Manage quarantined messages and files as an admin in EOP

Important

Welcome to Microsoft Defender for Office 365, the new name for Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. Read more about this and other updates in Microsoft delivers unified SIEM and XDR to modernize security operations.

In Microsoft 365 organizations with mailboxes in Exchange Online or standalone Exchange Online Protection (EOP) organizations without Exchange Online mailboxes, quarantine holds potentially dangerous or unwanted messages. For more information, see Quarantined email messages in EOP.

Admins can view, release, and delete all types of quarantined messages for all users. Only admins can manage messages that were quarantined as malware, high confidence phishing, or as a result of mail flow rules (also known as transport rules). Admins can also report false positives to Microsoft.

Admins in organizations with Microsoft Defender for Office 365 can also view, download, and delete quarantined files in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams.

You view and manage quarantined messages in the Security & Compliance Center or in PowerShell (Exchange Online PowerShell for Microsoft 365 organizations with mailboxes in Exchange Online; standalone EOP PowerShell for organizations without Exchange Online mailboxes).

What do you need to know before you begin?

  • To open the Security & Compliance Center, go to https://protection.office.com. To open the Quarantine page directly, go to https://protection.office.com/quarantine.

  • To connect to Exchange Online PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell. To connect to standalone EOP PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online Protection PowerShell.

  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can manage the quarantine as an admin. The permissions are controlled by the Quarantine role in the Security & Compliance Center. By default, this role is assigned to the Organization Management (Global admins), Quarantine Administrator, and Security Administrator role groups in the Security & Compliance Center. For more information, see Permissions in the Security & Compliance Center.

  • Quarantined messages are retained for a default period of time before they're automatically deleted:

    • 30 days for messages quarantined by anti-spam policies (spam, phishing, and bulk email). This is the default and maximum value. To configure (lower) this value, see Configure anti-spam policies.

    • 15 days for messages that contain malware.

    • 15 days for files quarantined by ATP for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams in Defender for Office 365.

    When a message expires from quarantine, you can't recover it.

Use the Security & Compliance Center to manage quarantined email messages

View quarantined email

  1. In the Security and Compliance Center, go to Threat Management > Review > Quarantine.

  2. Verify that View quarantined is set to the default value email.

  3. You can sort the results by clicking on an available column header. Click Modify columns to show a maximum of seven columns. The default values are marked with an asterisk (*):

    • Received*
    • Sender*
    • Subject*
    • Quarantine reason*
    • Released?*
    • Policy type*
    • Expires
    • Recipient
    • Message ID
    • Policy name
    • Size
    • Direction

    When you're finished, click Save, or click Set to default.

  4. To filter the results, click Filter. The available filters are:

    • Expires time: Filter messages by when they will expire from quarantine:

      • Today
      • Next 2 days
      • Next 7 days
      • Custom: Enter a Start date and End date.
    • Received time: Enter a Start date and End date.

    • Quarantine reason:

      • Policy: The message matched the conditions of a mail flow rule (also known as a transport rule).
      • Bulk
      • Phish: The spam filter verdict was Phishing email or anti-phishing protection quarantined the message (spoof settings or impersonation protection).
      • Malware
      • Spam
      • High Confidence Phish
    • Policy Type: Filter messages by policy type:

      • Anti-malware policy
      • Safe Attachments policy
      • Anti-phish policy
      • Hosted content filter policy (anti-spam policy)
      • Transport rule
    • Email recipient: All users or only messages sent to you. End users can only manage quarantined messages sent to them.

    To clear the filter, click Clear. To hide the filter flyout, click Filter again.

  5. Use Sort results by (the Message ID button by default) and a corresponding value to find specific messages. Wildcards aren't supported. You can search by the following values:

    • Message ID: The globally unique identifier of the message.

      For example, you used message trace to look for a message that was sent to a user in your organization, and you determine that the message was quarantined instead of delivered. Be sure to include the full message ID value, which might include angle brackets (<>). For example: <79239079-d95a-483a-aacf-e954f592a0f6@XYZPR00BM0200.contoso.com>.

    • Sender email address: A single sender's email address.

    • Policy name: Use the entire policy name of the message. The search is not case-sensitive.

    • Recipient email address: A single recipient's email address.

    • Subject: Use the entire subject of the message. The search is not case-sensitive.

    • Policy name: The name of the policy that was responsible for quarantining the message.

    After you've entered the search criteria, click Refresh button Refresh to filter the results.

After you find a specific quarantined message, select the message to view details about it, and to take action on it (for example, view, release, download, or delete the message).

View quarantined message details

When you select an email message in the list, the following message details appear in the Details flyout pane:

  • Message ID: The globally unique identifier for the message.

  • Sender address

  • Received: The date/time when the message was received.

  • Subject

  • Quarantine reason: Shows if a message has been identified as Spam, Bulk, Phish, matched a mail flow rule (Transport rule), or was identified as containing Malware.

  • Recipient count

  • Recipients: If the message contains multiple recipients, you need to click Preview message or View message header to see the complete list of recipients.

  • Expires: The date/time when the message will be automatically and permanently deleted from quarantine.

  • Released to: All email addresses (if any) to which the message has been released.

  • Not yet released to: All email addresses (if any) to which the message has not yet been released.

