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Archiving and eDiscovery Community Blog

Archiving Unread Items in Enterprise Vault

Created: 25 Aug 2013 • Updated: 29 May 2014
Rob.Wilcox's picture
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When I'm setting up demo systems I almost always select the archiving option related to archiving 'unread items'.  This is because in a demo or test environment you probably want everything to get archived, and don't have time to send in lots of emails, and then open each mailbox and mark some of them as read and some as unread.  I honestly don't usually think about it too much, doing this step is almost automatic when I set up a test environment.  But what about in production?

Should you archive unread items?

Many people (me included) sometimes read an email, realise that there are some actions needed on it which can't be done right now, and then mark the email as unread - so it stands out. Typically you'd then come back and process these later. If in Enterprise Vault you don't archive unread items, this means that that item, no matter how big or small won't get archived. This has it's good points, and bad points:

Good Points

- Doesn't break my workflow.  I can come back to the item days or weeks later and still see it in full form, it will not be a shortcut  because it won't have been processed by Enterprise Vault.

Bad Points

- If I forget to eventually process the item, it will not get archived

- If my mailbox is processed by quota, at all, then I run the risk of getting close to, or exceeding, the quota more quickly because this is forcing some items to not be eligible for archive.  And of course these items which need actioning might also have attachments, and would therefore be 'good' to archive from a quota point of view.

There is another side effect too, which is described in this technote: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH209735. This article explains a gotcha relating to read and unread items, archiving, and read receipts.  It is worth having a look at if you are archiving unread items.  It might be something that you want to try to educate users about.

Let me know in the comments if you have the archiving option to archive unread items turned on or off, and why...