When you delete an email in Office 365, you may be wondering how long it is kept before it is permanently lost. This article will explore the retention period of deleted emails in Office 365, including soft-deleted and hard-deleted items.
In this article, we will discuss the different deletion scenarios in Office 365, such as moving an email to the Deleted Items folder and permanently deleting it, and how the retention period is determined by the administrator’s retention policies. We will also cover the different recovery options available for deleted emails. And eventually will learn about how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails.
How Long Does Office 365 Keep Deleted Emails?
By default, Office 365 keeps deleted emails in the “Deleted Items” folder for 14 days. After 14 days, they are permanently deleted and can no longer be recovered. However, it’s important to note that the retention period of deleted emails can be extended or reduced based on the specific email retention policies set within an organization. These policies determine how long deleted emails will be stored and can help ensure that important information is retained for a specific period of time.
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What Happens After Deletion of Office 365 Emails?
When you delete an email in Office 365, it is moved to the “Deleted Items” folder. If the email remains in the “Deleted Items” folder for 14 days, it will be permanently deleted and can no longer be recovered. If a user empties the “Deleted Items” folder before the 14-day retention period is up, the email will be permanently deleted immediately.
It’s important to note that deleted emails are not immediately erased from the Office 365 servers and can be recovered by a administrator with proper permissions and tools within the 14-day retention period.
Additionally, some organizations may have email retention policies in place that keep deleted emails for longer than 14 days or automatically move deleted emails to an archive or backup location before they are permanently deleted.
What are the Retention Policy of Office 365?
Retention policies in Office 365 allow administrators to define how long data, including emails, should be kept and what should happen to it after a specific period of time. Some common uses of retention policies in Office 365 include:
- Compliance: Retention policies can be used to ensure that emails are kept for a specified period of time to meet regulatory or legal requirements.
- Data Management: Retention policies can help manage the amount of data stored in an Office 365 account and automatically delete or archive emails that are no longer needed.
- Backup and Recovery: Retention policies can be used to ensure that emails are backed up and can be recovered in the event of a disaster or data loss.
Retention policies in Office 365 can be applied to specific folders, mailboxes, or the entire organization. They can specify how long emails should be kept in the “Deleted Items” folder, how long they should be kept in the archive, and when they should be permanently deleted. Additionally, retention policies can specify that emails should be moved to a designated retention folder or automatically deleted after a specified period of time.
It’s important to carefully consider the retention policies that are set in an organization to ensure that important emails are retained for the appropriate amount of time and to minimize the risk of data loss.
Default Retention Policy
The default retention policy in Office 365 is to keep emails in the “Deleted Items” folder for 14 days. After 14 days, the emails are permanently deleted and can no longer be recovered. This default retention policy applies to all mailboxes in the organization unless a custom retention policy has been defined.
It’s important to note that organizations can create and apply custom retention policies to meet specific compliance, data management, and backup and recovery requirements. These policies can extend or reduce the retention period of deleted emails, or specify alternative actions such as moving emails to an archive folder or backing them up before they are deleted.
Manage Retention policy
Retention policies in Office 365 can be managed by administrators through the Microsoft 365 admin center or using PowerShell commands. Here’s a high-level overview of the steps to manage retention policies in Office 365:
Sign in to the Microsoft 365 admin center with an account that has global administrator or Exchange administrator privileges.
Go to the “Retention policies” section of the “Compliance management” section.
- Create a new retention policy:
a. Click the “Create policy” button.
b. Provide a name and description for the policy.
c. Specify the retention settings for the policy.
- Apply the retention policy to a mailbox:
a. Select the mailbox you want to apply the policy to.
b. Click the “Edit” button.
c. Choose the retention policy you want to apply.
- Monitor the retention policy:
a. Go to the “Retention reports” section of the “Compliance management” section.
b. View the retention reports to ensure that the policy is being applied correctly.
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The length of time that Office 365 keeps deleted emails can range from 14 days for soft-deleted items to an indefinite period for items placed on Litigation Hold. Understanding the different deletion scenarios and the impact of retention policies is important for ensuring the protection and recovery of your email data. It’s important to thoroughly test and review retention policies before applying them to production environments to ensure that they meet the needs of the organization and don’t result in unintended consequences. Additionally, it’s a best practice to periodically review and update retention policies to ensure that they are still appropriate for the organization’s needs. And in this way we have answered the user query i.e. how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails.