Blog

  1. October 2021 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros (2022 Edition) October 1, 2021 1:00 am - The October 2021 update is available for download by Office 365 for IT Pros subscribers. There's a huge amount of change in the ecosystem right now and the book is completely refreshed. We'd appreciate if subscribers would download and use the updated files as a lot of work goes into their production.
  2. Teams is the Most Difficult Office 365 Application to Backup June 10, 2020 1:28 am - Because it sits on top of so many Microsoft 365 components, Teams is easily the hardest Office 365 workload to backup. You can try to backup Teams by copying its compliance records stored in Exchange Online, but that's only a partial (and bad) solution that utterly fails to take the full spectrum of Teams data into account.
  3. Improved DKIM Configuration Page is Prompt to Check Domains October 21, 2021 1:00 am - A new Microsoft 365 DKIM management page is a good prompt to check that all domains used to send email in n Office 365 tenant are configured properly for DKIM. The process of enabling DKIM and key rotation is easily done through the GUI or PowerShell once the correct CNAME records are in DNS.
  4. How to Stop Teams Clients Auto Starting October 20, 2021 1:00 am - After upgrading to Windows 11, you have Chat in the taskbar. This is really a Teams personal client, meaning that you end up with two Teams clients on the PC. To make life even more confusing, if you search Windows 11 for Teams, you see the personal version suggested first. Some pruning of clients is needed.
  5. How to Use a Microsoft 365 Retention Policy to Manage Inactive Mailbox Content October 19, 2021 1:00 am - Most Microsoft 365 tenants will have to manage the mailboxes of ex-employees. Retention policies are an excellent method to achieve this goal, if you remember to add mailboxes to a suitable retention policy before deleting their Azure AD account. In this article, we consider Microsoft's recommendation to use a specific retention policy for inactive mailboxes and how to go about using such a policy.
  6. Apple Mail App Clients Might Need Upgrading for Modern Authentication October 18, 2021 1:00 am - The road to modern authentication for Exchange Online is littered with things to do. One action item is to check Apple iOS and iPad devices using Exchange ActiveSync to connect to mailboxes. If these devices were configured to connect to Exchange Online before iOS 12, they’re likely using basic authentication. Right now, the only way to move them to modern authentication is to remove Exchange from the mail app and add Exchange again. It’s a bump on the way to modern authentication in October 2022.
  7. How to Mark an Obsolete Teams Channel as Defunct Before Removal October 15, 2021 1:00 am - Every Teams deployment has some defunct or obsolete channels. In this article, we explore how to mark unwanted channels as defunct before their eventual removal. It’s a manual but very easy technique that’s very effective when explained to users. As long as everyone remembers to recover any required information from channel conversations before its deletion, everything goes swimmingly
  8. Why SharePoint Online Will Allow Users to Delete Files with Retention Labels October 14, 2021 1:00 am - Users attempting to delete SharePoint Online files assigned Microsoft 365 retention labels are blocked. That is, until a change arrives in November to make SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business behave in the same manner. It's a good change because it avoid the scenario where users remove retention labels to delete files, which undermines the organization's compliance strategy. Now, deleted items go into the preservation hold library and stay there until their retention period expires. My only complaint is that the control over the mechanism is not as simple as it should be, but that's a small and relatively unimportant flaw in the overall scheme of things.
  9. How to Manage Client Read Receipt Settings in OWA and Outlook for Windows October 13, 2021 1:00 am - A reader request asked how to force users to send read receipts. This is a client-side feature so the settings involved differ from client to client. We explore how to control them in OWA and Outlook for Windows. A mixture of PowerShell and system registry settings help create a solution. We're leaving figuring out how to manage other clients to our readers.
  10. Teams Gets a New Search Results Page October 12, 2021 1:00 am - A new Teams search results page (in preview) makes better use of space, presents results in a clearer manner, and is more accurate. Even after stripping away the normal Microsoft hyperbole and grand statements about artificial intelligence powering everything, there's lots to like about the change, which should show up to all tenants in mid-November.
  11. API Deprecations Signal the Demise of Exchange Web Services October 11, 2021 1:00 am - A Microsoft October 5 announcement gives a clear signal that Exchange Web Services is on a short runway to oblivion. The first step is the removal of 25 APIs on March 31, 2022. It's all part of the master plan to get Office 365 tenants and ISVs to move to the Microsoft Graph APIs. This is a perfectly laudable ambition but it's complicated because of the lack of suitable Graph APIs to handle the volume of Exchange data involved in scenarios like backup/restore and migration. Teams has a new Graph Export API, but it introduces consumption metering and charging. Is a new Exchange API coming and will it use the same charging mechanism? We live in interesting times...
  12. OWA Adds Full Support for Send from Proxy Address (Mailbox Aliases) October 8, 2021 1:00 am - A recent update to OWA adds the option to allow users to choose which proxy addresses assigned to a mailbox they would like to send messages from. It's a small change which completes the client support for the earlier server-side update to allow users to send using mailbox proxies, and it makes using proxy addresses more approachable and useful. OWA also includes a drop-down list in the compose message screen to allow users to select an address to send from, and makes sure that message headers are updated correctly so that messages go back to the right address.
  13. How Retention is Changing for SharePoint Online’s Preservation Hold Library October 7, 2021 1:00 am - The preservation hold library is an important component of SharePoint Online retention processing. A change coming in November should simplify file handling and reduce the amount of storage taken up by retained files in the library. Basically, instead of storing multiple versions of a file, SharePoint Online will hold a single file containing all the updates. It seems like a good change to make. We'll know more when it rolls out.
