What are they?
In M365 – meaning SharePoint, Outlook/Exchange, Teams, and OneDrive, we have the ability to apply retention labels to items, including Libraries, folders, and individual emails or files.
The retention label tells the system to hold onto the item until the retention period specified in the label is complete.
How do they work?
Labels can be applied to Document Libraries/Team Files, OneDrives, folders or individual files.
If applied to a Document Library/Team Files, OneDrive, or folder, a file uploaded or created in that location will inherit that retention.
If applied to an individual file directly, the file will be retained according to that label, no matter what the folder or Document Library is labeled as.
In our M365 environment, we have 6 main types of retention labels available to us:
What it means
The file(s) will be deleted automatically XXX years after the label is applied.
The file(s) will be deleted automatically XXX years after the file is last updated.
The file(s) will be deleted automatically XXX years after the file was originally created.
The file(s) cannot be permanently deleted for XXX years after the label is applied.*
The file(s) cannot be permanently deleted until XXX years after the file is last updated.*
The file will be automatically deleted when it is 31 days old.
- Labeled Date – When the retention label is applied to an individual file or folder OR file is uploaded to folder with label
- Modified Date – When the file is last updated/saved. If the file is never updated, this will be the creation date
- Creation Date – Date the file was created.
- Delete – File will automatically delete after the retention period is up
- *Keep – File will not automatically delete after the retention period is complete. If the file has been manually deleted before the retention is up, however, the file will be permanently deleted at the end of the retention period.
- Files M365 have multiple levels of deletion. A file may be “deleted” by a user, but still exist “behind the scenes” in M365. In this case, the file can be “deleted” by a user, but if it still has retention left, it will remain “behind the scenes.”
How do I apply a retention label (or change one)?
- Setting Retention Labels on an Email Folder
- Applying Retention Labels to Individual Email
- Applying Retention Labels to Sent Email
- Email Retention Labels (overview)
- Applying or Changing a Retention Label to a Teams File or Folder
- Applying or Changing a Retention Label to all Files in a Team
- Applying or Changing a Retention Label to all Files in a Teams Channel
- Applying or Changing a Retention Label to a SharePoint File or Folder
- Applying or Changing a Retention Label to a SharePoint Document Library
What retention label should I use?
That depends! For some common record types and the retention labels to use, see: Common Records and Their Retention Labels.
If you have questions, however, contact the Agency Records Officer, Rachel Thompson, for more assistance.