It was Tove Lo who said “If we’re talking body, you’ve got a perfect one”. Few know that the Office 365 product group wrote a similar lyric of “If we’re talking deleted items, you have 30 days”.
Out of the box Office 365 will purge deleted items after 30 days. The good news is this is easily changed, before we show you how to do that I think it’s worth explaining WHY this occurs.
If you sign into the Office 365 Exchange Control Panel you’ll see the compliance tab show below. The two sub tabs we want to focus on are the Retention Tags and Retention Policies.
The concept work like so… Retention Polices are comprised of a series of Retention Tags. Retention Tags describe a type of item and what to do with that item at a specified time period. For example, this retention tag applies to Deleted Items and says that after 30 days the items should be deleted.
Office 365 comes with a series Retention Tags out of the box and you can create tags of your own if you so desire. Retention tags are broken down into 3 types.
Default – Applies to all items in the mailbox
Personal – Available for users to apply as they see fit inside of Outlook and Outlook Web App
Default Folder – Applies to items in the specified default folder (Inbox, Sent Items, Deleted Items, etc)
So that’s a crash course in Retention Tags. Retention Tags cannot be directly applied to a mailbox, for that you’ll need a Retention Policy. Retention Policies are a collection of Retention Tags. Office 365 comes with a single Retention Policy called “Default MRM Policy” which contains all the default Retention Tags and is applied to all mailboxes. it's this Default MRM Policy that removed Deleted Items after 30 days.
If you are hip to the idea of a set interval for removing Deleted Items but you feel that 30 days is too short then from the Retention Tags tab highlight the Deleted Items tag and click the pencil to edit it to reflect the duration you feel is best. If your users are anything like mine (the type that thinks Deleted Items is where you put important massages you need later) then you’ll want to move that bubble up a bit to “Never” before clicking Save.
Deleted items can now breathe a sigh of relief. You’d be wise to swap to that Never bubble on the Archive and Junk Mail retention tags as well, but that’s just like my opinion man.
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