Deleting Items from Preservation hold library

Copper Contributor



I have a client who needs to free up spaces taken mostly by retention. 
Since he's already backing up and archiving his data, the retention policy in place for the groups 365 is not needed anymore. 

He modified his retention policy (in the compliance center) to not take the 365 groups anymore and desactivated the functionnality of retention in the administration of his main SharePoint site


However, when deleting items in the retention library of each SharePoint site (linked to Teams), this error message still appears : "This library contains items that have been modified or deleted but must remain available due to eDiscovery holds. Items cannot be modified or removed."

The thing is that we didn't find any eDiscovery strategies in place in the compliance center.


Do you have any idea from where this can be from  and how we could resolve this issue ?

Thank you for your answers ! 

7 Replies
Make sure the changes you've made to retention policies have propagated, this process can be slow at times. You can check this via Status property for the selected retention policy in the Compliance portal or PowerShell.

If the status shows successful propagation and you are still having issues, run the troubleshooter here:
Thank you for your answer, we'll check this out. The changes have been applied on wednesday last week.

In the meantime we found out that the In-Place record management is active on the site. It seems like it could be the issue because it is set on "block deletion and modification" .

Howerver, when we go to change the parameter from "block deletion and modification" to "none", we click "ok" but it then shows that we need to have access.
The thing is that we are global admin on the SharePoint tenant and supposed to be able to change those specific parameters... Any idea of a way we could use to change this parameter ?
Not sure about that. Make sure you're added as Site collection admin for the specific SC, undeclare any existing records first or try to disable the feature altogether.

@Rebecca1805If you want to delete these files, you can change the retention time of the policy. I believe its not changed yet per problem statement. Once changed, it will take 24 hours to take effect.

Check are there any other policies holding. 

If you have any Retention Policies – exclue or disable policy

If you have eDiscovery cases – Close all eDiscovery cases.

If you have Data loss prevention policies – Disable them.

if there is no policy holding files should get deleted. Try to see in fiddler or F12 logs what is holding files.

In-place policy normally hold files in that location. If this is enabled on site first change the Record Restrictions > No Additional Restrictionsand then disable in-place hold . For this you should be SCA on site.



Thank you for your answer.
The existing retention policy has been changed to not take the 365 groups and sharepoint sites (classic and communications) anymore, a week ago.
:right_arrow: However files continue going into the retention library when it' modified or delected by users, how is it possible ?

There is no eDiscovery cases.

The default data loss prevention is in place and active,
:right_arrow: does this have an impact on being able to delete items from the preservation library ?

I'm SCA but I'm not able to change the record restrictions, any idea why ?
I have had a very similar or the same issue. What I found, thanks to Vasil's (always helpful) response was that another policy, possibly one that was created and then deleted in the past year, was blocking the ability to remove the current retention policy. Once I removed the old policy, I then had to re-run the same link to remove the current policy. Once I did that, I was able to delete items from Preservation Hold libraries.
The only problem is that I want to remove this old policy wherever it has been applied and via PowerShell I'm told the policy does not exist.
PS - I kept a record of the GUIDs of all my policies and that specific GUID with '- SharePoint', isn't listed, which is why I believe it was an older policy. However, it MAY be related to eDiscovery as it appears to be applied to newer sites as well and I only removed the standard and eDiscovery cases 4 days ago.