Office 365 has a feature that allow users the ability to manage the amount of time a message is retained in a folder, Retention policy.
Note: Some desktop clients also provide archiving features. These local features are not recommended since they will store your data locally and the Office 365 team cannot guarantee its safety/security.
Retention policies and tags are preset for every Office 365 account. Some folders/items have retention tags assigned by default (and may not be modified) and some can be controlled by the user. Other than the Junk Email folder, all other default folders (eg. Inbox, Sent Items, Drafts, and Deleted Items, other folders you may have created) retain messages indefinitely. Messages within Junk Email folder are deleted automatically after thirty days of being placed within this folder - if you do not find a message within your Junk Email folder, you may be able to recover it. Here is a listing of current retention options you can choose from:
Note: There is no parent retention policy - any email within a folder using this retention policy will be indefinitely retained unless the owner takes some action on it.
What is a retention tag?
A retention tag contains a definition of a time limit, called the retention period, and an action to be taken once the limit is reached. The tags are intended to be applied to folders and items in a mailbox. The retention period is the length of time after an item arrives or is created before an action is taken.
What is a retention policy?
Retention policies allow you to group retention tags and apply them to users. Different retention policies can be applied to different users.
Types of retention tags - there are three types of retention tags:
For further retention details on specific folders/items, please review the following references:
Important: At this time, you can only use pre-existing retention policies. You cannot create your own.
Note: The steps below pertain to Outlook on the web. These settings can be managed via Outlook for Windows by using the Assign Policy menu option.
To manage the list of retention policies that you can use:
The following table includes details about the policies that can be applied to items in your message folders. To add additional policies, select add . To remove an optional policy from your list, select the policy, and then select delete .
|Name||The name of the policy, usually descriptive.|
|Retention action||What happens to a message when the retention period is over. A message may be archived or deleted.|
|Retention period||How long a message will stay in your mailbox before the policy is applied.|
To see the full details about a retention policy, select it to display the details. The details pane will show whether the policy is required, how long a message will be held, where a message will go after the retention period, and any comments.
You can see the retention policies available to you in Outlook on the web options. In Options, select Organize email > Retention policies. Or, in Options, select MAIL > Automatic processing > Retention policies.
To assign a retention policy to a message or folder, you have to go to your messages.
A retention policy may permanently delete messages, or it may move them to your Deleted Items folder. If the retention policy description says Delete (Temporarily recoverable) you can use Recover deleted items to recover the messages. The default period is 30 days for UW-Madison Office 365 accounts. See Recover an item that’s no longer in your Deleted Items folder in Recover deleted items or email in Outlook on the web.
When you recover an item that was removed by a retention policy, you have to either put it in a folder that doesn’t have a policy associated with it, or remove the policy from that item after you recover it; otherwise, the item may be removed again.