Disable Clutter feature for all users in Office 365

DisableClutter

Now I’m not one to advocate turning features off in Office 365, but sometimes when deploying Office 365 for a customer, there is simply too much change at one time. And if there is one thing that users hate, it is too much change!

Many customers I work with will choose to disable Skype for Business or OneDrive during the initial migration of email into the cloud. They can then plan the roll out of these services at a later date, and educate users on how to make the best use of it. This is much more preferable to just throwing a load of new functionality at users and expecting them to just start using it all with no training. After all, adoption of new technology starts with giving users the knowledge and power to be able to use the tools effectively!

And on that subject is a feature which has baffled and confused some users. This is called ‘Clutter’, and it uses machine learning to help organise the email which you don’t look at regularly, but may not want to delete (for example, that weekly newsletter from exchangeserverpro.com). This mail is automatically moved into your Clutter folder, clearing up your inbox so that it contains the email you need to know about now!

Email which is automatically moved out of your inbox does have the ability to freak users out if they aren’t expecting it, so you may want to disable this at first and then enable once you can communicate it’s purpose and usefulness to the business. To do this, you will need to make use of the mighty PowerShell!

Log yourself into Exchange Online PowerShell and use the following commands depending on your needs:

To disable Clutter for a single user:

Set-Clutter -Identity user@domain.com -Enable $false

To disable Clutter for all users:

Get-Mailbox | Set-Clutter -Enable $false

This command has a long list of outputs. If you want to hide the outputs, just add > $null to the end of the command, like this:

Get-Mailbox | Set-Clutter -Enable $false > $null

You can check to see if a mailbox has Clutter enabled by running:

Get-Clutter -Identity MailboxID | fl

And look for the IsEnabled parameter, which should be set to False!

So in summary, feel free to turn it off, but whatever you do, make sure you turn it on again as Clutter is definitely a useful tool to have in your email armoury!

Advertisements

Hybrid Configuration Wizard and Multiple Domains – Get-FederationInformation cmdlet had thrown an exception

When running the Exchange Hybrid Wizard for multiple domains, you may find it fails and shows you the error below:

Execution of the Get-FederationInformation cmdlet had thrown an exception. This may indicate invalid parameters in your Hybrid Configuration settings.

Federation information could not be received from the external organization.

In addition to this, if you check the Update-HybridConfiguration log file in the Exchange Logging directory, you will find that the failure occurs just after the command Get-FederationInformation is run on one of your domains.

The first test you can run is to login to Microsoft Online PowerShell and try running:

Get-FederationInformation -DomainName domain.com

If this comes back with an error, then you likely have an issue with Autodiscover. It may be that autodiscover is not configured for all your domains, which is quite a common occurrence. There are 2 traditional ways to get around this:

  1. Configure multiple SRV DNS records to point Autodiscover at your primary Autodiscover service
  2. Add all your autodiscover domains to your SAN certificate and configure A records to point autodiscover to the public facing IP of your Exchange server/s

As of Exchange 2010 SP3 UR6 and Exchange 2012 SP1 however, there is a much cleaner way of doing this.

  1. Make sure Autodiscover is configured and working on your Primary SMTP domain (use https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com/ to verify functionality)
  2. Run the HCW (Hybrid Configuration Wizard) for just your Primary domain. This should complete without issues
  3. Go into the Exchange Management Shell on your On Premise Exchange environment and run:

Set-HybridConfiguration -Domains domainb.com,domainc.com,domain.com,autod:domaina.com

Where domaina.com is your Primary SMTP domain. This sets your autodiscover domain for all domains to domaina.com.

  1. Re-run the HCW. You should now see all domains populated and the HCW should complete successfully.

Restrict access to OneDrive for Business

Edit: A new admin centre for OneDrive has been launched as of December 2016, and allows for much more granular control over what can be synchronised, and where from. Check it out at admin.onedrive.com

A question which I get asked quite frequently is whether OneDrive for Business can be blocked, locked down, or restricted. Whatever your reasons for doing this, there are some things you can do to restrict access.

As a little bit of background information, OneDrive for Business is not the same as your personal OneDrive, and is essentially your own private SharePoint library. If you have no plans to use SharePoint Online, then the easiest way to block access to OneDrive for Business is to simply remove the SharePoint Online license from the users in question. This is done in the sub menu of the licensing options for a user and can be applied on a per user basis.

SharePoint License

Another thing you can do is to hide the OneDrive button from the portal. This is done under the SharePoint Admin section of the Office 365 portal, under the Settings Tab. This setting applies to all users.

Hide OneDrive for Business

With this option selected, OneDrive will not show up in the Portal menu, along with the Office Web Apps.

Hide OneDrive for Business

We can also stop users from being able to create a personal site at all, by going into the User Profiles area of the SharePoint admin center. Go into Manage User Permissions and remove ‘Everyone except external users’. This will stop any users from being able to create their own OneDrive for Business sites. If you like, you can then add users or groups into this list who you would like to be able to create a OneDrive for Business site.

