How to: Prevent items to be Deleted from an Exchange 2013 / Online Mailbox

How to: Prevent items to be Deleted from an Exchange 2013 / Online Mailbox

The answer to this lies in what you are looking to accomplish. The Litigation hold allows the user to delete messages and other items from the mailbox but they remain in the server so that they can be searched and discovered in case they are needed. So the information is never lost from the server. The other alternative is using the Recoverable Items folder.

The retention period (14 days) in Recoverable Items folder cannot be changed at present. But you can change the retention period of Deleted Items folder.

In Exchange Online, how long an email is stored in one folder is controlled by retention policy. For details, please see:…/dd297955(v=exchg.150).aspx

If you’re using Office 365 Enterprise, please click Exchange under Admin to access Exchange Admin Center or for a local Exchange 2013 deployment enter your ECP site:

Locate compliance management -> retention policies, you can see the default retention policy (Default MRM Policy). A retention policy is a group of retention tags that are applied to a mailbox. And on the retention tags tab, you can see the available tags. Please double click the default retention policy, you can see there is a retention tag called Deleted Items, the retention period is 30 days, and the retention action is to delete the emails.

By default, this default retention is assigned to all the mailboxes. To check this, please locate recipients-> mailboxes, and then double click one of your mailboxes, locate the mailbox features tab, you can see the retention policy that is assigned to this mailbox.

To change retention period of Deleted Items folder, you can directly change this retention tag called Deleted Items on the retention tags tab.

You can change the retention period to a longer time, or choose Never.

But the recommended method is to leave the default retention policy unchanged, and create a new retention policy. After that, you can assign the new retention policy to the mailboxes. Here are the general steps for your reference:

1. Create a new retention tag. Click the + button, and select the second one.

2. Let’s name it as “Deleted Items New”. Remember to choose Deleted Items from the drop down list.

3. Create a new retention policy on the retention policies tab and add the new retention tag to this retention policy. And remember to add other tags the same way as the default retention policy.

By default, when an email is deleted, it will go through Deleted Items -> Recoverable Items -> Purges process.

The new retention tag will not take effect immediately. Exchange Online uses Managed Folder Assistant to process retention policies. Managed Folder Assistant is a process that runs automatically in the Microsoft datacenters to process the retention settings that are applied to a mailbox. It processes all mailboxes in a specific span of time, which is known as a work cycle. In Exchange Online, the work cycle is seven days. And we can also run the Start-ManagedFolderAssistant cmdlet to start the Managed Folder Assistant to process a specific mailbox at once.

Therefore, try the following steps:

1. Run the commands in this article to connect PowerShell to Exchange Online:

2. Run this command to force Managed Folder Assistant to process your mailbox:

Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity MailboxName

Note: replace MailboxName with the name of your mailbox

3. After that, please wait a little time and then check the retention policy assigned to the Deleted Items folder of your mailbox.

Go to check the retention policy for my Deleted Items Folder, it should show “Deleted Items (Never)”.

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