Microsoft 365 Retention and SharePoint Online Deletion Policy

Frequent Contributor

Hi All, 


We have defined a policy that included Exchange email, SharePoint Sites, and OneDrive sites. 

We noticed that a few SharePoint sites have to be deleted. We turned off the Retention for SharePoint Online sites as shown: 


01 Retention.png

after 15 hours after we turned off  Retention for SharePoint Online sites, it's showing "This site has a compliance policy set to block retention" as  shown: 

02 Site has compliace policy set to block deletion.png

What should we do so that we are able to delete the SharePoint sites? 

 Any help would be much appreciated.  



9 Replies

Wait and pray :) Make sure the distribution status of the policy shows as completed, and if you still cannot remove the site, open a support ticket. It's in Microsoft's hands. FYI there are lots of similar complaints here and on other forums, here's one of the threads:

Thanks your pointer. I hope don't need to contact Microsoft support.

@Aroh Shukla Do contact support. The more pain Microsoft gets on this point, the more they are likely to do something about it.

@Tony Redmond and @Vasil Michev 


thanks a ton for valuable inputs.


What about if we delete the Retention policy completely? Will it help?



@Aroh Shukla If you don't need the retention policy, you can absolutely delete it. 

@Tony Redmond thanks for your inputs. 


  1. If we delete the current policy, whether able to delete the SharePoint Online Sites? 

  2. A couple of sites are Modern Teams Sites with Office 365 Groups. if we delete the sites, the Office 365 Group will be deleted as well

    As these a production sites, our team is bit delete this policy. Any impact we delete this policy?  

@Aroh Shukla 


1. Yes. Once SPO has removed the policy from the sites. However, other retention policies might also apply to the sites, so you need to check that.

2. If you delete a site belonging to an Office 365 group, the group and all associated resources are removed.


I don't know what impact will ensue because I don't know your tenant and what policies exist in the tenant. I don't do online support either, so if you have some concerns about making changes in a production environment either:


a) engage an expert to come and help. They will likely assess the tenant first to understand the full context before making changes. At least, they should do.

b) create a test tenant and replicate your environment there. Make the changes and observe what happens. If you're happy, make the same changes in the production tenant.

@Tony Redmond thanks a ton for your advice. We will create a test tenant and see the result. 


Thank you again for your extremely useful advice.