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Reply allpocalypse: Exchange Online is getting more features against email storms

If you've worked in or with big organizations, you've probably witnessed "reply all" email storms. For those unaware, this typically happens when someone accidentally hits "reply all" to a large email distribution list and as a result, people start asking to be removed from the list or begging people to stop replying to all (while doing the same). This chain reaction can be fun to watch if you're an innocent bystander but it is a nuisance for people trying to concentrate on work and it can also overload email servers.

Microsoft released Reply-all Storm Protection for Exchange Online recently to proactively cause the reply allpocalypse to stop dead in its tracks, and now, it has announced some more enhancements coming to this service.

Outlook mail open on a laptop screen with Exchange written on the left

There are three main updates to talk about when it comes to improvements for Reply-all Storm Protection. First, we have a report that shows you charts for all email storms detected and the associated messages that were blocked. These emails and statistics can also be exported as a CSV file. Microsoft says that it started rolling out the report this week and it should be available for most customers by the end of May. GCC-High environments will get it by the end of July, though.

Although it has already been possible to configure and customize some important settings for Reply-all Storm Protection using Remote PowerShell, you can now do the same in the Mail flow section of the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) too. You need to have access to certain privileged permissions in order to configure these settings.

Finally, Microsoft is also working on an automated alert email flow system that will notify certain personnel when an email storm has been detected and messages have been blocked. Admins will be able to customize policies for this, including who gets notified, once the capability becomes available by the end of July.

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