Exchange 2016 - Retention Policy starts counting days from date of Policy creation.

Copper Contributor

Hello All,

Recently I created Retention Policy, that has to delete emails in "Deleted items" whose age reaches 30 days.

What I found before couple of days, that Retention policy starts counting these 30 days from Policy creation day.

For example: If there are emails in "Deleted items" dated by April 2020 and the Retention Policy was created on 20th of July 2020, then the emails will be deleted on 20th of August 2020(exactly 30 days from Policy Creation).

I can't find any documentation that supports my assumption, but this is what happening.


My question is whether my assumption is right? Would appreciate if you can point me at some Microsoft explanation of such behavior.




8 Replies

Hi @pavlenych 


To my understanding, you are correct.; this is what I have seen when setting up retention policy on the deleted items.


This page has information relating to how retention age is calculated.




That shouldn't be the case, the tags only take into consideration the "age" of an item based on date of delivery/creation. For items in the deleted items folder, the same applies, unless the original folder did not have a tag. Read here:



I completely agree with you, but when I apply the policy each email whose age reached 30 days is being tagged with Retention Policy name and "expiration date", starting from date of applying this policy, not even from Retention Creation date, please see attached.

By the way, I think have to change the topic name from: "Policy creation" to: "Policy applying".






One correction: The expiration date is set since getting to "Deleted items" folder no matter the Date of email itself.

For example: if email was sent on 01.05.2020 and putted in "Deleted items" on 01.08.2020 when it will be deleted on 01.09.2020. This is what I see at least.




Hey @pavelp1990 ,


To quote from the documentation already shared by Vasil and Mark:


For an item in deleted items:

"If an item is in a folder that doesn't have an inherited or implicit retention tag applied, the item isn't processed by the MFA and therefore doesn't have a start date stamped by it. When the user deletes such an item, and the MFA processes it for the first time in the Deleted Items folder, it stamps the current date as the start date."


So, you need to check if there is any retention tag applied to the folder from which the email is being deleted, if there is none, then the email is simply hidden from MFA to stamp a date against it.


@harveer singh
In another words and in my case of existing Retention Policy deleting emails reach age of 30 days we can say following: Email which is being deleted(being moved to "Deleted items") from folder with no retention policy, will be deleted 30 days after getting into "Deleted items".
Am I right?


@harveer singh 


I really appreciate your help!


In this regard is there some way to delete email based on it age and not on a date it was moved to "Deleted items" or any another folder with retention policy?