Disable Clutter folder in Office 365

Office 365 has added a new feature called Clutter starting from June 2015. A new folder called Clutter will be available, if you have an Exchange Online mailbox. It performs intelligent email filtering and based on the behavior of an individual, moves low priority mails to this folder.

You can see it as a great feature, at the same time some people feel it is unnecessary. This blog post hence will describe how to disable the clutter folder or de-clutter your inbox.. ūüôā

For an individual, this can be achieved through your OWA settings. Once logged into OWA, select Options -> Mail -> Clutter.

If clutter is enabled, you will see the below screen


You can just un-check the above boxes and save the settings to disable this feature.

A point to be noted, even-though you disable the feature, the clutter folder still remains in your mailbox and all the mails which were previously in this folder will remain there itself. Since you disabled the feature, new mails wont be moved to this folder. 

An administrator can disable a user’s clutter folder through PowerShell as follows:

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

In order to globally disable the clutter feature, use the below cmdlet [this may consume some time]:

Get-Mailbox | Set-Clutter -Enable $false

Administrators at some point may have to disable this feature for a certain set of people in your organization, based on some parameters or attributes. For example, the Company attribute. In that case you can use the below cmdlets

For simplicity, we can assign all the user mailboxes in Contoso company to a variable and then call the variable and disable clutter.

$contosousers=Get-Recipient -filter {company -eq “Contoso”} | where {$_.recipienttype -eq “usermailbox”}

In the next step, execute

$contosousers | Set-Clutter -Enable $false

This may also take some time depending on the number of mailboxes.


PowerShell commands to connect to Exchange Online

As more and more businesses are moving to Office 365 for email, IM etc managing their respective service lines is a day to day task for an IT Engineer. Similar to managing your environment through the Office 365 portal, admins also use PowerShell for more flexibility every now and then. In order to perform any complex admin tasks on Exchange Online, admins need to connect to their O365 tenant. The below commands can help you achieve the same :

$UserCredential = Get-Credential

Click Enter Key after the above command. You will be asked to supply your O365 tenant credentials.


$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

The modules will be loaded and you will be connected to Exchange Online.


Enable Export-Mailbox and Import-Mailbox commands on Exchange 2010 & Exchange 2013

You might have faced this issue at some point that when trying to execute the Export or Import command on EMS for the first time. The error may indicate that such command does not exist. In order to resolve this, you have to perform the following :->

  • Check and confirm if the Exchange Server Admin tasks are installed in Exchange Management Shell, by trying to execute the command Get-PSSnapin
  • If not possible, it means that its is not included in the list. In that case execute the below command¬†Get-PSSnapin -registered
  • To install the required Admin tasks for the server, execute the command Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2010


Note: For Exchange Server 2007, execute the command Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.Admin

  • ¬†In order to provide multiple users or groups¬†permission to run these commands, execute¬†the below command “New-RoleGroup -Name “Exchange Mailbox Import Export” -Roles “Mailbox Import Export” -Members “<yourdomain\yourgroupname>” -DisplayName “”Exchange Mailbox Import Export” -Description “This group handles permissions to the import and export commands in powershell.”


Note: Command to delete email from all mailboxes in Exchange 2010 & Exchange 2013 

Get-Mailbox -Database¬†mdb | Export-Mailbox -SubjectKeywords “New” -DeleteContent¬†

Where mdb is the Mailbox Database and New is the email subject.

Also, the below command should be executed to have the permission to run the above command

get-mailbox -Database “Mailbox Database”| add-mailboxpermission -user administrator -AccessRights FullAccess



Reference :



Updating GAL entries forcefully on Exchange Server 2010 using EMS

Recently I had come up with an issue as mentioned below :

A new email alias was added for a domain mailbox in an Exchange 2010 environment. On one of the users Outlook 2010, whenever the user sends an email to this new address [be it test@example.com], the email is being rejected reporting that such an email address does not exist. I initially tried the following troubleshooting methods :

  1. Tried downloading OAB manually on the workstation from Outlook -> Account Settings
  2. Compared the GUID of the OAB on the Exchange Server location ‘C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\ExchangeOAB’¬†and the GUID of the OAB present in the outlook [this can be found out by pressing CTRL key + Right click on Outlook icon present in notification area to get Test E-mail AutoConfiguration. Test the setting and note the OAB GUID] and confirmed both are the same
  3. Tried updating OAB in the Exchange Server but resulted in the below error

OAB update

The above issue was resolved by removing the distribution of OAB using ‘Public Folder Distribution‘. It is safe to perform this step in an environment with no Outlook 2003 or earlier clients, as they are the one who access OAB using public folders. Once this step is performed, OAB will use Web Based Distribution.

