eDiscovery hold vs Litigation hold

Copper Contributor

Dear All,

As for company policy, we need to keep all emails forever even it was deleted by user. So that we can retrieve the whole mailbox for court case in future.

However, as long as I know, there are 2 different hold: eDiscovery hold and Litigation hold.

I would like to know what is the difference?

I can't find the clear comparison from Microsoft document.





3 Replies


Here's what happens when you create a Litigation Hold.

  • Items that are permanently deleted by the user are retained in the Recoverable Items folder in the user's mailbox for the duration of the hold.

  • Items that are purged from the Recoverable Items folder by the user are retained for the duration of the hold.

  • The storage quota for the Recoverable Items folder is increased from 30 GB to 110 GB.

  • Items in the user's primary and the archive mailboxes are retained

You can use a Core eDiscovery case to create holds to preserve content that might be relevant to the case. You can place a hold on the Exchange mailboxes and OneDrive for Business accounts of people you're investigating in the case. You can also place a hold on the mailboxes and sites that are associated with Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Groups, and Yammer Groups. When you place content locations on hold, content is preserved until you remove the hold from the content location or until you delete the hold.

After you create an eDiscovery hold, it may take up to 24 hours for the hold to take effect.

When you create a hold, you have the following options to scope the content that is preserved in the specified content locations:

  • You create an infinite hold where all content in the specified locations is placed on hold. Alternatively, you can create a query-based hold where only the content in the specified locations that matches a search query is placed on hold.

  • You can specify a date range to preserve only the content that was sent, received, or created within that date range. Alternatively, you can hold all content in specified locations regardless of when it was sent, received, or created.


In a nutshell, litigation hold is mailbox-wide, and by default indefinite. In-place hold (as configured by eDiscovery) can target only specific messages, based on variety of criteria. While it's more flexible, it's a lot harder to manage, compared to just using a simple Set-Mailbox user@domain.com -LitigationHoldEnabled $true cmdlet for litigation hold.


Both can however be used to preserve data in order to meet compliance/regulatory requirements.

@Notmen  Like so many Microsoft offerings, Legal Hold and eDiscovery are not an "either/or" tool set but are "together/and" combination of services.  In order to take full advantage of the services a tenant will need to thoughtfully implement DLP.