Exchange 2013: Enabling In-Place Hold on Archive Only?

Exchange 2013 offers some amazing new Legal Hold capabilities over Exchange 2010.   In Exchange 2010, legal hold was a binary switch (legal hold on or off) for a user.  Exchange 2013 adds capabilities such as:

  • Time based hold:   Allows you to put items on hold for a specific period of time (e.g. 7 years)
  • Query based hold:  Allows you to put items on hold based upon a query
  • A user can have multiple holds if they are involved in multiple cases.

For more information on Exchange In-place hold and the usage scenarios, see

A question came up from a customer who has been using a 3rd party archiving solution, so they asked with the new Exchange online archiving and in-place hold mechanism, can you put only the online archive on hold. 

In Exchange 2013, the in-place hold policies are at the mailbox level.  The policies apply to both the inbox and the archive.  In most scenarios, you want to retain message for a pre-determined length of time regardless of where they are stored.

The process to enable in-place hold are:

  • Go to the Office 365 Exchange Admin Center. 
  • Login to your Office 365 portal (
  • In the upper right, select Exchange under the Admin dropdown window.


  • In the Exchange Admin Center, select “Compliance Management” item on the left.


  • Select “in-place E-Discovery and Hold”


  • Select “+” to create a new hold policy


  • Give the policy a name and select “Next”


  • Specify the mailboxes to put on hold.   Please note that if you select all mailboxes, then you won’t be able to enable a time-based hold in the web UI.  This will need to be done in Powershell.


  • The following screen enables the “query-based” aspects of the hold.   You can specify what messages to put on hold.



  • On the following screen, you can specify how long you want to hold the messages.   This is the “time based” hold.   Note, that initially this option was greyed out since I selected all mailboxes.  I went back and selected a couple mailboxes and then this option became active.


  • The system will create the hold and give you some statistics about the hold in the status window.


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