Recovering MS Teams messages

Copper Contributor

Is it possible to recover deleted Microsoft Teams messages when an organisation has a Microsoft 365 Business Standard account?


I have been doing some research that seems to suggest these would only be retained (and therefore still available) if you have a retention policy, and that retention policies are not available with this account type. Is that correct?


The message I am referring to was deleted several weeks ago.


Many thanks. 

3 Replies

@Andrew_M220 Yes, you have the sufficient features in your subscription, all detailed here RWR6bM (


No, you don't have to use retention policies to search for deleted content with eDiscovery/Content search as compliance records are written to the mailboxes involved (only accessible using the admin tools). My understanding is that this user account and mailbox is in use and only the message was deleted several weeks ago too, so should be good to go.


Overview of security and compliance - Microsoft Teams | Microsoft Learn

Create a search with condition 'Message kind' and 'IM' (instant message) using the Compliance portal.

@ChristianJBergstrom thanks.


This is what I had read. Are you saying this is

wrong or have I misunderstood?


4. How to recover deleted messages in Microsoft Teams

Deleted chat or channel messages cannot be restored directly. If you have a compliance retention policy or legal hold in place for Teams messages, an administrator can recover these from the Compliance center via eDiscovery search. If compliance hasn’t been enabled, the deleted messages are gone forever!

Pro tip


Legal holds are only available in Microsoft E3 and E5 plans, that cost $32/user/month and $57/user/month respectively. 




I'm saying part of that information is wrong. All Teams messages are processed in Azure Cosmos DB or more understandable "Azure chat service". There's a flow between the service and the user/group mailboxes involved with compliance records being written to hidden folders in the latter, for the purpose of compliance for whatever legal or regulatory demands.

Retention policies are used for deciding proactively whether to retain content, delete content, or retain and then delete the content automatically. If not using retention policies and having active users, the chat messages are indefinitely in Azure with records written to the mailboxes.

Holds are something different and not necessary to do a search. You would have to have Business Premium or other subscription depending on what kind of hold to use.

Bear in mind these compliance tools are not for restore or backup, but rather being able to comply with your organization's internal policies, industry regulations or legal requirements.

If there's no account/mailbox, i.e., a user has been permanently deleted and you haven't implemented any of these features that's another story.