  14. How Microsoft Editor Can Make Your OWA Messages More Polite October 6, 2021 1:00 am - A new Microsoft Editor feature aims to make OWA messages more polite through "tone detection." Currently only available for U.S. English, Editor scans for impolite text and comes up with suggested replacement text. The results vary from very good to not so good, but this might be because it takes time for a learning model to accumulate enough information about a user's writing style to be able to detect impolite text accurately. We'll know over time.
  15. How Exchange Online Uses Archives to Offload Recoverable Items Storage October 5, 2021 1:00 am - A change rolling out in mid-October will remove storage pressure on the Recoverable Items structure in Exchange Online mailboxes by offloading some data to archive mailboxes. The idea is a good one because it means that the storage allocated to Recoverable Items won't fill up and require intervention so often. Users won't know anything about what's happening under the covers as it's all hidden from view.
  16. How to Find Exchange Online Archive Mailboxes Close to the New 1.5 TB Limit October 4, 2021 1:00 am - A 1.5 TB limit applies to Exchange Online archive mailboxes from November 1, 2021. In this article, we use PowerShell to report how close expandable archives are to the new limit. In reality, not many archive mailboxes will approach the new limit, but it's nice to know things like the daily growth rate for an archive and how many days it will take for an archive to reach 1.5 TB. All whimsical stuff calculated with PowerShell!
  17. SharePoint Admin Center Absorbs OneDrive for Business Management September 30, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft has simplified Microsoft 365 administration by moving controls from the OneDrive for Business admin center into the SharePoint Online admin center. It's a good step because the two workloads are really two sides of the same file and document management function within Microsoft 365. With many apps moving storage of their data to OneDrive for Business, its role is becoming increasingly important. Even so, OneDrive doesn't deserve a dedicated management portal.
  18. Massive Refresh of Whiteboard App Delivered for Teams and Other Clients September 29, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft has delivered a massive refresh for the Whiteboard app. Now available in Teams, browser, and Android clients (Windows native and iOS updates are coming), the update delivers many new features including reactions, importing graphics into whiteboards, and object alignment. A bunch of out-of-the-box templates can help people use Whiteboard in different scenarios, and if you're looking for some digital smarts, there's ink shape recognition to play with.
  19. How to Use the Free Microsoft 365 Compliance Trial September 28, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft is making a free 90-day trial of Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance licenses available to tenants who don't yet have compliance licenses. The purpose is to allow organizations to test the advanced compliance functionality which requires Office 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 licenses. Microsoft obviously hopes that organizations will be so delighted at the functionality that they sign up for E5 licenses in the long run. If you don't want to run a test in your production tenant, you can achieve much the same effect by getting an E5 trial tenant and testing there.
  20. SMTP AUTH Exception Smoothens Path to Removal of Basic Auth in Exchange Online September 27, 2021 1:00 am - Last week's announcement that Exchange Online will block basic authentication for multiple protocols on October 1, 2022, got some attention. Now the hard choices of what to do with clients and applications need to be made. To smoothen the path to remove basic authentication, Microsoft is making an exception for SMTP AUTH. Your scripts and multi-function devices will keep working after October 2022, but the writing is on the wall and eventually even SMTP AUTH will stop working.
  21. Basic Authentication for All Exchange Online Tenants Stops in October 2022 September 24, 2021 1:00 am - October 1, 2022 will be a big day for Exchange Online tenants because that's when Microsoft starts to disable basic authentication for connectivity protocols whether or not tenants want this to happen. This is a huge and fundamental change that's being driven by the need to increase the overall security of Exchange Online and individual tenants, while also blocking common attacks seeking to compromise user accounts. With only a year to go, it's time to start work on preparing everything that needs to be in place for the great October 1 switchoff.
  22. Inactive Mailboxes Turn Up in Microsoft 365 Compliance Center September 23, 2021 1:00 am - Inactive mailboxes have been available in Exchange Online since 2015. A new inactive mailboxes listing is available in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. The GUI isn't very functional, but perhaps it's a starting point for some enhanced management capabilities for inactive mailboxes. We've only been waiting six years...
  23. Teams Highlights Top Hits in Its Search Suggestions September 22, 2021 1:00 am - A new Teams preview feature introduces Top Hits in the set of suggestions it makes for a search term. Teams also highlights the search term in its suggestions to provide context. Neither feature will make much different to end users in the overall scheme of things, but both are useful in a kind of fit-and-finish way.
  24. How to Allow People in Your Office 365 Tenant to See Details of Each Other’s Calendar September 21, 2021 1:00 am - By default, Exchange Online allows other users in your tenant to see limited details of your availability when scheduling meetings. More information can be displayed by updating the calendar permissions for mailboxes. This is easy to do with PowerShell, but needs to be done on an ongoing basis because Exchange Online doesn't have an organization or mailbox plan setting to assign the value to new mailboxes.
  25. How to Use Quoted Replies in Teams Chat September 20, 2021 1:00 am - Teams clients can use quoted replies in group, 1:1, and meeting chats. A quoted reply is where Teams inserts a snippet from a previous message to create a new message. It's a tremendously useful feature which allows users to add context to something discussed in a chat. (quoted replies are not supported in channel conversations). The only question is why it's taken Microsoft so long to add this feature to Teams?
  26. How to Use /Any Filters in Microsoft Graph API Queries with PowerShell September 17, 2021 1:00 am - Understanding how to create effective queries using the Microsoft Graph APIs takes some work, especially with some of the more complex filters used to refine the data returned by the Graph. In this article, we look at how filters using lambda qualifiers work and explore some examples of these qualifiers in use.
  27. How Teams Makes Webinar Information Available for Search and eDiscovery September 16, 2021 1:00 am - Teams-based webinars are a popular way of hosting events like product briefings or announcements. Behind the scenes, the Microsoft 365 substrate stores information about webinar speakers, attendance, and event details as lists in the meeting organizer's OneDrive for Business account. The information stored in OneDrive is indexed and available for eDiscovery. It's a great example of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem in action.
  28. Why Search-Mailbox is Still Valuable When You Need to Remove Mailbox Items September 15, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft wants to eliminate the Search-Mailbox cmdlet, but it's still very valuable when the time comes to remove mailbox items because of a spam attack or similar reasons. The suggested replacement is Core eDiscovery searches and associated content search purge actions, but these are slower and less effective than Search-Mailbox. To prove the point, we've put together a demonstration script to show how to compose a search query and run it against a set of mailboxes.
  29. Teams Background Effects Available in Browser Clients September 14, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft has released support for background effects for Teams browser clients. It seems like only Microsoft-curated background images (including blur) works and that you can't use organization images or custom uploaded images. This might just be a timing issue and Microsoft will enable this functionality in the future. For those who like using the Teams browser client to join meetings, this is a nice solution.
  30. Why Teams Shows a P at the Upper Right of the User Photo September 13, 2021 1:00 am - The latest innovation in the Teams client is the display of a P marker to the upper right of the user profile photo (avatar). This means that the client runs public preview software and the marker is intended to allow users and support personal understand when clients run public preview rather than the generally available software. Of course, users only know this when they're told about the magic P.
  31. Microsoft to Enable Teams Recordings and Transcription for VOIP and PSTN Calls September 10, 2021 1:20 am - Due in late September, users with a Teams Phone system license will be able to record and transcribe 1:1 calls made to PSTN and VOIP numbers, assuming that the Teams calling policy assigned to their accounts allows these features. The new capabilities close an important gap in the Teams Phone system for anyone who needs to be sure of the details of customer contacts and other interactions.
  32. How to Manage Anonymized User Data in Microsoft 365 Usage Reports September 9, 2021 1:00 am - The usage reports available in the Microsoft 365 admin center, Teams admin center, and other places now include anonymized user information by default. The new default became active on September 1, 2021 and the organization setting applies to any usage data generated by the Microsoft Graph usage reports API, which means that some scripts might create reports less interesting and useful than before. It's a good change for privacy, but will organizations persist with the new default?
  33. How Microsoft Search Finds Spoken Text in Teams Meeting Transcripts September 8, 2021 12:36 am - Adding the ability to search for spoken text in Teams meeting recordings is just one of the new features added after Microsoft moved storage for meeting recordings to OneDrive for Business. A new video viewer and support for 27 additional languages (some different variants of a base language) are also important developments. In this article, we explore how Exchange Online captures the text spoken in Teams meetings, how OneDrive for Business links the text with the video, and how Search can find spoken text from the transcripts.
  34. Microsoft Applies the Viva Brand to MyAnalytics September 7, 2021 12:02 am - Microsoft is applying their Viva brand to the features currently known as MyAnalytics. Viva Insights will span a monthly email digest, the Outlook insights add-on, and the Insights dashboard. If you don't want users to access these features, you can disable the features individually or remove the service plan from user licenses. The rebranding is happening now and due to complete in November.
  35. How to Access the TEC 2021 Session Videos September 6, 2021 8:25 am - You can now access videos and slides for sessions given at The Experts Conference 2021. The sessions cover a wide range of technology from Azure AD to Microsoft 365 to infrastructure modernization. And you can now register for TEC 2022, which will run as an in-person event in Atlanta on September 20-21, 2022. It should be great fun!
  36. How to Find Delve Accounts with Disabled Document Insights September 3, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft has replaced the controls which disabled document insights in Delve with new Graph-based settings. However, you might still have a bunch of users with the Delve settings who need to migrate to the Graph settings. In this article, we explore how the settings work and how to query the Graph to find the set of users who disabled the setting in Delve. We can then use PowerShell to add those accounts to the group of disabled insights users for the Graph-based settings.
  37. Teams and SharePoint Online to Synchronize Channel Names Properly September 2, 2021 1:00 am - The longstanding problem where the renaming of a Teams channel did not rename the folder in the SharePoint document library is being fixed. First flagged as an issue in 2016, this is one of the oldest bugs in Teams and it's taken far too long for Microsoft to squash. The good news is that the fix will deploy in mid-September to close off the problem once and for all.
  38. September 2021 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros September 1, 2021 1:00 am - The September 2021 update is available to subscribers of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. The update for the only constantly updated book covers changes across Office 365 in the last month, including new functionality and features, a new SLA figure for the service, and a bunch of updated PowerShell examples. And we fixed some annoying typos. All in all, it was a busy but productive month. Please update and use the new text at your earliest convenience. We wouldn't like you to use now obsolete information.
