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In modern business organizations, the size and volume of data are increasing exponentially, and storage space is filling quickly. 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-
Retention settings in Office 365 help the business to centralize the control of managing their content two actions mainly-
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.
You can collectively apply a retention policy for SharePoint Online Site collection and even certain retention tags to an individual or all folders.
You can apply a retention label to any item like Word, Excel, or even OneNote files in a SharePoint library. The non-MS Office files like PDFs, images, notes, and sites are also available for retention.
Retention policies are applicable across various platforms including:
These policies can be efficiently implemented either across multiple locations simultaneously or targeted to specific locations or users.
Regarding the initiation of the retention period, there is an option to choose between the date of content creation or, specifically for files in SharePoint, OneDrive, and Microsoft 365 Groups, the date of last modification.
The time it takes for retention policies to take effect involves a multi-step process:
Upon creating and submitting a retention policy, you need to wait of up to seven days for its implementation:
To monitor progress, check the distribution status on the Retention policies page in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. If you encounter delays, investigate by selecting the policy and reviewing the status in the flyout pane. If an error is indicated or if deployment is taking longer than expected, consider reattempting by executing the Set-AppRetentionCompliancePolicy or Set-RetentionCompliancePolicy PowerShell command.
Implementing a SharePoint Online retention policy requires understanding its impact on all documents, including those created pre-policy. Options include basing document retention on creation or last modified dates, affecting deletion timelines. This policy, once applied, universally affects a site’s documents, potentially leading to immediate deletion of older documents. It’s crucial to communicate the policy’s workings to users clearly.
The policy permits customization in applying different retention durations to diverse documents and SharePoint sites. This aspect allows for the consideration of varying retention or deletion needs for specific documents. It also includes the possibility of user discretion in marking particular documents to be exempt from the retention policy.
Upon finalizing these considerations, you are all set to create the retention policy.
The retention policy is not a rigid system, but a flexible policy creates different approaches to protect data from various threats. There are several pre-defined compliances that you can also apply to the policies.
It will take approximately 24 hours to finalize and enable the policy for the entire organization. After that, you can apply this policy to any item in SharePoint Sites.
Use Preservation Lock to control modifications to policies. In certain instances, organizations must adhere to regulatory mandates like SEC Rule 17a-4, stipulating that once a retention policy is activated, it must remain enabled or become more stringent.
Preservation Lock provides a safeguard, ensuring compliance with such regulations. This feature essentially locks a retention policy or retention label policy, preventing any modifications—be it turning off the policy, deletion, or relaxation of restrictions—by anyone, including administrators.
To recover deleted files from OneDrive and SharePoint is next to impossible if you do not have a proper backup. That’s where the Retention Policies save the data from being deleted abruptly. Retention policies may not be enough to backup your SharePoint library, site, or site collections. So, it would be best to use professional backup software specializing in SharePoint because it can help overcome many avoidable mistakes in SharePoint migration.
Kernel Migration for SharePoint is one such tool that backups all the contents of SharePoint. Also, the SharePoint Migration tool will migrate the data to a new account as per the user’s needs.