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.

Create New Retention Policy

  1. In the user menu click Retention Policies

  2. Click + Create retention policy. The Create Retention Policy dialog appears

  3. In Create Retention Policy dialog, name the retention policy.

  4. 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
    • SharePoint (this feature requires licensing)
  5. Specify the retention policy settings. There are two options to retain backed up objects:

    • Delete Older Than. This option allows you to delete all objects that were modified or created before the specified date (day, week, month, and year periods are available). Select period before backed up or modified objects will be deleted in the backup storage for the selected backup service. Select whether the last revision can be deleted. This settings is intended for for securing actual versions to protect data from occasional purge.

    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

    • Revisions to keep. Set the number of revisions to keep. This setting allows you to specify a number of versions for objects you want to keep in a backup storage. The parameter implies to full backups.
  6. Set the purge delays. This setting allows you to secure your backup storage by keeping backups that are to be deleted due to a retention policy for some more days. This parameter allows you to specify a number of versions for files you want to keep in a backup storage. The parameter implies to full backups.

  7. Click Create to save the created retention policy. Now you can assign this retention policy to the selected user(s) for the specified backup service.

Assign Retention Policy

  1. Sign in Office 365 Backup as an administrator.

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

  3. Click Retention Policy.

  4. In the pane to the right, select retention policy from the retention policies lists for backup services. If the backup service has not any configured retention policies, No items found text will be displayed. This means you will need to create the retention policy to assing it to the backup service.

  5. Once you are done with the retention policy assignment, click Save. The selected retention policies are assigned to selected users.

Edit Retention Policy

  1. In the user menu click Retention Policies
  2. In the retention policy grid select the retention policy you want to edit and click Edit.
  3. Change the retention policy settings and click Save.

Delete Retention Policy

  1. In the user menu click Retention Policies
  2. In the retention policy grid select the retention policy you want to delete and click Delete.
  3. Confirm the deletion of retention policy. The default retention policy will be assigned instead the deleted one. By default, your data will be stored forewerforever.