How to generate an Office 365 extended message trace

A Message Trace can be used to trace emails through Exchange Online, based on defined criteria (for example: email address, date range, delivery status, or message ID). To generate an Office 365 extended message trace, follow steps below:

  1. Log in to Office 365 Admin Center
  2. Select Exchange under Admin centers
  3. In the Exchange admin center select mail flow.
  4. Under mail flow select message trace.
  5. Set the Date range to Custom.
  6. Set an appropriate date range for the message you need to trace (this must be greater than seven days). 

    Note: The date range must be greater than seven days to enable an extended message trace. You will see the following options appear once the date range has been set correctly:

    Choose date range.

  7. Check the Include message events and routing details with report option.
  8. You should fine tune the report to avoid having too many results in the detailed message trace - the larger the report, the longer it takes to process, and the harder it becomes to identify the message in question. To help reduce the number of results:
    • If you have the Message ID (which can be found in the message header) this is the best option - only one message will be found when using the Message ID.
    • Alternatively you can add the sender or recipient, and select the message direction inbound/outbound.
  9. Enter a suitable Report title (the default is fine)
  10. Specify the Notification email address. This will be the recipient of the extended report, and must be a mailbox within your Office 365 tenancy. For example:

    Choose the notification email address.
  11. Click search to submit the extended message trace:

    Message trace.
  12. Unlike a normal message trace, this can take a while to process. The trace will be delivered by email to your specified recipient once complete. If required, you can click View pending or completed traces at the message trace window to monitor progress:

  13. Pending or completed traces.

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