Dig Deeper into Journaling in Exchange Server

In this article, we are going to look into the concept of Journaling, which is a widely used method for the compliance in the messaging industry.


Microsoft Exchange Journaling is an option to record and store a copy of all emails which was sent in and out of your organization. Journaling in Exchange 2010 can be set up in database level as well as organization level. An exclusive mailbox called the Journal Mailbox is created for this purpose.

Envelope Journaling:

There is always a confusion with regards to Journaling and Archiving. These are completely two different concepts. Archiving will copy or store the original email as it is in a different mailbox or database. This is done for data retention or server maintenance. While Journaling will not copy the actual email but it copies data from the P2 headers (From and To information), subject and body. It also copies the recipients in BCC and is sent to the Journaling mailbox. This is called as Envelope Journaling. Exchange 2007 and above will support only Envelope Journaling.

Types of Journaling:

There are two types of Journaling, Standard and Premium Journaling. Let’s discuss about these two types in detail.

Standard Journaling: This type is very primitive and provides very less options. It journals all the emails that are send “From” or “To” on a particular Mailbox Database. Both Standard Edition and Enterprise Editions of Exchange server is offering this type of Journaling.

Premium Journaling: Premium Journaling provides robust options for Journaling. It can extend and shrink its Journaling boundary as per our needs. The Scope or Journal boundary for Premium is defined as below.

  1. Internal Scope: All Emails that are Sent & Received with in the Exchange Organization are journaled irrespective of the database.
  2. External Scope: All Emails that are Sent & Received outside the Exchange Organization are journaled irrespective of the database.
  3. Global Scope: All Emails that passes through the HUB Transport Server are Journaled.
  4. Journal Recipients: Emails that are sent to a particular Email address, i.e., User Mailbox, Contacts, DLs etc., ( This feature is available only from Exchange 2013)

To use Premium Journaling you should have a Standard or Enterprise Edition with Exchange Client Access License (eCAL).

How to Configure Standard & Premium Journaling:

Configuring Standard Journaling is quite easy. We have to navigate to the “Mailbox Database”. Right click and open the properties and go to maintenance tab. Enable Journal Recipient and mention the Journal Mailbox. The below snapshot would explain on how this done. Journal mailbox is created manually by us. It is recommended to place this mailbox in a separate mailbox database and disable journaling in that database, which will avoid duplicate journal copies. If that database is corrupted then we cannot follow OST to PST method as generally we will not configure an Outlook profile for this mailbox. So we need to consider restoring from backup method.Enable Journal Recipient And Mention The Journal Mailbox

Configuring Premium Journaling is bit different. It is also quite easy. We have create Custom Journal Rules and define the scope of the user base. Navigate to Organization Configuration → Hub Transport → Select Journal Rules. This will be empty be default. We should create the rules. Remember we need to have an Exchange Client Access License to perform this.Select Journal Rules

Once we reach Journal Rules, Click on “New Rule” in the Actions menu. Journal Rule Wizard will pop-up. We can select the required configuration Options.Select The Required Configuration Options


Premium Journaling in Exchange 2013 has an additional option called Journal Reports. When the Journal Mailbox is full and if it cannot accept new journal mails, then an NDR called as Journal Report will be generated and it will be sent to a reporting mailbox. This reporting mailbox will also be configured while configuring the Journal Rule.

Author Introduction:

Sophia Mao is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair pst data damage and word recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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