Dumpster of Exchange Online Mailboxes that are on a Hold are maxed out due to bloated recurring meetings

Scenario: We noticed that a handful of mailboxes that are on a hold had their dumpsters maxed out hitting their 110GB RecoverableItemsQuota. The RecoverableItemsQuota increased from 100GB to 110GB when we enabled the AutoExpandingArchiveEnabled property. The users were experiencing these symptoms:
– Users cannot delete items from the Deleted Items folder
-ManagedFolderAssistant may have been hanging on large items, preventing smaller items from moving into the archive via our retention policies
-Users cannot managed or accept updated meeting requests
-Weird intermittent sending/bounceback issues for each user.

Investigating: We discovered a bloated recurring calendar item stored in the Versions folder (Recoverable Items/Dumpster folder). These mailboxes have archive mailboxes as well as retention policies, but it seemed if the retention policy was not moving the items out of the Versions folder into the Archive Versions folder. What also stuck out was there were only 400-500 items in the Versions folder, yet the total size of the Versions folder was near the 100GB mark. We found this by running a command similar to: get-mailboxfolderstatistics steve | Select Name, ItemsinFolder,FolderSize

We also used MFCMAPI to enter into the mailbox to view the contents of the Versions folder. Of the hundreds of items listed in the Versions folder, it was all the same meeting (just a different version of it) and the size of each item ranged from 200MB to 300MB a piece. This means that native Exchange functionality such as Retention Policies would not move the email items into the archive mailbox because they exceeded the MaxSendSize and MaxReceiveSize.

Further investigation, we asked the meeting owner how they were managing the meeting. The meeting owner would manage each occurrence of the meeting separately by updating it with a daily agenda and attachments. This meeting happens every day, meaning it did not take too long for this recurring meeting to bloat past the size that Microsoft can handle.

The Fix: The Holds placed on the mailbox put us into a bind, because at the time there wasn’t an easy way of getting rid of these items by simply deleting them via a Search And Destroy Script, MFCMAPI, or Native Exchange Retention Policies. However it was discovered that we could run this one-liner which was able to remove all of the excess versions for the recurring meeting:

Start-ManagedFolderAssistant steve -HoldCleanup

In prep for the fix, we made sure we put all the items in the versions folder because we were moving them around experimenting. Then ran the command. A few of the users made immediate progress, while others didn’t budge. For those that didnt budge, we ran the -StopHoldCleanup switch and reissued the -HoldCleanup switch. Eventually within a few days, they were cleaned up too.


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