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Questions on retention polices.

Brass Contributor

Hi Community, 


One of our customer has the below scenarios and looking for help:

Issue 1

During migrations to sharepoint we  often run in to the problem something goes wrong for whatever reason and a whole folder in a document library has to be deleted, including its contents. This is not possible when a retention policy is active on the document library which we find strange. We first have to go into the folder to delete all the items in the folder before we are able to delete the folder itself. This can be a very time consuming process, especially if there are subfolders involved. Is this expected behavior or are we doing something wrong?

Work arounds we’ve tried so far:

  • Excluding the folder from the policy doesn’t work properly in our experience.
  • The legacy WebDAV client only works for files and folder under the old character limit
  • OneDrive sync client is also only partially effective. Not everything is removed.

So how can we handle such issues?

Issue 2

When a MS Teams team with channels and such is under a retention policy, it’s almost impossible to delete a channel in that team, whether for organization admins or normal site owners/administrators. Why is this?

Issue 3

Sometimes users themselves experience issues with deleting files from a library under a retention policy while we expect them to be able to delete the file just fine after which it should be preserved in the preservation hold library. It’s not exactly clear how, why or when this happens to us.

Issue 4

We struggle with deleting/hiding sites from users that are under a retention policy. How can be best go about this? Should we always exclude them first from the retention policy or something like that? Users expect us as a service provider to be able to remove sites etc. without a problem.


Any inputs would be of great help.

1 Reply
For the most part all of these issues sounds like they are working as expected and designed.
Here is the documentation which describes the behavior when Retention policy is applied.
So if you need to delete a site, you need to first remove the site from the retention policy.
If you have a different experience that you would prefer, I suggest you post that to the UserVoice site here: