Most organizations' data volume and complexity are increasing daily - email, documents, instant messages, and more. Effectively managing or governing this information is important because you must comply proactively with industry regulations and internal policies that require you to retain content for a minimum period.
First, retention policies define how long an organization will “retain” specific data and when it can delete it.
When content has retention settings assigned to it, that content remains in its original location. Most of the time, people continue to work with their documents or mail as if nothing's changed. But if they edit or delete content included in the retention policy, a copy of the content is automatically retained.
How are retention policies applied?
Items inherit the retention settings from their location specified in the retention policy. If they are moved outside that location when the policy is configured to retain content, a copy of that item is retained in the workload's secured location. However, the retention settings do not travel with the content in its new location.
Retention policies can be applied to these locations:
- Exchange mailboxes
- SharePoint classic and communication sites
- OneDrive accounts
- Microsoft 365 Group mailboxes & sites
- Skype for Business
- Exchange public folders
- Teams channel messages (standard channels and shared channels)
- Teams chats
- Teams private channel messages
Mohawk College Retention Policies
Prevents permanent deletion of items up to the length of time. A user can still delete items from the "Location," but a shadow copy will remain as a backup on the server.
Delete after time period
If "Yes", items are permanently deleted after a length of time without user consent. No backups exist.
Example - OneDrive Files Retention
Items are retained for 6 months. They cannot be permanently deleted for 6 months after their last modified date. After the 6 month retention period, the items will not be deleted. However – there will be no retention policy to protect them.
- If you delete a file/folder from your OneDrive that has not been modified in over 6 months, it will be permanently deleted.
- If you delete an item from your OneDrive that has been modified within 6 months, a backup will remain on the server.
- The retention policy will never automatically delete your files on OneDrive after any length of time.
Retention labels can be used for different types of content that require different retention settings. For example:
- Tax forms that need to be retained for a minimum period.
- Press materials must be permanently deleted when they reach a specific age.
- Research must be retained for a specific period and then permanently deleted.
In all these cases, retention labels let you apply retention settings for governance control at the item level (document or email). These settings override any retention policies inherited from the container in which the documents or email are stored.
Mohawk College Retention Labels
How Do I Apply a Retention Label?
In OneDrive or a SharePoint library, you can label most any file—a Microsoft 365 document created in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and so on, or even a OneNote file. you can also label non-Office files such as a PDF.)
In a library, you can also label a folder. When you label the folder, that retention label is applied to all the files in that folder. In a SharePoint list, you can label some kinds of items.