Exchange Online service description
Microsoft Exchange Online is a hosted messaging solution that delivers email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from PCs, the web, and mobile devices. It integrates fully with Microsoft Entra ID, enabling administrators to use group policies, as well as other administration tools, to manage Exchange Online features across their environment.
Organizations that subscribe to Exchange Online retain control over the messaging services they offer to users. With the Exchange Online hosted plans described in this document, email is hosted on servers that support multiple customers simultaneously. These servers are housed in Microsoft datacenters and are accessible to users on a wide range of devices from inside a corporate network or over the Internet.
Available plans for Exchange Online
For detailed plan information on subscriptions that enable users for Exchange Online and are currently available in European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland see the Microsoft 365 business plan comparison for EEA and Microsoft 365 Enterprise plan comparison for EEA.
Each user who accesses the Exchange Online service must be assigned to a subscription plan, and each user subscription has its own mailbox. Folders and messages in these mailboxes reside at a Microsoft datacenter. User subscriptions are not required for conference rooms and shared mailboxes. These special mailbox types do not have login credentials, instead, licensed users with the appropriate permissions manage and access them via delegation. Microsoft 365 F1 does not include rights to an Exchange mailbox. To enable a full Teams experience, Microsoft 365 F1 licenses may come with the Exchange Online K1 service plan enabled. Although the Exchange Online K1 service plan will provision a mailbox for the user, Microsoft 365 F1 users are not entitled to use the mailbox. We recommend that you disable Outlook on the web via these steps and ask your users not to access the Exchange mailbox via any other methods.
Feature availability (including standalone plans)
The following table lists the major Exchange Online features available across plans (certain caveats apply -- see the footnotes for further information -- this table may change without notice). For the most up-to-date, complete list of features across plans, see Powerful tools to support your enterprise. For feature availability visit your Message Center in the Microsoft 365 admin center or talk to your provider for more details on how the new Microsoft 365 Apps plan impacts you.
Features available to all plans
These features are available for all Business (basic, standard, and premium), Enterprise (E1, E3, E5 and F3) and Exchange Online plans (1, 2 and Kiosk) – caveats apply; see footnotes for further information.
|Anti-spam and anti-malware protection (via direct access to the Exchange admin center management interface)||Built-in anti-spam and anti-malware protection (uses multiple anti-malware engines to scan inbound, outbound, and internal messages for malware) Customized anti-spam and anti-malware policies Quarantine - administrator management, and quarantine - end-user self-management|
|Exchange Online setup and administration||Microsoft 365 portal and admin center access, Exchange admin center access, Remote Windows PowerShell access ActiveSync policies for mobile devices Usage reporting|
|High availability and business continuity||Mailbox replication at datacenters Single item recovery (not available for F3 and Kiosk plans) Deleted mailbox and deleted item recovery|
|Interoperability, connectivity, and compatibility||Skype for Business presence in OWA and Outlook SharePoint interoperability EWS connectivity support (EWS app support applied to impersonation), SMTP relay support|
|Mail flow||Custom routing of outbound mail Secure messaging with a trusted partner, Adding a partner to an inbound safe list Conditional mail and hybrid email routing (CALs or upgrade to an Enterprise SKU provide the access rights)|
|Planning and deployment||Hybrid deployment supported (CALs or upgrade to an Enterprise SKU provide access rights for business and F3 plans), IMAP, cutover, and staged migration supported|
|Reporting features and troubleshooting tools||Microsoft 365 admin center reports Excel reporting workbook, Web Services reports, Unified Messaging reports (E3/E5 and plan 2 only) Message trace and auditing reports are accessible via direct access to the Exchange admin center (EAC) management interface|
|Recipients||Capacity alerts, Clutter, MailTips Inbox rules, Resource mailboxes, Out-of-office replies Offline address book, Address book policies Distribution Groups, External contacts (global), Universal contact card, Contact linking with social networks Conference room management, Calendar sharing (Kiosk calendars can only be accessed or shared through OWA)|
|Sharing and collaboration||Federated sharing (including calendar publishing) Site mailboxes (SharePoint Online must be included and deployed) Public folders (not available for F3 and Kiosk plans)|
|Voice message services||Skype for Business integration Third-party voice mail interoperability (only E3/E5 and Plan 2 provide voicemail and third-party voicemail/fax integration -- For third-party PBX systems via direct connections, see Discontinuation of support for Session Border Controllers in Exchange Online Unified Messaging|
Features available to some plans
These features are available to some plans – caveats apply see footnotes for further information (this table may change without notice).
