"outlook cannot delete one or more items because of a retention policy"

Copper Contributor

Many of our users are receiving the error message, "outlook cannot delete one or more items because of a retention policy", when attempting to delete an email message in Outlook.  We do have retention labels and retention policies, but they should not prevent deletion from the inbox; rather, they just save a copy of the deleted email message to a recoverable location.  This doesn't happen to every email, just a seemingly random subset.


Has anyone experienced this or know how to fix it?

1 Reply

Hi @SeanFrazer,

This issue can be caused by a few different things, but the most common cause is a conflict between a retention policy and a retention label. To fix the issue, you can try the following:

  1. Check the retention policy for the inbox folder. Make sure that the policy does not prevent deletion of emails.
  2. Check the retention label for the email. Make sure that the label does not prevent deletion of emails.
  3. Try deleting the email from Outlook Web App. If you are able to delete the email from Outlook Web App, then the issue is likely caused by a problem with your Outlook client.
  4. Repair your Outlook installation. This can often fix problems with retention policies and retention labels.

Here are some links you can use:

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Kindest regards,

Leon Pavesic