Personal Site Lockdown

This doesn’t stop any users who have already created their OneDrive for Business sites from accessing it if they know the direct URL or have added it as a favourite into their Internet Browser. I won’t be covering that scenario here, however if this is something you would like more information on, let me know in the comments and I will put a post together!

The perils of deleting a Shared Mailbox user account

The world of IT is a perilous and dangerous place to be. Particularly when your mouse is hovering over that ‘Delete’ button.

I came across an incident recently where a user had left a company, and as per standard practice for leavers in Office 365, their mailbox had been converted to a Shared Mailbox to free up the license whilst preserving mailbox access for their manager. As this mailbox was now Shared and the user was no longer present, the administrator deleted the user account in question out of Active Directory. The effect of this was that the user and mailbox in Office 365 was also deleted. This behaviour is something worth remembering if you are the administrator of an Office 365 environment.

I could see that the mailbox was listed in the Office 365 ECP under Recipients>Mailboxes>…>Deleted Mailboxes therefore it was recoverable. I went for the Recover option and was faced with the error:

'User not found'

Uh oh. Usually this process would recreate the MSOL User account along with restoring the mailbox. I checked in the Office 365 Admin Centre and the user had not been recreated, however if I went to the ECP and Recipients>Shared I could see the restored mailbox. Unfortunately though, the mailbox was only half there and the details pane showed no email address, just ‘the items you’re trying to open couldn’t be found’:

ItemCouldntbeFound

My mailbox was stuck in limbo! I went into Powershell for Exchange Online and ran Get-Mailbox, but the Shared mailbox wasn’t listed. I then ran Get-Mailbox -SoftDeletedUsers and the Shared mailbox wasn’t here either. This wasn’t looking good.

I was concerned that if I deleted the limbo mailbox then I would lose it forever, but I had no choice but to try. I got another error message ‘User not found’ when trying to delete the mailbox but after a minute or two it showed up in Deleted Mailboxes and when running Get-Mailbox -SoftDeletedUsers it also appeared. Hurrah!

My mantra whenever I work with Exchange, online or on premise is that if something doesn’t work in the GUI, try it in Powershell. So I ran the command shown below to try and recover the mailbox, and by the Power of the Shell, it worked!

Undo-SoftDeletedMailbox sharedmailbox@doubledit.co.uk -WindowsLiveID sharedmailbox@doubledit.co.uk -Password (ConvertTo-SecureString -String ‘Passw0rd’ -AsPlainText -Force)

In my opinion, this looks like a GUI based bug when recovering a Shared Mailbox. User mailboxes restore without a hitch, but Shared Mailboxes are not so friendly via the GUI. The answer, as usual, is the mighty Powershell.

Built-in MDM for Office 365 is launched!

MDM Philosoraptor

Fantastic news follow nerds….one of my must have features for 2015 has been launched! I am super excited about this one and I believe that it will help give many new customers the peace of mind and confidence to start moving to Office 365 in earnest.

One of the great things about Office 365 is that you can get to your corporate data from anywhere, on any device. This is what users expect in todays modern world, and Office 365 lets us give our users the functionality they expect. However the services greatest benefit was also its greatest drawback. How can we make sure that data is secure if users can access it from anywhere. The answer to this before today was to either;

a. Use Microsoft Intune to control access to specific, enrolled devices. This came at additional cost and was a hard sell if a company had already got in bed with a different MDM provider.

b. Use ADFS and Conditional Access Policies to control access. This functionality was limited in scope and took away an awful lot of the benefits of Office 365 from a portability perspective.

c. Use the only control method available to try to limit data leakage; Exchange ActiveSync Quarantine. The problem with this is that it only applies to ActiveSync connections, and cannot control OneDrive for Business use. It also lacks granularity with regards to compliance.

Yesterday, the Office team announced that built-in MDM will be rolled out to all Office 365 commercial plans over the next 4-6 weeks. I am on the First Release program (http://doubledit.co.uk/2015/01/08/office-365-first-release-program/) and have not got the feature yet, but as soon as I do I will be playing around and reporting back!

The main features are as follows:

Conditional Access – this ensures that only managed, compliant devices can connect to your corporate data. This is the biggie and helps us control which mobile devices can access data stored in Office 365, not just Exchange Online.

Device Management – Jailbreak detection, PIN lock controls and rich reporting.

Selective Wipe – Remove corporate data from a managed device while leaving personal data in place.

For those wanting more advanced capabilities such as VPN/Wi-Fi profile management, PC Management and Mobile App management, InTune is still the go to Microsoft product.

You can find out more about the MDM capabilities being rolled out to Office 365 customers at the official blog here: http://blogs.office.com/2015/03/30/announcing-general-availability-of-built-in-mobile-device-management-for-office-365/