Even after performing the above steps the issues still persisted. After searching a couple of links online, found out a thread which suggested on performing the following :

  • Update Global Address List on the Exchange Server using the command ‘Get-GlobalAddressList | Update-GlobalAddressList
  • Update Address List using the command ‘Get-AddressList | Update-AddressList
  • Update OAB using the command ‘Get-OfflineAddressBook | Update-OfflineAddressBook
  • Execute the shell command ‘Get-Mailbox | Set-Mailbox -ApplyMandatoryProperties
  • Restart the following MS Exchange services ‘Microsoft Exchange System Attendant Service‘ & ‘Microsoft Exchange File Distribution Service
  • Download the address book manually to your email client without enabling the option ‘download changes since last send/receive

Check and confirm whether the newly added email alias is updated in GAL.


Reference : Technet forums.


How to find if your Exchange Server is an Open Relay ? How to close an Open Relay ?

An Internet facing Exchange server is said to be an Open Relay if, it accepts emails from any sender and delivers it to any recipient no matter if the recipient exists or not.

For eg: Consider that you have an Exchange Organization setup for the domain xyz.com. A user jim@abc.com sends an email to roddick@efg.com through your Exchange Server. The server accepts the email even-though the domain and user mailbox is unknown for it.  Such a set up can be extremely vulnerable to attacks and is not considered as a best practice.

Thus, from the above example you will get an idea that an Exchange Organization which is built upon the Best Practices will be configured only to accept emails from external senders to recipients that are either members of the Exchange Organization or an Accepted Domain [known domain].

Tests to find if an Exchange Server is an Open Relay :-

  • TELNET TEST:¬†This is a simple test can be performed from the command line. We will try to send an email to an unknown user and check if the server accepts it or not.
  1. Start Command Prompt (CMD) by searching in Windows
  2. Type telnet and press Enter
  3. Once in telnet prompt, type set localecho
  4. Then type open [external ip/name] 25  eg: open 25
  5. Following response will be received ‘220 mail.server.domain Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service, Version: 6.0.2790.0 Ready at’
  6. Type the command : ehlo firsttestdomain.com [Make sure that ‘firsttestdomain.com‘ is anything other than the domain your Exchange Server handles]
  7. Select OK and you will receive the following :250 OK
  8. Type the command mail from:user@firsttestdomain.com [Note, this email address is not a mailbox in the Exchange Server]
  9. Select OK and you will get the response
    250 2.1.0 user@firsttestdomain.com….Sender OK
  10. Type the command rcpt to:user@secondtestdomain.com [completely a new address not mentioned above]
  11. Once you select OK, you will receive a response and depending on that response we can determine if the server is an open relay or not:

If the response is

550 5.7.1 Unable to relay for user@secondtestdomain.com means, your server is not an open relay & is secure

At the same time, if the response is

250 2.1.5 user@secondtestdomain.com  means your server is un-secure and is an open relay.


  • DNSBL DIAGNOSTIC TEST : An alternative and a quick solution to determine open relay is by checking the domain against any of the DNS Block List providers such as MXTOOLBOX.COM.
  1. Access the website MXTOOLBOX.COM
  2. Select the SMTP DIAGNOSTICS tab
  3. Enter your mail server IP address or external name and select the Test Email Server tab
  4. You will receive a response stating whether the server is an open relay or not as shown in below eg:




The main causes that can turn an Exchange Server to an Open Relay is the configuration issues with the connectors and Accepted Domains. The following checks can be done on this regard:-

  • If ‘Externally Secured‘ option is enabled on the Internet Send/Receive connectors.

In the Exchange Management Console, Send Connectors can be found in Hub Transport role under Organization Configuration while, Receive Connectors in Hub Transport role under the Server Configuration. Make sure that in the properties -> Authentication section of these Internet connectors, the Externally Secured option is disabled in order to stop your Exchange Server being an Open Relay .

  • If Accepted Domains configured as ‘*’

In the Exchange Management console, Accepted Domain comes in Hub Transport role under Organization configuration. Accepted Domains are the domains that are known to the Exchange Server. The domains can be either Authoritative or Non-Authoritative. Make sure that no Accepted Domain are configured as ‘*’ to help protect your Exchange Server from being an Open Relay.



The following command can be executed on Exchange Management Shell to disable Open Relay on an Exchange Server.

Get-ReceiveConnector ‚ÄúYourReceiveConnectorName‚ÄĚ | Remove-ADPermission -User ‚ÄúNT AUTHORITY\ANONYMOUS LOGON‚ÄĚ -ExtendedRights ‚Äúms-Exch-SMTP-Accept-Any-Recipient‚ÄĚ

as per the link http://alanhardisty.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/how-to-close-an-open-relay-in-exchange-2007-2010.