How to Restore an Office 365 Mailbox for Free

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Microsoft Office 365 provides a reliable platform for email and cloud storage. But, unfavorable changes to the service often leave users with broken mailboxes that can only be restored by paying Microsoft’s retrieval fees. Luckily, there is a free way of restoring your mailbox back up without incurring any charges from Microsoft.

The “restore mailbox office 365 after removing license” is a way to restore an Office 365 mailbox for free.

How to Restore an Office 365 Mailbox for Free

So an administrator accidently deleted one of your executives’ Office 365 emails, or maybe an automated script went haywire and wanted to “clean up” your Office 365 tenancy. In such situation, you’ll need to recover your Office 365 mailbox, which is a difficult operation! Why spend a lot of money for pricey software when you can do it yourself for free with a little knowledge and PowerShell?

With genuine, step-by-step examples, you’ll learn how to restore or recover a deleted mailbox in Office 365 in this article.

Requirements

This post will be written in a How-To format. These are the criteria that must be met if you wish to follow along with the examples.

“Gone Forever” Doesn’t Mean “Deleted”

When you delete an Office 365 mailbox, it is not instantly gone. In Office 365, the deleted mailbox is simply hidden and relocated to the Soft Deleted Objects bucket. The mailbox is now regarded to be a Soft-Deleted mailbox.

Within 30 days, a soft-deleted inbox may be recovered. The soft-deleted mailbox will be hard-deleted or purged after 30 days. Recovery is not possible once the mailbox has been purged.

If a mailbox is placed on litigation hold before being deleted, it becomes an inactive mailbox that will not be purged forever.

Only Soft-Deleted (including dormant) mailboxes may be restored or recovered when trying to restore or recover a mailbox in Office 365. Hard-deleted mailboxes are lost forever and cannot be recovered.

These words aren’t intended to be confusing; they’re designed to let you know that you can get your mailbox back in almost any situation!

Restoring a Deleted Mailbox in Office 365 Admin Center

Please double-check that your Office 365 account has been granted global admin or user management admin rights before proceeding. Otherwise, you won’t be able to complete the instructions below.

The Microsoft 365 Admin Center has replaced the Office 365 Admin Center. However, we’ll continue to refer to it as the Office 365 Admin Center for the sake of familiarity.

The Office 365 Admin Center may be used to restore deleted mailboxes. Follow these instructions to do so.

First, using your browser, navigate to the Office 365 Admin Center, and log in using your admin account. Then, on the navigation menu on the left of the page, go to Users —> Deleted Users.

Getting to the Users Who Have Been Deleted pageGetting to the Users Who Have Been Deleted page

Then, on the Removed user page, you should see a list of users who have been deleted but are still recoverable. Select one or more deleted users from the list and click the Restore user button.

The deleted user with the username [email protected] is chosen to be restored in the example below.

Choosing one deleted user to be brought backChoosing one deleted user to be brought back

Before restoring the mailbox, the Restore flyout will appear, giving you alternatives. As you can see in the screenshot below, the restoration recommends you to double-check that a product license is available for the restored user. as a confirmation page

Following are the steps involved in restoring the mailbox:

  • All linked data should be restored.
  • Assign licenses to products.
  • Allow access to all services that the user has previously had access to.

Choose the ones that you think are suitable or that comply with your company’s regulations. After you’ve made your choices, click the Restore option.

Before restoring the mailbox, make a selection of alternatives.Before restoring the mailbox, make a selection of alternatives.

You’ll get a confirmation page like the one below after the restoration procedure is complete. If you want to transmit the new password through email, select Send email and then close.

User restoration has been confirmed.User restoration has been confirmed.

After that, you’ll get an email containing the user’s login information, which you can then share with them, as seen in the picture below.

Details about a user's account may be found in an email message.Details about a user’s account may be found in an email message.

You may also check in the Exchange Admin Center to see whether the mailbox has been restored.

The mailbox [email protected] is shown in the available mailboxes list, as seen in the image below.

The mailbox has been restored.The mailbox has been restored.

