How to Implement Retention Policies on a SharePoint Online Site?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam | Published On - 30 Nov 2021 |

Read time 6 min

In modern business organizations, the size and volume of data are increasing exponentially, and storage space is filling quickly. The cloud platforms give the flexibility to increase the storage space, but it requires constant monitoring and management to protect the data. The number of emails, attachments, documents, chat messages, and other items fill any storage in the least time. Efficient management is necessary due to the following reasons-

    • Reduce the risk of data loss due to litigation or login breach – Deleting older and unimportant data and saving accounts from unauthorized access.
    • Following the industry regulation and protocols – There are several industry regulations that compel businesses to keep their older data for a finite period. For example, in the United States, the business must follow a Sarbanes-Oxley Act in which you need to keep the document for seven years. Best SharePoint Backup Solutions maintain the structure of data and help the user to keep optimum use of retention policy.
    • Sharing useful knowledge between the users – You should help the users provide the latest and relevant information for completing their tasks.

Retention settings in Office 365 help the business to centralize the control of managing their content two actions mainly-

Action
Reason
  • Retention
  • Deletion
  • It prevents the permanent deletion of content and makes it accessible in eDiscovery search.
  • It permanently deletes the content.

How does retention policy affect the data in Office 365?

When any data is included in the retention policy, it does not show any symptom or message to the data. The user can continue to access their documents like nothing has changed. But, when the user deletes any item or changes them, a copy of the same file will be placed separately. SharePoint items are saved in the Preservation Hold library.

How to apply a Retention policy on SharePoint Online items?

In SharePoint Online, you can apply the retention tags to either individual folders or all folders collectively.
In a SharePoint library, you can apply a retention label to any item like Word, Excel, or even OneNote files. The non-MS Office files like PDFs, images, notes, sites are also available for retention.

Configure retention policies in Office 365 Admin Center

The retention policy is not a rigid system, but a flexible policy creates different policies to protect data from various threats. There are several pre-defined compliances that you can also apply to the policies.

  1. First, log in to Microsoft 365 Admin Center and go to the Admin application.go to the Admin application
  2. In the Admin Centers, click Compliance.Click Compliance
  3. Choose the Data Loss Prevention option.Choose the Data Loss Prevention option
  4. In the DLP section, you must create a new policy for your business. Go to the Policies tab and click Create Policy.Go to the Policies
  5. In the first step to create a DLP policy, there are several categories that you can choose. You should also choose the country or region for the business. Make your selection and click Next.click Next
  6. In the example, a U.S Patriotic Act has been selected as the policy. You can provide a new name and description. Click Next.Click Next
  7. In Choose locations to apply the policy, you should disable others and choose SharePoint sites. Use Include or Exclude to select parts of sites. Click Next.Choose locations to apply the policy
  8. On the Define Policy Settings page, you can either follow the same settings in the selected policy or create a custom setting by providing additional details. Click Next.Click Next
  9. Choose the option to detect when the policy will work on Office 365 data. Then, click Next.Choose the option then click next
  10. Select the protection actions and use the checkbox to select useful actions. Click Next.Select the protection actions then click next
  11. Choose who has access to shared SharePoint and OneDrive files. You can also leave the settings to their default type. Click Next.Click Next
  12. You can test the policy, turn it on or off instantly, or keep it off. Make your choice and click Next.Make your choice and click Next
  13. Review the settings of the created policy. Click Submit after you are satisfied with the terms of the policy.Click Submit after you are satisfied with the terms of the policy
  14. It will take approximately 24 hours to finalize the policy and enable it for the entire organization. After that, you can apply this policy to any item in SharePoint Sites.

Conclusion

Retention Policies save the data from being deleted abruptly. If you want to backup your SharePoint library, site, or site collections, retention policies may not be enough. So, you should use professional backup software that specializes in SharePoint. Because it can help in overcoming many avoidable mistakes in Sharepoint migration.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint is one such tool that backups all the contents of SharePoint. Also, it will migrate the data to a new account as per the needs of the user.