  39. Lightweight Plans Coming in Fluid Component for Teams Meetings August 31, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft is preparing to enable lightweight plans soon. The new plans are managed via the Planner app and should turn up in Teams meetings as a fluid component to allow meeting participants to capture tasks assigned during calls. It's a neat way to use a plan that isn't associated with a Microsoft 365 group. We'll see what happens in September/October when the functionality lands. Also, a new cmdlet is available to export Planner data for a user. You never know where this might be useful.
  40. Inconsistencies Using Reserved Email Aliases with Groups in Microsoft 365 August 30, 2021 1:00 am - Azure AD administrators should be able to assign a reserved alias to a new group. At least, that's what the documentation says. As it turns out, this isn't strictly true as there are places where administrative interfaces (GUI and PowerShell) block any attempt to use reserved aliases. Does this matter? Probably not, unless you like consistency... which we do!
  41. Is PSTN Connectivity for Teams Relevant in 2021? August 27, 2021 10:19 am - Teams has more than 250 million monthly active users, but many fewer than this use Teams Phone. As we return to work from the pandemic, Ståle Hansen asks if it’s time to enable PSTN connectivity for Teams. This is a follow-up to an recent interview between Ståle Hansen, author of the chapter on Teams Phone and Devices in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook, and the esteemed journalist Mary-Jo Foley
  42. How the Satin Codec Makes Teams Music Mode Work August 26, 2021 12:45 am - A new music mode for Teams desktop clients is rolling out now to improve the quality of music playback in Teams meetings and calls. The new feature depends on the Satin codec released earlier this year. Basically, music mode delivers high-quality playback even when connected across poor networks when packet drops are common and throughput is uncertain. A range of other controls are available to adjust the audio stream when hosting meetings using professional facilities. It's all too much for this non-audiophile, but music mode is great for those who care.
  43. Microsoft 365’s New Retention Assistant Processes Multiple Workloads August 25, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft has moved retention processing for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Teams, and Yammer from the Managed Folder Assistant to a new retention assistant. (background processing job). It's part of an effort to use workload-agnostic processing whenever possible to perform retention actions across Microsoft 365.
  44. Microsoft Plans to Remove Transcripts for Some Old Stream Videos August 24, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to start removing the automatically-generated transcript of some Stream videos in September 2021. Only automatic transcripts are affected, and only if no one is looking at the video. If you've taken the time to edit a transcript or upload a manual transcript, Stream will leave these transcripts alone. It's all part of the big plan to get Stream off its own Azure storage and onto SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.
  45. How to Pin Messages in Teams Chats and Channel Conversations August 23, 2021 1:00 am - Teams supports pinning of chats to highlight important messages to chat participants. You can also pin messages in channel conversations, but the highlighting is different. Like many things in life, it's the details that matter when figuring out how useful message pinning will be for individual users. I've found a way to make chat pinning useful for me. The question is whether you can do the same!
  46. OneDrive for Business Microsoft Adds Service Plan to Control Offline Synchronization of Lists August 20, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 notification MC277196 informs tenants about a new service plan to control the Nucleus synchronization engine. In effect, this means you can disable offline working with Microsoft Lists. The new service plan is due to turn up in Office 365 SKUs in September 2021. Lists will get a new icon to show their synchronization status. Apart from the delayed deployment of Nucleus, it's all good news.
  47. Exchange Online to Introduce Legacy SMTP Endpoint in 2022 August 19, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft hopes to accelerate the removal of TLS 1.0 and 1.2 connections from Exchange Online by disabling connectivity in 2022 and forcing organizations which need to use the older protocols to connect to a new "legacy smtp" endpoint. It's not a bad plan because it transfers responsibility for choosing to use obsolete connections to customers. Most organizations will go with the flow (no pun intended) and use TLS 1.2, but those who need some time to update applications and devices know what they have to do.
  48. How to Remove a Single Service Plan from Multiple Microsoft 365 Accounts with PowerShell August 18, 2021 1:00 am - In this post, we describe how to use PowerShell to remove a single service plan from Microsoft 365 licenses using PowerShell. The script can remove any service plan from any SKU (license) in a tenant. You might want to do this to disable access to an obsolete feature (like Sway) or to prevent access to a new feature until the organization is ready to support user activity.
  49. SharePoint Online Embraces Azure B2B Collaboration for External Sharing August 17, 2021 1:00 am - In October 2021, Microsoft will enable the Azure AD email one-time passcode identity provider in tenants. SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will use the provider to control access for external people to its resources. The net effect is that Azure AD will create guest accounts for external sharing recipients. Even though guest accounts need to be managed, there's lots of good reasons to use guest accounts, as we describe here.
  50. How to Create a Report of Distribution Lists and their Owners August 16, 2021 1:00 am - In this post, we explore how to use PowerShell to create a report about distribution lists and their owners. The script is quick and dirty, but it works, and the code will run on both Exchange Online and Exchange Server and generates both HTML and CSV outputs. We also look at whether it's possible to speed things up by using Microsoft Graph API calls. As it turns out, because we're interested in owner information, it's no faster to retrieve distribution lists using the Graph. However, as shown in a second script, the Graph is great at retrieving membership information.
  51. OneDrive’s Sharing Control Upgraded with Shared with Information August 13, 2021 1:00 am - The OneDrive for Business sharing control (also used by SharePoint Online) now shows thumbnails of the set of people who already have access to an item. The idea is to give owners of information an at a glance view of who has access. It's a nice change which adds something that probably no one thought was missing, The little things add all the difference!
