Retention Policy in Office 365 Backup

A data retention policy is an agreement on retaining data for operational or regulatory compliance needs.

A data retention policy appears as a part of an overall data management and plays a significant role since the definition of the terms of keeping a company's data is crucial. Data retention on longer periods than needed produces unnecessary storage usage and increases storage costs.

If user data is modified or deleted during the retention period, a copy of the original content can be always found in the backup storage.

Objects in backup storage which retention period has expired, are deleted automatically, according to a retention policy settings, so this keeps the backup storage size under control. The duration of data retention policy can be ranged from days to years.

Retention policy run automatically once a day.

Create New Retention Policy

A data retention policy is an agreement on retaining data for operational or regulatory compliance needs.

A data retention policy appears as a part of an overall data management and plays a significant role since the definition of the terms of keeping a company's data is crucial. Data retention on longer periods than needed produces unnecessary storage usage and increases storage costs.

If user data is modified or deleted during the retention period, a copy of the original content can be always found in the backup storage.

Objects in backup storage which retention period has expired, are deleted automatically, according to a retention policy settings, so this keeps the backup storage size under control. The duration of data retention policy can be ranged from days to years.

Retention policy run automatically once a day.

  1. To create a retention policy, in Account menu to the right of the horizontal menu bar click Retention Policies.

  1. Click Create Retention Policy.
  2. In Create Retention Policy dialog, name the retention policy.

  1. Specify the name for the new retention policy and the service the policy will be applied to.
  2. Select backup service for which this retention policy should be applied. You can create the retention policy for the following services:
    • Mail
    • Drive
    • Contacts
    • Calendar
    • Shared Drives
  3. Specify the retention policy parameters.
    • Delete Older Than. There are two options to retain your files. The first way is to delete all files that were modified or created before the specified date (day, week, month, and year periods are available). The second way is to delete all files that had been backed up before the specified date (day, week, month, and year periods are available).
    • Purge Delay. This option is an additional safety lock for your backup strategy. With this option enabled, the purging process is delayed for a specified period. Once you are done with the retention policy parameters, click Create.

Consider the following example. Let’s assume that your company requires to store all revised financial documents created less than three months ago. In this case, to ensure data is in the backup storage, select 3 months value for the Delete older than option. With this value selected, backup data will be automatically deleted from the backup storage

  1. Once you are done with the retention policy parameters, click Create.

The new retention policy is saved and can be now assigned to selected users for the service specified in retention policy settings.

Assign Existing Retention policy

  1. Open the Users page, then select users the retention policy to be assigned to.

  2. Click Retention Policy.

  3. In the pane to the right, select the existing retention policies for all services you want.

  1. Click Save. The selected retention policies are assigned to selected users.

Edit Retention Policy

  1. To edit a retention policy, in Account menu to the right of the horizontal menu bar click Retention Policies.

  1. Click the retention policy you want to change, than select edit icon in actions

  2. Once you are done with editing, click Save. Consider, if you update or change retention policies, this will initiate a full backup of the service for users to whom this retention policy was assigned.

Delete Retention Policy

  1. To delete a retention policy, in Account menu to the right of the horizontal menu bar click Retention Policies.

  1. Click the retention policy you want to delete, than select delete icon in actions.

  2. Confirm the deletion of retention policy. The default retention policy will be assigned instead the deleted one. By default, your data will be stored forever.