Restoring a Deleted Mailbox with Azure ActiveDirectory (MSOnline) PowerShell

Before you may perform any of the instructions in this section, you must first install the MSOnline module as a prerequisite.

To begin, you must use PowerShell to connect to Azure AD. Run the following command to learn more about the user who will be restored:

Select-Object ObjectID,UserPrincipalName,isLicensed | Get-MsolUser -ReturnDeletedUsers

When you execute the code above, you should obtain a list of all the removed users who can be restored. Make a note of the ObjectID value of the user you’ll be restoring. As an example, have a look at the image below.

Identifying the mailbox's ObjectIDIdentifying the mailbox’s ObjectID

Then, once you’ve selected the deleted user, you can restore it by using the command below. Make sure to change the <objectid> with the actual ObjectIDof the user object.

Restore-MsolUser -ObjectId <objectid> -AutoReconcileProxyConflicts

When you execute the command above in PowerShell, you should get something like this. [email protected] is the deleted user who needs to be restored in this case.

To restore a deleted user, do the following command.To restore a deleted user, do the following command.

Then execute the following command to verify that the user has been reinstated as an active user.

Get-MsolUser -ObjectId <objectid>

-OR-

Get-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName <UserPrincipalName>

The restored user has been discovered, as seen in the image below.

The user who has been restored has been discovered.The user who has been restored has been discovered.

Finally, you can either go to the Exchange Admin Center or use Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell to ensure that the mailbox has been restored. If you’d rather check your inbox using PowerShell, use the following command:

Get-Mailbox -Identity <UserPrincipalName>

The restored user’s inbox has also been restored, as seen in the image below.

The mailbox has been repaired.The mailbox has been repaired.

Recovering a Deleted Mailbox with Exchange Online PowerShell

You may easily recover a mailbox using the Exchange Online PowerShell module with only a few instructions. It is assumed in this example that the user account has been removed, resulting in the mailbox being a soft-deleted mailbox.

To begin, use the command below to get the mailbox identification of the soft-deleted mailbox you want to recover.

Select-Object UserPrincipalName | Get-Mailbox -SoftDeletedMailbox

You should obtain a list of the soft-deleted mailboxes with the UserPrincipalName property values after executing the aforementioned command.

The mailbox with the name [email protected] is the one that has to be restored in this case.

Next, run this command below to recover the mailbox. Make sure to replace the <UserPrincipalName> with the actual value of the mailbox UserPrincipalName.

Undo-SoftDeletedMailbox <UserPrincipalName> ` -WindowsLiveID <UserPrincipalName> ` -Password ` (ConvertTo-SecureString -String ‘[email protected]$w0rd’ -AsPlainText -Force)

A new user account will be established when you execute the command above, and the recovered mailbox will be connected to the new account. Take a look at the sample below.

The mailbox was located and reclaimed.The mailbox was located and reclaimed.

Note: After the mailbox has been recovered, you must grant the user a product license. Otherwise, after the 30-day grace period, the mailbox will be deactivated.

Restoring a Deleted Mailbox with Exchange Online PowerShell

You’re simply transferring the contents of a soft-deleted mailbox to another mailbox when you restore a soft-deleted mailbox.

The source mailbox in this example is named TestAcct, and the destination mailbox is called reports.

You must first get two values in order to recover the contents of the soft-deleted mailbox.

  • Soft-deleted mailboxes are exchanged (source)

Get-Mailbox -SoftDeletedMailbox <MailboxID> | Select-Object Name,ExchangeGUID

Get the target mailbox's ExchangeGUID.Get the target mailbox’s ExchangeGUID.

  • The new mailbox’s ExchangeGUID (target)

Get-Mailbox <MailboxID> | Select-Object Name,ExchangeGUID

Get the target mailbox's ExchangeGUID.Get the target mailbox’s ExchangeGUID.

Once you have the required ExchangeGUID values, you can initiate the restore using the command below. Make sure to change the <SourceExchangeGUID> and <TagetExchangeGUID> with the actual ExchangeGUID values of the source and target mailboxes.

New-MailboxRestoreRequest ` -SourceMailbox <SourceExchangeGUID> ` -TargetMailbox <TargetExchangeGUID> ` -AllowLegacyDNMismatch

You should notice a confirmation that the restoration request has been Queued after performing the command. For a visual representation, see the screenshot.

Make a request to restore your mailbox.Make a request to restore your mailbox.

While you wait for the job to finish, you may keep an eye on it by executing the command below.

Get-MailboxRestoreRequestStatistics | Get-MailboxRestoreRequest

The output of the command above looks like the image below.

Tracking the status of the mailbox restoration requestTracking the status of the mailbox restoration request

Recovering an Inactive Mailbox with Exchange Online PowerShell

An inactive mailbox is a soft-deleted mailbox that has been placed on litigation hold before being soft-deleted. When you restore an inactive mailbox, you establish a new user account and attach the dormant mailbox to it.

Before you may restore an inactive mailbox, you must first get the inactive mailbox’s ExchangeGUID. To access the information of an inactive mailbox, use the command below. Only inactive mailboxes are returned, thanks to the InactiveMailboxOnly argument.

Format-List Name,DistinguishedName,ExchangeGuid,PrimarySmtpAddress | Get-Mailbox -InactiveMailboxOnly

You should see a list of inactive mailboxes after executing the command above. Then look for the ExchangeGUID of the inactive mailbox you want to restore. As an example, look at the screenshot below.

Properties of inactive mailboxesProperties of inactive mailboxes

The syntax below illustrates the bare minimum of arguments necessary to reactivate an inactive mailbox.

New-Mailbox ` -InactiveMailbox <InactiveMailboxGUID>` -Name <Name> ` -FirstName <FirstName> ` -LastName <LastName> ` -DisplayName <DisplayName> ` -MicrosoftOnlineServicesID <UPN> ` -Password (ConvertTo-SecureString -String ‘[email protected]$w0rd’ -AsPlainText -Force) ` -ResetPasswordOnNextLogon $true

Using the syntax above, replace the <Name>, <FirstName>, <LastName>, <DisplayName>, <UPN> values. After you’ve replaced the appropriate values, run the command in PowerShell as shown below.

The mailbox was resurrected and assigned to a new user.The mailbox was resurrected and assigned to a new user.

Note: After you’ve restored an inactive mailbox, you’ll need to grant the user a product license. Otherwise, after the 30-day grace period, the mailbox will be deactivated.

After finishing the recovery, check the Exchange admin center or PowerShell to see whether the new mailbox is accessible, as shown in the previous instances. Access the mailbox using Outlook or Outlook on the Web if your corporate policy allows it (OWA).

Conclusion

In Office 365, there are various options for recovering or restoring a deleted mailbox. These recovery and restore features are included with Office 365 and are completely free to use.

Each technique of mailbox restoration has its own set of circumstances under which it may be applied. Some techniques can be found through the Office 365 interface, but the majority may be found in PowerShell modules and scripts.

It’s up to you to decide which option is best for the circumstances you could experience while recovering Office 365 mailboxes.

Additional Reading

The “permanently delete mailbox office 365 powershell” is a feature that allows users to permanently delete their Office 365 mailboxes. This will allow them to restore the mailbox for free.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I recover my Office 365 mailbox?

A: If you have lost your password, or forgotten it, or if you are no longer in the office that has an Office 365 mailbox connected to your account. You can retrieve the email address by first reverting back to a previous backup of your account (1 year ago is usually enough), then using this guide

How do I reactivate my Office 365 email?

A: In order for Microsoft to reactivate your Office 365 email, you will need to contact them.

How do I restore an inactive mailbox in Office 365?

A: A mailbox is inactive if it has no active Office 365 users. To restore a disabled mailbox, follow these steps:
1) Go to https://portal.office365.com
2) Select the name of your company for Company and type in the actual Microsoft domain for your organization (ie., examplecorp). If you are unsure what this is, contact IT or visit services.microsoftonline.com/forefront-services
3) On the list that appears on screen, click Mailboxes then select Disable mailboxes from this domain
4) In Active email addresses enter all desired email addresses or ip address

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