What´s the reason that I can´t delete chats

Iron Contributor

Does anybody know why it is not pssible to delete old chats? 

47 Replies
best response confirmed by Sophie_Bruehl (Iron Contributor)

Hello there @Sophie_Bruehl


The truth is that you can't delete old chats, this is what we call "by-design". There’s no option to delete a full chat in Microsoft Teams. But you should be able to delete or edit your own messages.


What you can right now, are the following options:

- Deleting a single chat message on Microsoft Teams



Hiding the chat: Hiding a chat keeps it out of your way on Teams. To hide a chat, right-click on the chat name, and click hide. Once you hide the chat, it only shows up again when someone sends a new message to it. You can also bring the chat back by searching for a participant’s name or the chat in your search box. Right-click on the chat and choose to unhide to see it again. 


- Muting the chat: You can also mute a chat if you’re sure you don’t want to hear from it again. You’ll still be in the conversation when you mute a chat but won’t receive notifications. Right-click the chat and choose the mute option. You can then hide the chat, too if you like. Right-click and click unmute to receive notifications again.


If you’re worried about long-term chat archives, you can check your admin settings. Teams chat, file, and channel information is saved indefinitely by default on Teams. You can change retention policies in the Microsoft 365 compliance center.


When you set a retention policy for Teams, you can choose which information you keep. Your policy will allow you to:

- Retain Teams messages for a specific period then delete it
- Delete Teams chats or channel messages after a specific duration.


Last but not least, you can vote on the UserVoice for this feature to come out as soon as possible - the posts with more votes, get more attention for the backend/design team.


Some examples here for this "delete chat feature": ; ;


Hope this helps :)

Thank you so much <3
Hi Pedro,

When running a retention policy to delete Teams chats, can you confirm that this only deletes the individual chat messages or is there a way to delete the entire chat thread?

Thank you,
Stuart Gray


Hello Stuart,

I can confirm, that this policy option is only to delete individual chat messages. There is no other way to delete the entire chat thread.




@pedro_salvador_gomes- interesting to note here that in Europe we have what are called GDPR guidelines, and one of the most important rules is the "right to be forgotten". This means that as a user, I have a right to request my data is removed/deleted from hosting systems at my request.  If ms are continuing to retain old chat history and not giving me the option to delete targeted or specific data, then surely this is actually a breach of those very important GDPR guidelines.  I must be given the ability to remove old data that I no longer require, or may no longer be relevant (like when a colleague leaves the company, why should I be forced to retain old chat information and data that pertains to them, especially if they have submitted a GDPR data request to remove data relating to them (or me!) ? )

Microsoft need to up the ante here and give individual users the option to remove data that they have no more use of. That is especially important for GDPR data removal requests, and a fundamental right under those guidelines - see

I have had a request to remove data relating to a colleague that has left the company, and I am unable to do so with Teams. That is a GDPR breach, and as such needs to be reported to the Information Commissioners Office. I have no option other than "hide" which is tantamount to burying my head in the sand.  I have attached the UK GDPR document in full, and would guide you to "Right to Erasure" section, and link provided above.


@deegeepee You cannot delete a whole chat conversation right now but as a team owner with a team setting "owner can delete messages" the owner/owners can delete all messages from all users, the users can also be allowed to delete their posted messages. Anyway, it's is controlled by CsTeamsMessagingPolicy and with further granular control using Set-Team (if the setting is checked or not). Besides that you can use retention policies to delete data, for some users or all, for chats, for channel messages, and private channel messages.




@ChristianJBergstrom thanks for reply - do we know if this delete thread functionality is in the pipeline?

It's in "Planned" status. But you can use retention policies until it's rolled out, they are very effective.
If I leave an organization being the administrator of it, what happens with the organization? It would be disabled too? Is there any way to set another person as admin? And what happens with all my data after leaving an organization, e.x. chats, posts, meetings..?



I use the free version of MS Teams.
I found a link to close my account and it tell that all my info will continue available for 30/60 days. After that, if someone else use the same e-mail to create an account, my data will be restored?

This is the official way of deleting a Teams free org.

Not sure what kind of link you are referring to. When the org. is deleted all data is deleted. Why would anyone use your email address you've created for setting this org. up, doesn't make sense.



can I do this without an Azure subscription?

I only want to delete chats but it seems Microsoft don't allow me to do it.. 

With Teams free you get Azure AD Free. You can only delete your own chats/posts using Teams free as the policies controlling owner deletion of messages in a team are not included in Teams free.



Thank you for the information but I do not see the delete option however my coworkers do have the option. Any suggestions?



Where can I find this settings? Is there any way to do this via Microsoft Azure?

@pedro_salvador_gomes  this is  awful and distracting. Just like email chats should be deleted. It like space clutter. That's why I don't use the app and use Skype. 

You can of course delete chats and channel messages, if your administrator allows it, just not entire threads. The latter on its way though
The fact that it's not possible to delete a whole chat with someone, is a violation to the European GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR is an important component of EU privacy law and of human rights law, in particular Article 8(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR's primary aim is to enhance individuals' control and rights over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business. Superseding the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC, the regulation contains provisions and requirements related to the processing of personal data of individuals (formally called data subjects in the GDPR) who are located in the EEA, and applies to any enterprise—regardless of its location and the data subjects' citizenship or residence—that is processing the personal information of individuals inside the EEA.

In short. If someone I've chatted with via TEAMS, request me to remove all personal data and communication between us. I am by European law required to do that.
If I don't or can't, and this person get knowledge about it. The company I work for will be held responsible and can be brought to court and sentenced.

This is something that Microsoft need to address, as it will come back to them in the end,.