Why Office 365 Users Receive MyAnalytics Messages

Wellbeing for All, Unless You Want to Disable the Fitness Tracker for Work

Recently Office 365 users have received email from the MyAnalytics service (Figure 1) apparently out of the blue. Being coached about the steps to achieving wellbeing is all very well, but you’d like to be asked whether you need to use the “fitness tracker for work.”

A MyAnalytics "Wellbeing" Email
Figure 1: A MyAnalytics “Wellbeing” Email

The reason why this is happening is that Microsoft decided in January 2019 to remove MyAnalytics from its previous status of only being available in the Office 365 E5 plan or as a separate add-on and make the service available for everyone with an Exchange Online license (see roadmap item 52276). They are now getting around to rolling out the feature (see Office 365 notification MC186372 of July 23, 2019).

Disabling MyAnalytics

Even though the data is personal and is never shared with others, some people hate the idea of Office 365 analyzing and reporting their activity, let alone sending well-intended messages to help them work smarter, which is why you might need to disable MyAnalytics for the entire tenant (perhaps to prepare users for its introduction) or for individual users (mailboxes).

There are two ways to disable MyAnalytics: for the tenant or for an Exchange Online mailbox. To disable MyAnalytics for a tenant, go to the Services & Add-in section of the Office 365 Admin Center and select MyAnalytics. You can now select the default settings to apply to all mailboxes (Figure 2). You can disable just the weekly message to encourage better work habits by unchecking Weekly insights email.

MyAnalytics Settings for an Office 365 Tenant
Figure 2: MyAnalytics Settings for an Office 365 Tenant

The messages sent by MyAnalytics are interesting. They are submitted direct to user mailboxes and don’t seem to go through the Exchange Online transport service. If they do, the items pick up no message headers and no trace is left in the message tracking logs. Another minor irritation is that tenants have no control when the messages are delivered; they arrive when MyAnalytics is ready.

User Settings

Users can go to the MyAnalytics dashboard (selectable from the Office 365 waffle menu), and disable the service from the Settings menu (Figure 3). Note that it can take up to a week for changes to take effect, which means that a user might receive another email while the setting change is being implemented.

MyAnalytics Settings and Dashboard
Figure 3: MyAnalytics Settings and Dashboard

The PowerShell Approach

Alternatively, you can run the PowerShell Set-UserAnalyticsConfig cmdlet to disable (or enable) MyAnalytics for a set of mailboxes. The Get-UserAnalyticsConfig cmdlet is also available to check the current state of affairs. For example:

The PrivacyMode setting governs whether a mailbox is used by MyAnalytics. There’s no way to choose to only suppress the weekly email digest; you can only disable or enable MyAnalytics for a mailbox. In this example, we select mailboxes based on their CustomAttribute7 attribute, which we set to “NoMyAnalytics” to mark a mailbox to be disabled.

We cover MyAnalytics in the companion volume of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. That doesn’t mean that the information isn’t valuable: it simply means that we have tons of other stuff to discuss in the main book.


3 Replies to “Why Office 365 Users Receive MyAnalytics Messages”

  1. I am one of office365 client working in 42+ countries across 480+ domains.
    Question: Why is MS sending ‘My Analytics’ email without internet headers in them?
    Any specific reasons for this?

    1. The messages are injected into mailboxes without going through the Exchange transport system. They are never processed by SMTP.

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