What is the Office 365 Email Retention Policy, for Accidently or Intentionally Deleted Emails?

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  • Published on
    December 4th, 2019
  • Updated on
    February 20, 2021
  • Read Time
    5 minutes
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Office 365 retains the data items as long as you delete them accidentally or intentionally. MS Office 365 mailboxes are unreal and can be lost easily due to a miss-clicks to threatening network breaches. Nowadays every business organization whether large or small must deal with its increasing amounts of data every single day.

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As the size of data is increasing at rapid speed, it is becoming complex to manage it. Thus, it results in data loss or deletion in MS Office 365. Now, the question arises What is the Office 365 Email Retention Policy to keep the deleted emails? What happens to the mailboxes that are deleted from O365? What’s the retention policy offered by MS Office 365? Just take a deep breath and relax,  you will get all the answers by reading this article.

Email Retention Policy of Office 365 for Deleted Emails

Recently, Microsoft Office 365 has changed its Exchange Server hosting. This change in Office 365 hosting permits users to permanently keep the deleted items. Also, it facilitates configuring the default MRM (Messaging Records Management) deleted items retention policy. Using this option, users can govern how long does Office 365 keep emails in the Deleted Items folder. Now,  Microsoft Office 365 users can use the same option as On-premises Exchange Administrators which can increase their retention time from 30 days to 24855.

What Happens to the Emails that are Deleted from O365?

Previously, when you delete any email messages from the Office 365 account, firstly the deleted emails are directly moved into the Deleted Items folder. But now, you are provided with two options, either you can keep the email messages in the Deleted Items folder or define that Outlook Web Apps empties the folder whenever you log out. The emails remain in the Deleted Items folder or marked as deleted until you delete them on your own. After that, messages are moved to the Hidden Deleted Items folder. But, the deleted emails can still be recovered from the Hidden Deleted Items folder within the next 30 days. After 30 days, the files are permanently deleted and can no longer be retrieved.

How Deleted Items Folder Gets Empty Automatically?

If users want to empty the Deleted Items Folder automatically every time they log out, then they are required to enable the automatic emptying option. Just follow the below steps:

  1. Go to Outlook Web Apps, select Settings icon >> Options >> Mail >> Message options.
  2. Then, check the option Empty the Deleted Items folder when I sign out.

How to Apply Office 365 Email Retention Policy?

Follow the brief process of creating a retention policy using Office 365 Administrator credentials:

  • Firstly, click on the Admin button in the menu.
  • Now, under the Reports category, click the Security & Compliance option.
  • After that, click the Exchange admin center option.
  • Now, just move to compliance management, and then select retention policies and click () option.
  • After that, specify a name to the policy and click () option to add desired tags.
  • Now, you can select more than one retention tags by using the Add button and then click OK.
  • Next, click on the Save button.
  • After the above steps, this creates a new retention policy.

Notable Concepts that Help Office 365 to Keep Deleted Emails

  1. Each Mailbox in MS Office 365 account is assigned a Retention Policy.
  2. The Default Retention Policy of O365 includes a tag and it will transfer data items to the archive mailbox after two years.
  3. Once the Retention Policy has been applied to the O365 mailboxes, it will also apply to the online archive mailbox.
  4. Office 365 retention time duration is a scheduled duty that runs every day in a week. This simply means that emails could be retained for up to 7 days.
  5. If the size of the mailbox is less than 10 MB, then it will not be processed by the scheduled task. Therefore, the Office 365 Retention Policy does not apply to it until you run it manually.

What to do when the Retention Policy gets expired?

By now, you have read about what is retention policy, how it works, and how it meant to be created. You also know that retention policy works for a specific time span and after that, it does not save a copy of the data. If you are using Office 365 and your retention policy has expired, then the deleted data will not come back. Well, to tackle such a situation, you can create a backup of Office 365 data items by using  SysInfoTools Office 365 Backup utility. Because this is only the option that can help you to get back your crucial data after completion of the retention period. Some common problems with Office 365 backup.

Wrapping Up

In recent times, data loss in Office 365 is a major concern for users as well as organizations. As the retention policies of MS Office 365 does not provide the guarantee to complete recovery of deleted or lost data. So, do make use of the suggested tool to keep Office 365 emails. Well, all the major aspects of Office 365 email retention policy have been covered in detail. I hope it helps you out.

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