Litigation Hold for users no longer at the company

New Contributor

I'm looking for best practices on how to handle users that leave the company with O365 accounts using litigation hold. Obviously with litigation hold we will need to retain this information for a period of time. I'm not sure if converting the account to a shared mailbox so it no longer has a license is best practice or something else. I believe if I remove the licenses for that user mailbox we will lose the litigation hold ability. Is this correct? Is there a Microsoft paper with best practice and the effect of litigation hold if an account is put into an inactive state.



4 Replies
I personally prefer just setting a preservation policy up, with Exchange Online, and setting it for 7 years and being done with it. Then you can delete users and still get their accounts for those 7 years. Similar to litigation but much easier and cleaner IMO. I still convert mailboxes to Shared for short term recovery since it's easier to than exporting etc. from content search but that part is up to you. Many options, but to answer the question, you don't need to keep a license on the user, set the hold, then you can remove the license and the account and you'll be fine.

@Chris Webb I actually opened a ticket on this very subject because I noticed MSFT closed off shared mailboxes being able to have litigation hold on them and they said if you convert a user to a shared mailbox you break the litigation hold and that data is gone when the cleanup job runs.  Their recommendation was to let the user delete and go into the inactive users area.  There is a powershell to restore it but a bit of a painful process.  IF they gave me bad info certainly would like to know that. ;)


I do like your idea of using a preservation policy instead.

yuck. Yeah keep us posted.