Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

Enabling and Using Message Tracking

This is for Exchange 2007 ONLY. For the version for Exchange 2003, click here: Message Tracking - Exchange 2003

Message tracking is a feature of Exchange which allows you to track what Exchange has done with a message. It works for both inbound and outbound messages, as well as internal messages.

  • The feature does not show you the actual message, but can show the subject line.
  • It does need to activated before use. You cannot activate it and then ask for information from the feature retrospectively.

With its low overhead it is a good idea to leave it enabled all time, so that the information is there when required.

Enabling and Configuring Message Tracking

Message tracking is enabled by default on all Exchange 2007 servers with the Hub Transport, Mailbox or Edge roles installed. The default configuration will be fine for most deployments. However there are some changes that you may want to make.

Configure Location of Message Tracking Logs - Management Console

The most common change is the path where the logs are stored. You may want to configure storing them in a separate directory on the same drive as the transaction logs - therefore keeping the logs together. To change the path, follow this process (Exchange 2007 SP1 or higher)

  1. Start the Exchange Management Console.
  2. Open Server Configuration, Hub Transport. For the Edge server, select Edge Transport.
  3. Right click on the server and choose Properties.
  4. Click on the "Log Settings" tab and use Browse to select and create a new folder as required. Apply/OK out.
  5. Restart the Exchange Transport Service to ensure the new settings are used.

Configure Location of Message Tracking Logs - Management Shell

Note that the path has a space in it, so is enclosed in "

Hub Transport:

Mailbox Server:

Configure Retention Time

By default, message tracking logs are stored for 30 days. If you want to change that then you need to use the Management Shell. The following command will set the Message Tracking logs age on the server "EXCH01" to 60 days.

Hub Transport:

Mailbox Server:

Configure Subject Logging

If you want to set logging of the subject line as well, then you need to use the Management Shell again

Hub Transport or Edge Servers:

Mailbox Server:

Which to use?

When a server has both Hub Transport and Mailbox Server roles installed, you can use either to enable the feature.

Tracking Messages

The GUI for message tracking in Exchange 2007 has moved to the Toolbox and is part of the troubleshooting section. You can also run commands through Powershell. As there are many options available, look at the Microsoft Technet Article on using Message Tracking:

Doing More with Message Tracking

The message tracking logs can be used by other applications to create more intuitive reports.

Commercial Products

  • Quest Message Stats is one of the best third party applications for processing the logs.
  • Another tool that can process the logs is Mail Detective from ADVSOFT. This product is charged per mailbox or per server for Exchange, and can be much cheaper than Quest.
  • Sirana have an application called AppAnalyzer, which will produce statistics on your Exchange environment:
  • Waterford technologies have MailMeter Insight .
  • Promodag have Exchange reports as do Permessa with their Email Investigator product.
  • Mechanical Minds have Exchange Log Analyzer.


Microsoft Links

There is some information on using Message Tracking on Microsoft's web site.

Message tracking for Exchange 2007:
How to search message tracking logs: