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reuvygroovy avatar image
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reuvygroovy asked YukiSun-MSFT commented

Retention Policy & Folder Deletion

We have created a retention policy within Exchange to delete mail after a certain number of days from a folder (for example, Deleted Items)/. We see that indeed the messages are deleted, but the folders remain forever. Is there a way to have the retention policy apply to all subfolders as well.

office-exchange-server-administration
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Let me give an example to illustrate the issue:

Deleted Items .... contains 50 messages
|
- SubFolder1 ... contains 10 messages
- SubFolder2 ... contains 1000 messages


Assume we have a retention policy on the Deleted Items folder to delete mail older than 5 days. What will happen after 1 week for example is the following:

Deleted Items .... contains 0 messages
|
- SubFolder1 ... contains 0 messages
- SubFolder2 ... contains 0 messages

SubFolder1 & SubFolder2 will never get deleted, despite the fact that their messages will.



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YukiSun-MSFT avatar image
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YukiSun-MSFT answered YukiSun-MSFT commented

Hi @reuvygroovy,

SubFolder1 & SubFolder2 will never get deleted, despite the fact that their messages will.

To the best of my knowledge, this seems to be an expected behavior as has been mentioned above by michev, rentention policy doesn't affect the folder structure, so the subfolder objects won't be deleted event if they are empty.


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Up to 10 attachments (including images) can be used with a maximum of 3.0 MiB each and 30.0 MiB total.

Seems like a "bug", no? Why should a folder be any different than a message? Do you have any documentation which refers to such behavior?

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Hi @reuvygroovy,

I haven't seen a documentation explicitly pointing out this, but from the available official articles related to retention policies, I think we could infer that folder objects are not processed by retention policies.

For instance, as we know, retention actions like “delete” or “move to archive” are taken on an item when it reaches its retention age, and from the item types listed in the following article, "folder" or "subfolder" is not included:
How retention age is calculated in Exchange Server

By the way, I happened to have a test user mailbox which has a subfolder in Deleted Items folder, so I tested with the retention policy below and got the same result, that is, the expired items are deleted while the subfolder itself remains:
88162-1.jpg


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AshokM-8240 avatar image
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AshokM-8240 answered reuvygroovy commented

Hi @reuvygroovy ,

You can apply Retention Policy Tags (RPT's) to the default folders with action Delete and Allow Recovery.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/security-and-compliance/messaging-records-management/default-folders
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/security-and-compliance/messaging-records-management/retention-tags-and-policies

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We've already done that and it works. Problem is it doesn't delete folders.

For example, let's say in the Deleted Items folder I have a folder 'OLD MAIL'. After 14 days (in your example) it will delete all the mail in the 'OLD MAIL' folder, but the folder will remain forever in my Deleted Items empty, and never get deleted.

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Does it has any Personal Tag which is overriding the RPTs? Is it happening to all mailboxes where this policy is applied?

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No personal tags, and happening (to my understanding) organization wide. We are using Exchange 2016 if that helps.

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michev avatar image
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michev answered

Retention policies do not affect the folder object itself, it will not be removed even if empty. A retention tag applied to the parent folder will apply to items in any subfolders though, unless they are specifically marked with other tags.

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