Take action on quarantined email

After you select a message, you have several options for what to do with the messages in the Details flyout pane:

  • Release message: In the flyout pane that appears, choose the following options:

    • Report messages to Microsoft for analysis: This is selected by default, and reports the erroneously quarantined message to Microsoft as a false positive. If the message was quarantined as spam, bulk, phishing, or containing malware, the message is also reported to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team. Depending on their analysis, the service-wide spam filter rules might be adjusted to allow the message through.

    • Choose one of the following options:

      • Release messages to all recipients
      • Release messages to specific recipients
      • Release messages to other people: Note that releasing malware messages to people other than original recipients is not supported.

    When you're finished, click Release messages.

    Notes about releasing messages:

    • You can't release a message to the same recipient more than once.
    • Only recipients who haven't received the message will appear in the list of potential recipients.
  • View message header: Choose this link to see the message header text. To analyze the header fields and values in depth, copy the message header text to your clipboard, and then choose Microsoft Message Header Analyzer to go to the Remote Connectivity Analyzer (right-click and choose Open in a new tab if you don't want to leave Microsoft 365 to complete this task). Paste the message header onto the page in the Message Header Analyzer section, and choose Analyze headers:

  • Preview message: In the flyout pane that appears, choose one of the following options:

    • Source view: Shows the HTML version of the message body with all links disabled.
    • Text view: Shows the message body in plain text.
  • Remove from quarantine: After you click Yes in the warning that appears, the message is immediately deleted without being sent to the original recipients.

  • Download message: In the flyout pane that appears, select I understand the risks from downloading this message to save a local copy of the message in .eml format.

  • Submit message: In the flyout pane that appears, choose the following options:

    • Object type: Email (default), URL, or Attachment.

    • Submission format: Network Message ID (default, with the corresponding value in the Network Message ID box) or File (browse to a local .eml or .msg file). Note that if you select File and then select Network Message ID, the initial value is gone.

    • Recipients: Type at lease one original recipient of the message, or click Select All to identify all recipients. You can also click Select All and then selectively remove individual recipients.

    • Reason for submission: Should not have been blocked (default) or Should have been blocked.

    When you're finished, click Submit.

If you don't release or remove the message, it will be deleted after the default quarantine retention period expires.

Take action on multiple quarantined email messages

When you select multiple quarantined messages in the list (up to 100), the Bulk actions flyout pane appears where you can take the following actions:

  • Release messages: The options are the same as when you release a single message, except you can't select Release messages to specific recipients; you can only select Release message to all recipients or Release messages to other people.

    Note

    Consider the following scenario: john@gmail.com sends a message to faith@contoso.com and john@subsidiary.contoso.com. Gmail bifurcates this message into two copies that are both routed to quarantine as phishing in Microsoft. An admin releases both of these messages to admin@contoso.com. The first released message that reaches the admin mailbox is delivered. The second released message is identified as duplicate delivery and is skipped. Message are identified as duplicates if they have the same message ID and received time.

  • Delete messages: After you click Yes in the warning that appears, the messages are immediately deleted without being sent to the original recipients.

When you're finished, click Close.

Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Only: Use the Security & Compliance Center to manage quarantined files

Note

The procedures for quarantined files in this section are available only to Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1 and Plan 2 subscribers.

In organizations with Defender for Office 365, admins can manage quarantined files in SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Microsoft Teams. To enable protection for these files, see Turn on ATP for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams.

View quarantined files

  1. In the Security and Compliance Center, go to Threat Management > Review > Quarantine.

  2. Change View quarantined to the value files. You can sort on a field by clicking on an available column header.

  3. You can sort the results by clicking on an available column header. Click Modify columns to show a maximum of seven columns. The default columns are marked with an asterisk (*):

    • User*
    • Location*
    • File name*
    • File URL*
    • File Size*
    • Expires*
    • Released?*
    • Detected by
    • Modified by time
  4. To filter the results, click Filter. The available filters are:

    • Expires time: Filter messages by when they will expire from quarantine:
      • Today
      • Next 2 days
      • Next 7 days
      • A custom date/time range.
    • Received time
    • Quarantine reason: The only available value is Malware.
    • Policy type

After you find a specific quarantined file, select the file to view details about it, and to take action on it (for example, view, release, download, or delete the message).

View quarantined file details

When you select a file in the list, the following file details appear in the Details flyout pane:

  • File Name
  • File URL: URL that defines the location of the file (for example, in SharePoint Online).
  • Malicious content detected on The date/time the file was quarantined.
  • Expires: The date when the file will be deleted from quarantine.
  • Detected By: Defender for Office 365 or Microsoft's anti-malware engine.
  • Released?
  • Malware Name
  • Document ID: A unique identifier for the document.
  • File Size: In kilobytes (KB).
  • Organization Your organization's unique ID.
  • Last modified
  • Modified By: The user who last modified the file.
  • Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit (SHA-256) value: You can use this hash value to identify the file in other reputation stores or in other locations in your environment.

Take action on quarantined files

When you select a file in the list, you can take the following actions on the file in the Details flyout pane:

  • Release files: Select (default) or unselect Report files to Microsoft for analysis, and then click Release files.
  • Download file
  • Remove file from quarantine

If you don't release or remove the files, they will be deleted after the default quarantine retention period expires.

Actions on multiple quarantined files

When you select multiple quarantined files in the list (up to 100), the Bulk actions flyout pane appears where you can take the following actions:

  • Release files
  • Delete files: After you click Yes in the warning that appears, the files are immediately deleted.

Use Exchange Online PowerShell or standalone EOP PowerShell to view and manage quarantined messages and files

The cmdlets you use to view and manages messages and files in quarantine are: