EO (E3): retention policies, labels, label policies, etc...

Steve Bottoms 96 Reputation points

Getting a little frustrated at this point with what's what and what doesn't exist/work anymore. This is about retention policies, labels, label policies, etc. Nothing works since migrating to EO from on-prem Exchange 2016 CU20 DAG.

In on-prem ex23016 install we had retention policies in place for a) Deleted Items and b) move to in-place archive that were working perfectly. Migrated several mailboxes, policies stopped working (as I expected). Existing Retention Policies were not migrated; recreated new Retention Policy to test auto-delete of Deleted Items older than 30 days, applied to JUST MY MAILBOX. Nothing has been run; this was nearly a year ago, so "wait for it to process" isn't an answer.

I recently created a new Label for my 30 day delete process, applied it to a Label Policy for JUST MY MAILBOX; again, never ran. I deleted the LABEL POLICY over a month ago, and let it all sit. I've just recreated a new LABEL POLICY for the 30-day delete LABEL; nothing has run yet, but OK.

However, even though I can see that BOTH the Retention Policy in EO and the Label Policy are applied to MY MAILBOX, when I run get-mailbox myAccountName | fl retentionPolicy it displays NO RETENTION POLICY in place.

First, where is the reliable information? Clearly the Powershell (yes, I'm connected to an ExchangeOnline session) isn't reporting correctly, or the M365 Compliance Center isn't reporting it correctly. I also noticed that the mailbox info section in M365 Admin Center no longer has an option to display mailbox retention policies, but I'm assuming that was removed to force us to search elsewhere.

Any suggestions? At this point from all the MS and third-party documents and blogs and forum posts where "retention policies" are supposed to be set and how they're supposed to work. Neither management point (Powershell and the Compliance Admin Center) are providing reliable information.


ps: I've got the O365 For IT Pros books and they aren't providing any assistance for the most part.

Microsoft Exchange Online Management
Microsoft Exchange Online Management
Microsoft Exchange Online: A Microsoft email and calendaring hosted service.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Vasil Michev 94,131 Reputation points MVP

    Exchange retention policies (as shown in the output of Get-Mailbox) are different from the Retention policies/labels you configure in the SCC/Compliance center. If you want to mimic the behavior in your on-premises organization, use the (classic) Retention policies functionality in the EAC.
    Another thing to have in mind is that Exchange Online "ignores" the Deleted items tag by default, so you need to create a custom policy if you want the Deleted items to be periodically cleaned. Apparently the old behavior resulted in too many support tickets from people expecting deleted items to be kept forever...

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  2. Joyce Shen - MSFT 16,641 Reputation points

    Hi @Steve Bottoms

    Yes, agree with michev, Security and Compliance Center(SCC) retention is different from MRM retention(aka EAC based retention). You can refer to the following article, it explains the differences between them in details: FAQs on Office 365 Retention, Disposal & Archiving

    Should I use the EAC based retention or SCC Retention?
    It really depends on your retention requirements. With introduction of auto-expanding archive feature, it is important that you move your old emails from primary mailbox to archive mailbox this includes emails from the user’s folders and Recoverable Items folder of primary mailbox, so that Primary mailbox doesn’t exceed the mailbox quota limits.

    Does it mean that I can apply EAC based retention and SCC Retention to the same mailbox?
    Yes, You can. It's important note that a given mailbox can have only one EAC based retention with multiple tags and at the same mailbox can have multiple SCC Retention policies and Retention labels policies. I would recommend using EAC based retention to meet your archiving (mailbox) needs and SCC retention for your retention needs.

    And another related thread discussed the question for your reference as well: Security and Compliance Center Retention Policies vs Retention Policies/Tags

    Please Note: Since the web site is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

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