Office 365 – Retention Policies

We now look into the default retention rules which Office 365 offers. It is called MRM. These policies are applied when you enable In-Place Archive on the mailboxes. Always remember, if you apply the In-Place Archive in preparation to migrate to Office 365, when you import or migrate the emails into the mailboxes, the rules will be applied. Sometimes users will think they are missing emails.

Here is a list of the default policies:

Name Type Retention age (days) Retention action
Default 2 years move to archive Default Policy Tag (DPT) 730 Move to Archive
Recoverable Items 14 days move to archive Recoverable Items folder 14 Move to Archive
Personal 1 year move to archive Personal tag 365 Move to Archive
Personal 5 year move to archive Personal tag 1,825 Move to Archive
Personal never move to archive Personal tag Not applicable Move to Archive
1 Week Delete Personal tag 7 Delete and Allow Recovery
1 Month Delete Personal tag 30 Delete and Allow Recovery
6 Month Delete Personal tag 180 Delete and Allow Recovery
1 Year Delete Personal tag 365 Delete and Allow Recovery
5 Year Delete Personal tag 1,825 Delete and Allow Recovery
Never Delete Personal tag Not applicable Delete and Allow Recovery

I think the Name, Retention Age and the Retention Action and is easy to understand. So here are the basic steps to how it works.

Creating a Retention Policy:

  1. You create a policy
  2. Then you create retention tags
  3. Those tags are then assigned to a policy
  4. Retention tags can be assigned to multiple policies

Here is little more in-depth explanation:

  • Default policy tag (DPT)is a retention tag that applies to all items in a mailbox that doesn’t already have a retention tag applied. You can have only one DPT in a retention policy.
  • Retention policy tag (RPT)is a retention tag that applies to default folders, such as Inbox and Deleted Items.
  • Personal tagis used to make retention settings to custom folders and individual items, such as email messages. It is available to Outlook Web App, Outlook 2010, and later versions.

Here are some Powershell scripts for those who enjoy the shell:

In order to find out what retention policy is assigned to a user/s mailbox:

Get-Mailbox <user@domain.com> | Select RetentionPolicy

As I mentioned earlier, when you create a retention tag, the most important is what happens to the email. Do you MOVE it or DELETE It? Important thing to think about. In order to find out what Retention Tags are linked to a policy, here a command you can run:

Get-RetentionPolicy <Retention Policy Name> | Select RetentionPolicyTagLinks

There are planet of commands but this should get you going. Then we can look at more advance configuration via Shell. I would then recommend creating a script file / Batch file / Excel script file as you can setup for additional clients if you are in a Reseller space and in 5 minutes, you done setting up MRM policies. For interest sake, how does the policies get applied to the mailboxes or should we ask what type of mechanism is used? Something called MFA. Nope, it is not Multi Factor Authentication. I am sure most techs was thinking of that. It is called Managed Folder Assistant. This monitors the mailboxes and when last a policy was run.

Hope this eases you into the Retention Policy aspect of Office 365.

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