  52. How to Monitor Changes to Microsoft 365 Retention Policies August 12, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 retention policies control how the system removes items automatically from Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Teams, and other locations. Because these policies are so powerful, it's a good idea to keep an eye on who makes changes to their settings. The audit log is a natural place to go looking for information about policy updates and while we can find information there, some of the data is oddly formatted or obscured for some reason. Persistence and PowerShell delivers answers, but this is a task way harder than it should be.
  53. How to Control the Creation of Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams) in a Tenant August 11, 2021 2:03 am - Controlling the creation of Microsoft 365 Groups might seem complex, but it's not as complicated as it might seem. Make sure Azure AD allows group creation, and then you can either allow everyone to create new groups or restrict the right to a limited set of accounts (a capability requiring Azure AD Premium licenses). And don't forget OWA, because it's got its own mailbox policy with a group creation setting. All good, clean, honest fun.
  54. An Insight Into Microsoft Information Protection, Licenses, and Certificates August 10, 2021 1:00 am - A recent conversation in the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) community on Yammer about deleted templates led to a discussion about how this might affect users, like those who apply sensitivity labels with encryption to protect documents in SharePoint Online or email in Exchange Online. As it turns out, MIP has a backstop or get out of jail free card, but to understand how it works, you need to understand a little bit about publishing licenses and use licenses. We explain what happens in this article.
  55. Updates to Group Creation Settings in Azure AD Admin Center August 9, 2021 12:23 am - Microsoft has updated the creation settings for security groups and Microsoft 365 groups in the Azure AD admin center. The changes impose consistency over administrator creation of these groups and probably won't affect tenants, but it's good to check. The change makes us ponder why Microsoft doesn't improve the GUI for other group controls, like those controlling who can create new Microsoft 365 Groups.
  56. Headspace Meditation Available in Viva Insights App for Teams August 6, 2021 1:35 am - The Viva Insights app for Teams now boasts Headspace-powered meditation to add to its mindfulness capabilities. Available to English users with Exchange Online mailboxes, the set of six meditation exercises and two music selections will help some people relax and destress. Others won't be interested, but that's OK because a new PowerShell cmdlet is available to turn the Headspace feature off.
  57. OneDrive for Business Whiteboard Moving Its Storage to OneDrive for Business August 5, 2021 1:00 am - Microsoft's Whiteboard app is moving its storage off Azure to OneDrive for Business. The switchover will happen in October 2021, but tenants can opt-in to use OneDrive storage from the end of August. Some Whiteboard clients won't be able to cope with OneDrive then, but Microsoft says that everything will be straightened out for the switchover in October. As we explain here, it's a good idea (for many reasons) to move Whiteboard storage to OneDrive.
  58. How to Move Distribution List Membership from One Mailbox to Another August 4, 2021 1:00 am - A reader asked how to move membership of multiple distribution lists from one mailbox to another. We use PowerShell to do the job. Only a few lines are needed to switch the memberships, but we add a few more lines to make the script work better. We don’t handle dynamic distribution lists. This is possible for precanned (simple) filters, but given the number of dynamic distribution lists usually involved, it’s probably best to update directory settings manually.
  59. Microsoft to Introduce Auto-Expiration for Teams Meeting Recordings August 3, 2021 1:30 am - In September Microsoft will introduce a new auto-expiration feature for Teams meeting recordings stored in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. By default, recordings will be moved to the recycle bin 60 days after creation (30 days for users with Office 365 A1 licenses). Tenants can control the default expiration period using Teams meeting policies while users can override expiration for individual files. And if you use retention policies to control Teams meeting recordings, their instructions take precedence over auto-expiration.
  60. First Monthly Update Issued for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2022 Edition) eBook August 2, 2021 1:03 am - The August 2021 update is now available for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2022 edition) eBook. Subscribers for the EPUB/PDF version can download books from Gumroad.com while Kindle purchasers can ask Amazon support for access to the updated files. Like every monthly update, August 2021 features a wide range of changes to different chapters across the book. Being able to issue monthly updates is a luxury afforded by the ePublishing model that makes sure that Office 365 for IT Pros is always up to date and current.
  61. Real-Time Safe Link Protection for Teams Messages July 30, 2021 1:00 am - The Safe Links capability in Microsoft Defender for Office 365 is now generally available to protect Teams messages in chats and channel conversations, and even in web site links pinned as a channel tab. Most bad links flowing into an Office 365 tenant will continue to arrive by email, but this new capability closes off a gap where users are tempted to make a poor decision to share a malicious link through Teams.
  62. New Sender-Recipient Limits for Exchange Online Coming in September 2021 July 29, 2021 1:00 am - Exchange Online already imposes limits on the number of messages a mailbox can receive per hour. New limits will restrict the number of messages individual senders can send to a third of the overall limit. The restriction doesn't apply to senders with an Exchange Online mailbox in the same tenant. And if a mailbox runs into a limit, it features on the splendidly named Hot Recipients report. What's not to like about that.
  63. Is Microsoft’s Claimed 250 Million Teams Monthly Active Users Believable? July 28, 2021 10:26 am - Microsoft claims that Teams has "nearly" 250 million monthly active users, which is quite a jump for the 145 million reported in April. We take a closer look at the numbers to try and figure out how Microsoft arrived at such a number. It seems like they can get there by lumping the numbers for commercial, education, and personal users together, but that's not the same as reporting a nice simple number for commercial usage.
  64. Microsoft Introduces Data Privacy Tag for Message Center Notifications July 27, 2021 12:36 am - The message center in the Microsoft 365 admin center will soon use a new data privacy tag to highlight specific service updates to tenant administrators. No messages with the new tag have yet appeared, so it's hard to know how Microsoft plans to use the new tag or what kind of attachments it will make available to administrators to help understand the sensitive data involved in data privacy. While we're waiting, we took at look at the tags in use today and wrote some PowerShell to report which tag is most popular.
  65. How to Upgrade Office 365 PowerShell Scripts to Use the Graph API July 26, 2021 1:34 am - Many PowerShell scripts which access Office 365 data could do with a speed boost. Replacing cmdlets with Microsoft Graph API calls is one way to get extra speed. In this article, we take a PowerShell script to report the memberships users have of Microsoft 365 groups and replace some important cmdlets with Graph API calls. The result is a big speed increase.
  66. Microsoft Sends Moca Boards to the OWA Calendar July 23, 2021 12:04 am - Project Moca is no longer a separate OWA component. Boards created in Moca are now available through the OWA calendar, just like other boards created there. The question is how Microsoft will bring the board view to Outlook desktop. I figure it's a candidate for OCX and WebView2, just like the Room Finder. Time will tell.
  67. How to Customize the Properties of a Teams App July 22, 2021 1:00 am - If their developers allow, Office 365 tenants can customize the properties of Teams apps to add their own icons, text, and links. In this article, we show how by customizing the Yammer Communities app to add a most remarkable photo taken at an Ignite event, a snazzier title (that no one can see), and some modified text. Is this enough to make the exercise worthwhile? that all depends on how you feel about corporate branding!
  68. Microsoft Launches Preview of App Governance for Cloud App Security July 21, 2021 1:00 am - The preview of a new app governance add-on for Microsoft Client App Security gives Office 365 administrators insight into Graph-based apps. The add-on depends on information gathered from Azure AD and MCAS to generate insights about apps and their usage, including highlighting apps which are overprivileged or highly privileged. Although you can do some of the auditing yourself, the add-on makes it easier. It's a preview, so some glitches are present.
  69. How to Block Self-Service Purchases of Windows 365 Licenses July 20, 2021 1:00 am - Office 365 tenants users will soon be able to execute self-service purchase Windows 365 licenses. That is, unless you stop them by running some PowerShell commands to disable the capability. In this article, we explain the Windows 365 options available for self-service purchase and the PowerShell commands necessary to disable the option, if you think it's a bad idea (as some do).
  70. Clippy Returns in Nostalgia Set of Teams Background Images July 19, 2021 1:00 am - The Nostalgia set of Teams background images includes Office Clippy, the famous Bliss image used for the Windows XP desktop, and images of Paint and Solitaire. These are only part of the wide selection of suitable images to use as background effects in Teams meetings. And if you've got a great image to share, you can upload it to the Microsoft Gallery for others to use.
  71. New Option to Control How Teams Clients Open Office Documents July 16, 2021 12:45 am - A new option in the Teams desktop and browser clients allows users to choose how they open Office documents. The choices are Teams (a viewer), browser (Office Online), and the desktop app. Being an old-time stuck-in-the-mud kind of person who's used Office for 30-odd years, I naturally selected desktop apps. After all, who doesn't like seeing Word spin up for the 99th time in an afternoon?
  72. SharePoint Online PowerShell Exposes New Properties to Identify Teams-Connected Sites July 15, 2021 1:00 am - The latest version of the SharePoint Online PowerShell module reveals some new site properties to inform administrators if sites are connected to teams or even team channels (both private and shared). There's also some changes coming to the SharePoint Online admin center, all of which are very useful in terms of tracking the sites used by Teams.
  73. Adaptive Scopes Coming Soon for Retention Policies July 14, 2021 1:22 am - Office 365 tenants will soon be able to create adaptive scopes for retention policies. An adaptive scope is nothing more than a filter to select target mailboxes, sites, and Microsoft 365 groups based on some criteria. They're adaptive because administrators don't have to update policies as they add new objects. Like other Microsoft 365 Information Governance features which automate some aspect of operations, adaptive scopes are likely to demand Office 365 E5 or Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance licenses.
  74. How to Decide When to Use the Microsoft Graph API to Speed Up PowerShell Scripts July 13, 2021 1:00 am - The thoughts of using Microsoft Graph API calls with PowerShell might seem to be too much trouble, but used correctly, Graph API calls help scripts speed up and get to some data that is not reachable through a cmdlet. I have a simple four-step approach that I use to figure out if I need to include some Graph API calls. The routine works for me. Feel free to disagree.
  75. Teams Private Channels Gain Support for Retention Processing July 12, 2021 3:12 am - It is now possible to apply Microsoft 365 retention policies to Teams private channel messages. The messages are in user mailboxes and discoverable due to their properties. All the retention policy must do is find the messages and apply the policy settings, and if an item is expired, remove it from the mailbox. Easy... or is it?
  76. Outlook Edge Extension Coming Soon – But is it Needed? July 9, 2021 1:22 am - Outlook and OWA users will soon see a banner notification to recommend the installation of an Edge extension. The extension logs into the user account to peek into the mailbox, calendar, tasks, and contacts. Tenant administrators have until July 30 to decide if they will block the display of the banners. This can be done using the Office Cloud Policy Service or a Group Policy Object.
  77. How to Hide Teams-Enabled Groups from Exchange Online July 8, 2021 1:00 am - New teams created using Teams clients are hidden from Exchange Online, but those created using administrative interfaces are not. The result is potential confusion. in this post, we describe a PowerShell script to find any team-enabled Microsoft 365 Groups which are visible to Exchange and hide them. It's easy scripting, but you need to run the script periodically to update the settings for new teams.
  78. All About Yammer Compliance Records July 7, 2021 1:00 am - Yammer compliance records are generated by the Microsoft 365 substrate and consumed by features such as communications compliance policies and eDiscovery. In this post, we consider where Yammer compliance records are stored and what they contain and how to use PowerShell to figure out the activity levels of Yammer communities.
  79. Delayed Features, Retirements, and New Insights Control for Office 365 in July 2021 July 6, 2021 2:26 am - Office 365 will see a batch of delayed features arrive during July 2021 along with two notable retirements and a new Personal Item Insights control. After going through the set of delayed features announced in the Microsoft 365 admin center, we share our list of the most important items here along with the two big retirements in the month and a new personal privacy control.
  80. How to Generate a Report of Teams and Their SharePoint Online Sites July 5, 2021 10:19 am - How do you create a report of all the Teams in a tenant and their SharePoint Online sites? As it turns out, a two-line script does the job. We make the script slightly prettier, but it's still simple. And because it's PowerShell, anyone can change the code to make it work the way they want it to.
  81. Linking Public Preview for Teams Desktop Client to Office Current Channel July 2, 2021 1:00 am - A change to the Teams update policy allows tenants to connect Teams preview mode for the desktop client with Office Current Channel (Preview) for the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise. When the change happens in late July, accounts configured to use Office Current Channel (preview) will automatically use Teams preview. It's kind of logical because Teams is so closely connected to Office. In any case, settings are available in the Teams update policy if you want to move away from the enabled by default status favored by Microsoft.
  82. Publication of Office 365 for IT Pros (2022 Edition) July 1, 2021 1:00 am - Office 365 for IT Pros, the only constantly-updated eBook covering Microsoft's cloud productivity suite, has just released its eighth (2022) edition. The book is available from Gumroad.com. Completely revised after an end-to-end review, the new edition will receive monthly updates over the coming year to keep subscribers fully abreast of new developments within Office 365 and the wider Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
  83. SharePoint Online Adopts OneDrive’s Deletion Method for Items with Retention Labels June 30, 2021 1:00 am - A change being made to SharePoint Online in August will make the deletion process for files with retention labels consistent with OneDrive for Business. The intention is to achieve consistency across the two browser interfaces and to remove a little friction for users who might become confused when they SharePoint Online stops them deleting labeled files. Everything will happen in August. We wonder if anyone will notice?
  84. How to Track the Creation of Teams Meeting Recordings in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online June 29, 2021 1:00 am - After writing about auto-label policies for Teams meeting recordings, we were asked about how to track the creation of the recordings. The key to be able to report the data us events in the Office 365 audit log. Once you know where to look, it's easy to find the audit records and extract data about the creation of Teams meeting recordings.
  85. Why Microsoft is Changing How the Teams Guest Access Setting Works June 28, 2021 1:18 am - Microsoft is changing how the "Allow Guest Access in Teams" setting works (from the Microsoft 365 admin center). Because few tenants switch this setting on and off, the change might not be noticeable. However, it's a good one because it might help change the way Teams deals with disabled accounts. And if you want to control guest access, you should really use an Azure AD B2B Collaboration policy instead of the on-off switch.
  86. Teams 2.0 Moves Away from Electron to Embrace Edge WebView2 June 25, 2021 1:02 am - Windows 11 will include a consumer version of Teams, which looks as if it will be the first iteration of Teams 2.0, a new architecture which replaces Electron with Edge WebView2 as the basis for the Teams client. Microsoft predicts that the change will reduce the memory footprint by half and make it possible to introduce some new features. There's no dependency between Windows 11 and Teams 2.0, but given the amount of work needed to make architectural transitions, it's unlikely that we'll see an enterprise Teams 2.0 client until sometime in 2022.
  87. How to Track the Progress of an Auto-Label Policy June 24, 2021 1:56 am - Auto-label policies are a good way to assign retention labels to important files stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. The big problem is tracking the progress of auto-labeling. In this article, we explore how to use events logged in the Office 365 audit log to figure out what files are labeled and how long it takes the auto-label policies to process the files. The example explored here is an auto-label policy for Teams meeting recordings.
  88. Teams Gets Automatic Meeting Recording Option June 23, 2021 1:10 am - Teams meeting organizers will soon be able to configure an option to start recording when the meeting starts. The option must be set for each meeting and there doesn't seem to be an available method to preconfigure recordings for all meetings through a policy or programmatically. The new option is useful, if you remember to set it.
  89. How to Apply an Auto-Label Retention Policy for Teams Meeting Recordings June 22, 2021 3:47 am - Teams meeting recordings are now accumulating as MP4 files in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. If you have Office 365 E5 licenses, you can use an auto-label policy to remove recordings after a set period. If you don't have those licenses and need to remove recordings, you'll have to come up with another plan, maybe after tracking the creation of recordings through the Office 365 audit log.
