Test your Data Loss Prevention policies

You should test and tune the behavior of your Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies as part of your DLP policy deployment. This article introduces you to two of the basic methods you can use to test policies in your DLP environment.

Simulation mode

When you deploy a new policy or need to modify an existing one, you should run it in simulation mode, and then review the alerts to assess the impact. Simulation mode allows you to see the impact of an individual policy on all the items that are in the policies scope without actual enforcement. You use it to find out what items match a policy.


Test-DlpPolicies is a cmdlet that allows you to see what DLP policies scoped to SharePoint and OneDrive match/don't match an individual item in SharePoint or OneDrive.

Before you begin

  • You must be able to connect to Connect to Security & Compliance PowerShell.
  • You must have a valid SMTP address to send the report to. For example: dlp_admin@contoso.com
  • You must get the site ID where the item is located.
  • You must have the direct link path to the item.


  • Test-DlpPolicies only works for items that are in SharePoint or OneDrive.
  • It will only report results for policies that include SharePoint alone, OneDrive alone, or SharePoint and OneDrive in their scope.
  • Test-DlpPolices works only with simple conditions. It doesn't work with complex, grouped, or nested conditions.

Use Test-DlpPolices

To see which DLP policies an item will match, follow these steps:

  1. Open the SharePoint or OneDrive folder in a browser.

  2. Select the file's ellipsis and select details.

  3. In the details pane, scroll down and select Path. Copy the direct link and save it.

    For example:


Get the site ID

  1. Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.

  2. For SharePoint, use the following syntax to get the site ID and save it:

    $reportAddress = "email@contoso.com" 
    $siteName = "SITENAME@TENANT.onmicrosoft.com" 
    $filePath = "https://Contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/SOMESITENAME/Shared%20Documents/TESTFILE.pptx"  
    $r = Get-Mailbox -Identity $siteName -GroupMailbox 
    $e = $r.EmailAddresses | Where-Object {$_ -like '*SPO*'} 
    Test-DlpPolicies -SiteId $e.Substring(8,36) -FileUrl $filePath -Workload SPO -SendReportTo $reportAddress
  3. For OneDrive use the following syntax to get the site ID and save it.

    $reportAddress = "email@contoso.com" 
    $odbUser = "USER@TENANT.onmicrosoft.com" 
    $filePath = "https://contoso-my.sharepoint.com/personal/userid_contoso_onmicrosoft_com/Documents/TESTFILE.docx" 
    $r = Get-Mailbox -Identity $odbUser 
    $e = $r.EmailAddresses | Where-Object {$_ -like '*SPO*'} 
    Test-DlpPolicies -SiteId $e.Substring(8,36) -FileUrl $filePath -Workload ODB -SendReportTo $reportAddress

    Here's an example of a returned value:


Run Test-DlpPolicies

  • Run the following syntax in the PowerShell window:

    Test-DlpPolicies -workload <workload> -Fileurl <path/direct link> -SendReportTo <smtpaddress>

    For example:

    Test-DlpPolicies -workload <ODB> -Fileurl <https://contoso.sharepoint.com/personal/user_contoso_com/Documents/test.docx> -SendReportTo <dlp_admin@contoso.com>

Interpret the report

The report is sent to the SMTP address that you passed the Test-DlpPolicies PowerShell command to. There are multiple fields. Here are explanations of the most important ones.

Field name Means
Classification ID The sensitive information type (SIT) the item is categorized as
Confidence The confidence level of the SIT
Count The total number of times the SIT value was found in the item, this includes duplicates
Unique Count The number SIT values found in the item with duplicates eliminated
Policy Details The name and GUID of the policy that was evaluated
Rules - Rule Details The DLP rule name and GUID
Rules - Predicates - Name The condition defined in the DLP rule
Rules - Predicates - IsMatch Whether the item matched the conditions
Predicates - Past Actions Any actions, like notify user, block, block with override that 's been taken on the item
Predicates - Rule's Actions The action defined in the DLP rule
Predicates - IsMatched Whether the item matched the rule
IsMatched Whether the item matched the overall policy

See Also