Microsoft is deprecating Search-Mailbox and the legacy eDiscovery experience in July 2020

Happy new year 🙂

Some of you might already be aware of the plans to deprecate the old, Exchange-only eDiscovery experience that is still available as part of the Exchange Admin Center, as well as the underlying PowerShell cmdlets. In an effort that spans multiple years, Microsoft first announced their intentions to remove this functionality, then postponed the process as the suggested replacement (the eDiscovery functionality as part of the Security and Compliance Center) lacked certain functionality. Now, it seems like a final decision has been made and the deprecation dates are as follows:

  • On 01 April 2020 you will no longer be able to create new eDiscovery searches via the EAC or the corresponding New-MailboxSearch cmdlet.
  • On 01 July 2020, the rest of the cmdlets will be deprecated as well. This includes Set-MailboxSearch, Start-MailboxSearch, Stop-MailboxSearch.
  •  The Get-MailboxSearch and the Remove-MailboxSearch cmdlets will continue to be available in order to list/remove existing holds and searches.

What’s more important, this deprecation includes the invaluable Search-Mailbox cmdlet, running which will also give you the 01 April 2020 date as a warning. This might present few challenges to organizations that have created certain workflows around this very useful cmdlet, as to date Microsoft has not provided us with comparable functionality in the SCC eDiscovery stack. I will not go into listing all the differences here (you can refer to Tony’s article over at, but will just mention that we still don’t have any way to copy eDiscovery/Content Search results to a Discovery mailbox when using the SCC functionality. This in turn means that you need to either export the results to PST file and use the download tool to transfer them to a machine equipped with Outlook, or pay some extra $$$ and use the Advanced eDiscovery SKU and leverage the functionality available there.

At this time it’s not clear whether Microsoft actually plans to provide replacement for this and other missing functionalities, nor what the future holds for Discovery mailboxes for that matter. The only bit of documentation mentioning the deprecation can be found here, and is lacking any useful details currently, but will hopefully be updated soon.


P.S. The documentation is updated now, and you might also take a look at this article for advice on how to migrate your existing holds.

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