Recoverable Items

I was recently asked to determine how much of the mailbox database is taken up by recover deleted items?

It’s good to understand that the recoverable items folder resides in the non-IPM subtree of each mailbox. The non-IPM subtree is a storage area within the mailbox that contains operational data about the mailbox. This subtree isn’t visible to users using Outlook, Microsoft Office Outlook Web App, or other email clients.

With Exchange 2013 this provides the following key benefits:

  • When a mailbox is moved to another mailbox database, the Recoverable Items folder moves with it.
  • The Recoverable Items folder is indexed by Exchange Search and can be discovered using In-Place eDiscovery.
  • The Recoverable Items folder has its own storage quota.
  • Exchange can prevent data from being purged from the Recoverable Items folder.
  • Exchange can track edits of certain content.

The Recoverable Items folder contains the following subfolders:

  • Deletions   This subfolder contains all items deleted from the Deleted Items folder. (In Outlook, a user can permanently delete an item by pressing Shift+Delete.) This subfolder is exposed to users through the Recover Deleted Items feature in Outlook and Outlook Web App.
  • Versions   If In-Place Hold or Litigation Hold is enabled, this subfolder contains the original and modified copies of the deleted items. This folder isn’t visible to end users.
  • Purges   If either Litigation Hold or single item recovery is enabled, this subfolder contains all items that are purged. This folder isn’t visible to end users.
  • Audits   If mailbox audit logging is enabled for a mailbox, this subfolder contains the audit log entries.
  • DiscoveryHolds   If In-Place Hold is enabled, this subfolder contains all items that meet the hold query parameters and are purged.
  • Calendar Logging   This subfolder contains calendar changes that occur within a mailbox. This folder isn’t available to users.

If you wanted to know how much data you had in recoverable items you can try the following:

The above shows each of the recoverable item folders for each mailbox

Now I have the total size of all the recoverable items for all the mailboxes in Bytes. Thankfully powershell has an easy way to convert that to GB for me. You don’t need to divide by 1024 then divide by 1024 then divide by 1024 etc. You can copy the result of the Sum and divide it by 1GB.

54GB is the total amount of space used by Recoverable Items.

Now the question came around how much space is taken up by Legal using In-Place Hold. I ran the following command: