Tag Archives: Archive

Microsoft 365 SharePoint Archive: deep dive

Microsoft announced SharePoint Archive in 2023 and make the feature generally available in Apr 2024. Though there are good Microsoft’s articles on how to enable and configure SharePoint Archive, as well as some FAQ pages, there are still a lot of questions regarding behavior details, e.g.

  • what happens with Team content if the group-based site is Archived
  • is there an API or how do we archive/restore sites programmatically
  • would MS Graph Search API work for archived sites

I have just activated the feature and I’m planning updating this page with my gotchas and findings…

Reactivation fee

How much is to restore a site from Archive?
In the example below Microsoft charges me $1 to restore a simple OotB site with no documents:

This amount is based on the retail price for reactivations. Your actual charges may be lower, and can be seen in Microsoft 365 Archive bill

Microsoft says “This amount is based on the retail price for reactivations. Your actual charges may be lower, and can be seen in Microsoft 365 Archive bill.”

Reactivate site. 

You'll be charged a reactivation fee. This reactivation fee is based on the retail price for reactivations. Your actual charges may be lower, and can be seen in Microsoft 365 Archive bill.

The site will move back to Active sites page and start consuming active storage. This action can't be cancelled once it starts.
Estimated reactivation fee
$1

Another confirmation is requested:

Reactivate site.

You’ll be charged a reactivation fee. This reactivation fee is based on the retail price for reactivations. Your actual charges may be lower, and can be seen in Microsoft 365 Archive bill.

The site will move back to Active sites page and start consuming active storage. This action can’t be cancelled once it starts.
Estimated reactivation fee
$1

Reactivation request submitted
It will take up to 24 hours for the site to reactivate and move to the active sites page

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To be continued…

The site is archived

Microsoft recently (Apr 2024) announced general availability for it’s new SharePoint Archive feature (learn more). So if you are seeing “The site is archived” and “A SharePoint Administrator archived this site. If you need access, ask an admin to reactivate it.” error message and the page in your browser is “sharepointerror.aspx?scenario=SiteArchived” then… guess what… your site was archived.

And if you need this site – please reach your SharePoint admin as soon as possible, as reactivating the site within 7 days is free, otherwise it might cost your company some dollars.

Though the page Url is “https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/sharepointerror.aspx?scenario=SiteArchived” and the page title is “Error”:

this is not an error but just a new SharePoint feature 🙂

Archiving SharePoint Sites

WIP

What is archiving SharePoint sites and why we’d need it?

Disclaimer: Archival that was announced at Microsoft Inspire 2023 (Introducing Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Archive) is not what we are discussing here.
Though it might be considered as an option (as archived sites are still visible for admins but not visible for users), MS SharePoint Archive require additional licensing.

Scenario

(Work in progress)

You are in the process of cleaning-up large Microsoft 365 environment. You need to delete SharePoint sites (e.g. due to inactivity) but you cannot get confirmation from site owners (e.g. sites or groups are ownerless).

Deleted sites could be restored within 93 days of deletion if somebody rise a hand, but there is still a risk of possible loosing of important information, e.g. in case site is needed one a year. So you need to do clean-up but at the same time you want to decrease risks of loosing information.

So, you might want to do something with sites to engage users to volunteer to be site owner if they want to keep this site – e.g. prevents using the site the regular way and let users know that the site will be deleted etc., but do not actually delete site until it will be fully clear that site is not needed for anyone and can be safely deleted.

Let us call it “Staging” period. Depending on your org culture/rules/licensing etc. it might be 6 months, or 1 year or 5 years or more.

Approach options

generally, the options are (random order):

  • Set site to Read-Only mode
  • Set site to No-Access mode
  • Convert group from Public to Private
  • Remove access to the site (remove users from group)
  • Rename the site
  • Put a banner on a top bar with a message
  • Message to Teams or Yammer chat
  • Send e-mail to site members
  • Implement a Microsoft 365 ownerless groups policy

You might choose to set sites to read-only mode or even no-access mode. If so – users that are still need this site are loosing ability to work with site, but site is not deleted. Consider archiving as kind of scream-test phase before actual sites deletion.

If a user who needs this site would scream (rise a ticket to restore site) – you can trigger processes of
a) finding new owner for the site
b) excluding the site from clean-up process
c) actual restoring site to normal mode

There are some options to setup a site to Read-Only or NoAccess mode. Here is the PowerShell command:


$siteurl = "https://contoso.sharepoint.com/teams/Team-SO-B"
Get-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl   | ft -a Url, LockState
Set-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl -LockState ReadOnly
Get-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl   | ft -a Url, LockState
Set-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl -LockState NoAccess
Get-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl   | ft -a Url, LockState
Set-PnPTenantSite -Identity $siteurl -LockState Unlock

The problem is what if the site is teams-connected or yammer-connected or just group-based. Here are some test results:

Services SharePoint site is connected to/Site StateRead-OnlyNoAccess
Outlook onlyN/AN/A
SharePoint and OutlookOutlook emails: OK
Outlook files: read-only experience; No options to upload or create document; Documents are open in read-only mode. “The file couldn`t be saved to group” error message when trying to save file to a group library.
Outlook emails: OK
Outlook files: empty screen; No error messages; Documents are not visible; “The file couldn`t be saved to group” error message when trying to save file to a group library.
SharePoint and Yammer
SharePoint, Teams and OutlookTeams chats: OK
Teams files: documents are open as read-only; No options to upload or create a new document
SharePoint: “This site is read-only at the administrator’s request.”
Teams chats: OK
Teams files: “403 FORBIDDEN” error message
SharePoint: “
This site can’t be reached
The webpage at https://contoso.sharepoint.com/teams/Team-STO-B might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.
ERR_INVALID_RESPONSE”

So you can see – behavior is inconsistent – users can still chat in Teams and Yammer and consume SharePoint content (in case the site in read-only) or get error messages or not very meaningful results (in case the site is in NoAccess mode) – so it would be not clear for users that the site is gong to be decommissioned.

to be continued…