An Office 365 administrator can simplify the task of managing the deleted items by creating archiving and deletion policies. Such policies can perform the automatic action of moving the emails to either the archive mailbox or the Deleted items folder instantly from the mailbox. Such policies are called retention policies, and they trigger the action after a certain period. They are called retention tags. In them, the administrator mentions which item to move, when to move, and where to move. These tags are attached to the specific messages or folder of the user’s mailbox. The tag keeps track of the timeline of the selected items, and after the expiry of the timeline, it moves the content to the archive mailbox or deletes it permanently.
The tasks that the administrator need to perform regarding the policy creation are:
We are going to enable Archive mailboxes for the users. To do this, execute the steps as mentioned in sequence:
We are going to create three types of retention tags for the new retention (Archive and Deletion) policy in this step. Let us assign a common name (as per your choice) for these retention tags. Here, we are using Kernel.
This tag will automatically move items older than 3 years to Archive mailboxes. To create the custom tag, just follow the steps:
This tag will permanently delete items after 7 years. To create a custom retention tag, perform the steps:
This tag will automatically delete folder items after 5 years. It also provides a recovery period in which the user can recover those items using the Recover Deleted Items feature.
When you create an account in Office 365, a Default MRM Policy is created. You have to create a new retention policy and replace it with the Default MRM policy. After creating a new retention policy, the user has to assign the created retention tags to it. Let us see how to create the retention policy and add retention tags to it.
After the selection, click add option to add the tags. Click OK to save the Retention tags.
Step 4. Assign new Retention Policy to User Mailboxes
This step requires assigning a new retention policy to the user mailboxes of the Office 365 account. Perform the steps below to do this:
Hence the new Retention Policy is assigned to all the selected user mailboxes. To confirm, go to the Mailboxes page, select the mailbox, and click Edit and then on the Mailbox features option where you can confirm the assigned retention policy.
We have seen how to set up an Archive and Deletion Policy for Office 365 mailboxes. It may take 7 days for new retention policies to be applied to user mailboxes in Office 365. However, you can force this using the cmdlet: Start-ManagedFolderAssistant in Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlet.
To do this, execute the following command.
$UserCredential = Get-Credential
Session = New-PSSession –ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange –ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential –Authentication Basic -AllowRedirectionThen, run this command:
To verify Exchange Online connection, run this command to get all mailboxes from your specified Office 365 account:
Get-mailbox -resultsize unlimited
Finally, run this command to complete the process:
$Mailboxes.Identity | Start-ManagedFolderAssistant
Users are provided with a detailed manual procedure for assigning Archive and Deletion Policy for Office 365 mailboxes. It may take 7 days for the policy to come into effect. However, you can implement it forcefully (by starting Managed Folder Assistant using Windows PowerShell cmdlets) to apply retention policy immediately to the Office 365 mailboxes.
Archiving and retention features of Office 365 are mainly for specific items. Usually, they are not suitable for the backup of the entire Office 365 data. However, many professional tools like Office 365 Backup & Restore allows complete backup of Office 365 data, including mailboxes, public folders, and archive mailboxes. Also, it supports the backup of all Office 365 plans.
Archiving and deletion policies in Office 365 helps in the better management of Office 365 data. These policies can be applied using the Exhange admin center and Exchange Management Shell. However, if you need a comprehensive backup of Office 365 data, you need professional tools like Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore.
A simple tool to Backup Office 365/Exchange mailboxes to PST & Restore them