  90. SharePoint Online Document Library UI Refreshed for Teams Private Channels June 21, 2021 5:04 am - Microsoft is changing the SharePoint document library UI for sites used by Teams private channels to make sensitivity labels read-only and move a link into the command bar. That doesn't sound so important, but it's part of the preparation for the introduction of Teams Connect, aka Shared channels. It's just a pity that the text of message center notification MC261534 was so confusing when it first appeared.
  91. Chat Bubbles New Way to Highlight Messages in Teams Meetings June 18, 2021 1:20 am - Chat bubbles in Teams meetings are another way to surface information. Using chat bubbles is a personal choice and it doesn't replace the regular chat window. Microsoft says that chat bubbles make chat more central to a conversation, but it really depends on the type of meeting, the topic being discussed, and the number of participants. In any case, chat bubbles are there to be used if you want to.
  92. Microsoft Security Report Points to Basic Authentication as Root of BEC Attacks June 17, 2021 1:49 am - The need to remove basic authentication from Exchange Online is underlined by a June 14 report from the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center pointing to how attackers compromise mailboxes using antiquated protocols like POP3 and IMAP4 to connect to accounts which don't use MFA. After accounts are penetrated, the attackers plant inbox rules to forward copies of interesting messages and use the information received to plan and execute business email compromise attacks. Tenant administrators still have some work to do to secure Exchange Online and Azure AD...
  93. How to Use Organization Background Images in Microsoft Teams Meetings June 16, 2021 5:32 am - A preview Teams feature allows organizations to upload approved corporate images for people to use during Teams meetings. When generally available, this feature will need a Teams advanced communications license. An organization can distribute up to 50 images, which users see ahead of Microsoft curated images and their own custom images (if they're allowed to upload these images). However, there's no way for an organization to force people to select one of the corporate images.
  94. How Progressive Web Apps and Nucleus Combine to Make SharePoint Content More Accessible June 15, 2021 1:26 am - Two Microsoft 365 message center notifications covering Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for OneDrive and Lists are interesting, but the news of the arrival of the new Nucleus synchronization engine within the OneDrive sync client (for Windows) is even more interesting. Together, the combination of PWAs and Nucleus make OneDrive and SharePoint data more accessible to users.
  95. How to Create Tasks from Teams Chats and Channel Conversations June 14, 2021 1:25 am - A new feature allows Teams users to create tasks from personal chats and channel conversations. Tasks from chats are personal while those created from channel conversations can be personal or go into a Planner plan. Although you might like the tasks to be populated more fully, the overall implementation is a nice addition to the Microsoft 365 tasks system.
  96. Teams Introduces New Attendance Reporting Dashboard June 11, 2021 1:04 am - Now rolling out to Office 365 tenants, Teams meeting organizers can review the attendance data for meetings and webinars in a new dashboard. The same data can be downloaded to a CSV file for analysis. Teams stores the attendance report data in the Exchange Online mailbox of the meeting organizer. It's a good example of the Microsoft 365 substrate in use.
  97. How to Use Azure AD Authentication Contexts with Microsoft 365 Sensitivity Labels June 10, 2021 1:49 am - A preview for Sensitivity Labels show how they can use Azure AD authentication contexts and conditional access policies to protect SharePoint Online sites. Although you can link conditional access policies to sites with PowerShell, it's a lot easier to make the connection through sensitivity labels. Any SharePoint Online site which receives a label configured with an authentication context automatically invokes the associated conditional access policy to protect its contents.
  98. Speeding Up the Groups and Teams Activity Report by Replacing PowerShell with Graph API Calls June 9, 2021 2:31 am - Sometimes it's wise to give PowerShell scripts a turbo boost. This is certainly true for the Groups and Teams Activity report script, where a large amount of PowerShell processing has been replaced with speedy Microsoft Graph API calls. The result is much faster processing, which means that the script is more useful in large tenants. I still wouldn't try to run it against 100,000 groups, but anything smaller should be OK. I think!
  99. New PowerShell Controls Available to Control Default Sharing Links for SharePoint Sites June 8, 2021 11:35 am - New PowerShell commands for sensitivity labels can configure default sharing link settings for SharePoint Online sites. Any site assigned a label configured for default sharing links inherits those settings within 24 hours. The new settings are in public preview now with general availability expected later this year. They build on the existing set of controls for container management available for sensitivity labels and show how powerful it is for organizations to be able to deploy management policy settings via labels.
  100. How to Find the Accounts Assigned Licenses for Individual Office 365 Applications June 8, 2021 1:57 am - Finding out which Azure AD accounts have licenses (service plans) for different applications isn't difficult. You can do it with either PowerShell or the Microsoft Graph API. This article explains how to use PowerShell (and the equivalent Graph API call) to find accounts which have a certain license (service plan) enabled or disabled. Once you know how to navigate license data in Azure AD accounts, you can take the code and adapt it for different purposes.
  101. Microsoft’s Collaborative Work Model Ignores Practical Realities June 7, 2021 1:26 am - Microsoft's Collaborative Work Model (CWM) tries to paint a picture of how Microsoft 365 apps help people to organize tasks and get things done more efficiently. CWM isn't a bad thing, as far as it goes, but it's just not practical because it ignores the critical role played by email as the glue connecting Microsoft 365 apps together. Or more correctly, email and the substrate. Oh well, it's only a marketing message...

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