Forcing Mail Retention in Exchange Online

Contributor

Guys, I have been looking around at backup solutions for Exchange online. We are on the M365 E5 license. We are told Exchange Online doesn't offer traditional backup. I wish to be able to restore deleted mail 7 days out (i.e. mail that's been deleted from deleted items). Whilst unlikely a user would do this it's still possible and I need to account for it. Doing some reading though, Exchange Online offers unlimited archiving and hold on all mail as per this link.

 

So my question is, can a hold be used for this purpose i.e. hold for 7 days? Can folders be restored i.e. folder structure if a user was to delete the folder structure?

3 Replies

Hi @shockotechcom 

 

By default, Exchange Online keeps permanently deleted items (i.e. deleted out of deleted items) for 14 days by default, but this can be changed to a maximum to 30 days - this is for all mailboxes.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/recipients-in-exchange-online/manage-user-mailboxes/change...

 

In terms of backup - what kind of backup are you looking for? You may want to focus in on Retention Policies if there is certain data you want to ensure is not deleted; alternatively, there are some third party services that act as a more traditional backup.

Look into Retention Policies: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=827811

If you have the right licensing E3, Exchange Plan 2 etc. you can easily setup a policy for all mailboxes to retain all e-mail for a set amount of time. 7 Years in my case. It's a few clicks and works great. You can restore e-mail from e-discovery or powershell methods when accounts get deleted any point in that set timeframe and import into other mailboxes etc. No need for Backup solution IMO.

https://compliance.microsoft.com/informationgovernance?viewid=retention is the admin interface for setting it up, you can also set for SharePoint and other services, but they do have a few caviots when it comes to deleting folders that aren't empty once turned on etc. But anyway, look into the article, this should get you going.

Thanks for the reply @Chris Webb . I'm new to O365. Do retention policies prevent users deleting mail though? Also, do they protect against malware corrupting mail i.e. is the mail immutable?