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Deploying Messaging Records Management

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

This topic explains the basic concepts of messaging records management (MRM) in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and gives a brief overview of how to use the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell to deploy messaging records management.

Steps to Deploy Messaging Records Management

You can deploy MRM by performing the following steps:

  1. Select a managed default folder (such as the Inbox) to which you want to add messaging records management, or create a managed custom folder. For more information about managed folders, see "Managed Folders" later in this topic. For detailed instructions about how to create managed custom folders, see How to Create a Managed Folder.

  2. Create managed content settings for the managed folder. For detailed instructions, see How to Create Managed Content Settings.

  3. Create a managed folder mailbox policy. For detailed instructions, see How to Create a Managed Folder Mailbox Policy.

  4. Apply the managed folder mailbox policy to users' mailboxes. For detailed instructions, see How to Apply a Managed Folder Mailbox Policy to User Mailboxes.

  5. Schedule the managed folder assistant to apply your changes to users' mailboxes. For detailed instructions, see How to Schedule the Managed Folder Assistant.

Managed Folders, Content Settings, Policies, and the Managed Folder Assistant

In Exchange 2007, the contents of managed folders are controlled by managed content settings. Groups of managed folders can be conveniently assigned to users' mailboxes by means of managed folder mailbox policies. The managed folder assistant then applies all of these messaging records management settings to users' mailboxes at the times that you specify.

Managed Folders

Managed folders are folders in users' mailboxes. There are two types of managed folders: managed default folders and managed custom folders.

  • Managed default folders are folders that, by default, are located in users' mailboxes in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. You do not have to create managed default folders. Examples of managed default folders are the Sent Items folder and the Inbox. You can see a list of all managed default folders in the Exchange Management Console. To view these folders, expand Organization Configuration, click Mailbox, and then click the Managed Default Folders tab. Managed default folders require only an Exchange Server Standard client access license. (CAL).

  • Managed custom folders are managed folders that you create. These folders are then automatically placed in users' mailboxes according to your specifications. Managed custom folders resemble managed default folders in that they cannot be renamed, moved, or (in most cases) deleted by the user. Managed custom folders are typically given names that reflect their intended role in users' mailboxes. For example, a managed custom folder for personal e-mail might be given the name Non-Work Related. You can create an organization Web site where users can add additional managed custom folders to their mailboxes. For more information, see the Exchange 2007 Software Development Kit. Managed custom folders are a premium feature of MRM. Each mailbox that has managed custom folders requires an Exchange Server Enterprise CAL.

Managed Content Settings

You control how the contents of managed folders are handled by applying managed content settings to the folders.

By applying managed content settings to managed folders, you can control the contents in ways that are not possible with folders that do not have managed content settings. For example, the managed content settings that you apply to a user's Inbox folder could specify that its contents will be automatically deleted or moved to another folder after 60 days.

Managed content settings that you apply to a special managed default folder named Entire Mailbox apply to the following folders:

  • All managed custom folders that users manually create at the root level of the mailbox folder hierarchy

  • All managed default folders that are not applied by means of a policy.

Just as with managed default folders, you apply managed content settings to managed custom folders to specify how their contents are handled.

You can create managed content settings that control how long the items in managed folders (and their subfolders) are retained, and whether copies of items in those folders are journaled to a location outside the mailbox for long-term storage.

You can set storage limits on managed custom folders, thereby limiting the amount of content that can be put into folders and their subfolders.

Finally, you can add folder policy statements with customizable text that describe the folder's messaging records management settings. These settings are displayed to the user as text labels in Outlook 2007.

Managed Folder Mailbox Policies

You can use managed folder mailbox policies to collect managed folders into logical groupings. For example, a managed folder named Patents Documents and another managed folder named Legal Documents could be linked to a managed folder mailbox policy named Legal Team. When you apply the Legal Team mailbox policy to a user's mailbox, the managed folders that are linked to that mailbox policy (Patents Documents and Legal Documents) are then applied to the user's mailbox in a single step.

Managed Folder Assistant

The managed folder assistant is an Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistant that applies the messaging records management settings that you have made to user mailboxes. Specifically, the managed folder assistant:

  • Creates managed folders in users' mailboxes according to your specifications.

  • Applies managed content settings to mailboxes. These settings control tasks such as deleting items that are beyond their specified retention period and journaling (automatically copying) items to other locations according to your specifications.


Running the managed folder assistant is a resource-intensive process. You should only run the managed folder assistant when your server can tolerate the extra load. This is usually during off-peak hours. You should make that sure you run the mailbox assistant often enough to meet your legal needs with regard to messaging records resource management.

For More Information

To learn more about MRM, see Understanding Messaging Records Management.

To learn more about the various terms associated with MRM, see Messaging Records Management Terminology.

To learn more about the licensing requirements for MRM, see "Client Access Licenses and MRM" in Understanding Messaging Records Management.