|Feature||Description||Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard||Microsoft 365 Business Premium||Office 365 E1||Microsoft 365 E3/E5 & Office 365 E3/E5||Microsoft 365 F3 & Office 365 F3||Exchange Online Plan 2||Exchange Online Plan 1||Exchange Online Kiosk|
|Clients and mobile devices||Outlook on the web1, Outlook for iOS and Android1, Exchange ActiveSync and SMTP||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|POP and IMAP||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes2||Yes||Yes||Yes2|
|EWS application support, Outlook for Windows1, Outlook for Mac1||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Basic Mobility and Security for Microsoft 365||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Message policy and compliance||Exchange Online Archiving for Exchange Online||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Exchange Online Archiving for Exchange Server||No||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Manual retention policies, labels, and tags||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|IRM using Azure Information Protection||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Microsoft Purview Message Encryption (Basic)||Yes3||Yes||No3||Yes||Yes3||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Microsoft Purview Advanced Message Encryption||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Microsoft Purview Customer Key||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|In-Place Hold, Litigation Hold||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Encryption of data at rest (BitLocker), Messaging Records Management (MRM), S/MIME, Journaling, eDiscovery content search4, Transport rules5||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support for IRM using Windows Server AD RMS6||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Permissions||Role-based permissions, role groups and role assignment policies||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Recipients||Delegate access and hierarchical address book||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Microsoft 365 Groups||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes7||Yes7||No|
1 Some third-party web parts and add-ins may not be available.
2 POP is supported, but IMAP is not.
3 You must add Azure Information Protection Plan 1 to the following plans: Exchange Online Plan 1 or 2, Office 365 F3, Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Standard, or Office 365 Enterprise E1 To receive Microsoft Purview Message Encryption.
4 For eDiscovery, you need a separate query for on-premises vs. cloud.
5 Transport rules are made up of flexible criteria, which allow you to define conditions and exceptions, and actions to take based on the criteria. For a list of available criteria and actions, see the corresponding criteria and actions topics for each product.
6 Windows Server AD RMS is an on-premises server that must be purchased and managed separately to enable the supported IRM features.
7 Microsoft 365 Groups are available with reduced functionality.
For more information about Exchange Online, check out the following resources:
- Exchange Server: For more information regarding Exchange Server, go to the Exchange Server feature availability table.
- Email for help with creating and sending email.
- Manage email and calendars
- About the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant
- Email non-delivery reports in Exchange Online
- Exchange Online Help
- For more information regarding features across plans, see Powerful tools to support your enterprise.
- You can export, save, and print pages in the Microsoft service descriptions. Learn how to Export Content Search results.
- What's new in Exchange admin center: For information about new features in Exchange admin center, see What's new in Exchange admin center.
- System requirements for Exchange Online: For system requirements, the monthly subscription-based service available for business, education, and government organizations, see Microsoft 365 and Office Resources.
- Storage and recipient limits for Exchange Online: For information about the storage and recipient limits available in the Exchange Online subscription plans, see Exchange Online limits.
- Messaging: To stay informed of upcoming changes, including new and changed features, planned maintenance, or other important announcements, visit the Message Center. For more information, see Message center.
- Licensing terms: For licensing terms and conditions for products and services purchased through Microsoft Commercial Volume Licensing Programs, see the Product Terms site.
- Accessibility: Microsoft remains committed to the security of your data and the accessibility of our services. For more information, see the Microsoft Trust Center and the Office Accessibility Center.
- Storage allocations in Education tenants may be limited. Please see Office 365 Education service description for details.