoft Exchange attaches the audit log, which is an XML file, to an email message. However, Outlook Web App blocks XML attachments by default. If you want to use Outlook Web App to access these audit logs, you have to configure Outlook Web App to allow XML attachments.

Run the following command to allow XML attachments in Outlook Web App.

Set-OwaMailboxPolicy -Identity Default -AllowedFileTypes '.rpmsg','.xlsx','.xlsm','.xlsb','.tiff','.pptx','.pptm','.ppsx','.ppsm','.docx','.docm','.zip','.xls','.wmv','.wma','.wav','.vsd','.txt','.tif','.rtf','.pub','.ppt','.png','.pdf','.one','.mp3','.jpg','.gif','.doc','.bmp','.avi','.xml'