Learn about Endpoint data loss prevention

You can use Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to monitor the actions that are being taken on items you've determined to be sensitive and to help prevent the unintentional sharing of those items. For more information on DLP, see Learn about data loss prevention.

Endpoint data loss prevention (Endpoint DLP) extends the activity monitoring and protection capabilities of DLP to sensitive items that are physically stored on Windows 10/11 and macOS (the three latest released major versions) devices. Once devices are onboarded into the Microsoft Purview solutions, the information about what users are doing with sensitive items is made visible in activity explorer. You can then enforce protective actions on those items via DLP policies.


If you are looking for device control for removable storage, see Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Device Control Removable Storage Access Control.


If you're not an E5 customer, use the 90-day Microsoft Purview solutions trial to explore how additional Purview capabilities can help your organization manage data security and compliance needs. Start now at the Microsoft Purview compliance portal trials hub. Learn details about signing up and trial terms.

Endpoint activities you can monitor and take action on

Endpoint DLP enables you to audit and manage the following types of activities users take on sensitive items that are physically stored Windows 10, Windows 11, or macOS devices.

Activity Description Windows 10 1809 and later/ Windows 11 macOS three latest released versions Auditable/restrictable
Upload to cloud service, or access by unallowed browsers Detects when a user attempts to upload an item to a restricted service domain or access an item through a browser. If they're using an unallowed browser, the upload activity is blocked and the user is redirected to use Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Edge then either allows or blocks the upload or access based on the DLP policy configuration. You can block, warn, or audit when protected files can be uploaded or prevented from being uploaded to cloud services based on the allow/unallowed domains list in Global settings. When the configured action is set to warn or block, other browsers (defined on the unallowed browsers list under Global settings) are blocked from accessing the file. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Paste to supported browsers Detects when a user attempts to paste content to a restricted service domain. Supported Not supported Auditable and restrictable
Copy to another app Detects when a user attempts to copy information from a protected item and then paste it into another app, process, or item. It also detects when a user copies and pastes content among files within the same app, process, or item for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Copy to USB removable media When this activity is detected, you can block, warn, or audit the copying or moving of protected files from an endpoint device to USB removable media. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Copy to a network share When this activity is detected, you can block, warn, or audit the copying or moving of protected files from an endpoint device to any network share. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Print a document When this activity is detected, you can block, warn, or audit the printing of protected files from an endpoint device. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Copy to a remote session Detects when a user attempts to copy an item to a remote desktop session. Supported Not supported Auditable and restrictable
Copy to a Bluetooth device Detects when a user attempts to copy an item to an unallowed Bluetooth app (as defined in the list of unallowed Bluetooth aps in Endpoint DLP settings). Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Create an item Detects the creation of an item. Supported Supported Auditable
Rename an item Detects the renaming of an item. Supported Supported Auditable
Copy to clipboard When this activity is detected, you can block, warn, or audit the copying of protected files to a clipboard on an endpoint device. Supported Supported Auditable and restrictable
Access by unallowed apps Detects when an application that is on the unallowed apps list (as defined in restricted apps and app groups) attempts to access protected files on an endpoint device. Supported Supported

Best practice for endpoint DLP policies

Say you want to block all items that contain credit card numbers from leaving endpoints of Finance department users. To do this, take the following actions.

  • Create a policy and scope it to endpoints and to that group of users.
  • Create a rule in the policy that detects the type of information that you want to protect. In this case, set content contains to Sensitive information type*, and select Credit Card.
  • Set the actions for each activity to Block.

For more information on designing your DLP policies, see Design a data loss prevention policy .


In Microsoft Purview, DLP policy evaluation of sensitive items occurs centrally, so there is no time lag for policies and policy updates to be distributed to individual devices. When a policy is updated in compliance center, it generally takes about an hour for those updates to be synchronized across the service. Once policy updates are synchronized, items on targeted devices are automatically re-evaluated the next time they are accessed or modified. (Preview) For Authorized Groups changes, the policy will need 24 hours to sync.

Monitored files

Files monitored via policy

Endpoint DLP monitors these file types through policy in Windows 10, 11 and in the latest three major releases of macOS:

Windows 10, 11 macOS
.doc, .docx, .docm, .dot, .dotx, .dotm, .docb, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlm, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlsb, .xlw, .ppt, .pptx, pos, .pps, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppam, .ppsx, .pbix, .pdf, .csv, .tsv, .zip, .zipx, .rar, .7z, .tar, .war, .gz, .dlp, .txt, .c, .class, .cpp, .cs, .h, .java, .html, .htm, .rtf, .json, .config .doc, .docx, .docm, .dot, .dotx, .dotm, .docb, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlm, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlsb, .xlw, .ppt, .pptx, .pos, .pps, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppam, .ppsx, .pbix, .pdf, .csv, .tsv, .txt, .c, .cpp, .cs, .h, .java, .html, .htm, .rtf, .json, .config


These file types can be monitored through policy settings in Windows 10, 11, if OCR is enabled:

.jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .jpeg

Files audited regardless of policy match

Activities can be audited on these file types in Windows 10, 11, and in the latest three major releases of macOS, even if no policy match exists:

Windows 10, 11 macOS
.doc, .docx, .docm, .dot, .dotx, .dotm, .docb, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlm, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlsb, .xlw, .ppt, .pptx, .pos, .pps, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppam, .ppsx, .pbix, .pdf, .csv, .tsv, .zip, .zipx, .rar, .7z, .tar, .war, .gz, .dlp .doc, .docx, .docm, .dot, .dotx, .dotm, .docb, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlm, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlsb, .xlw, .ppt, .pptx, .pos, .pps, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppam, .ppsx, .pbix, .pdf, .csv, .tsv,


These file types can be audited, regardless of a policy match, in Windows 10, 11, so long as OCR is enabled:

.jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .jpeg


For information about the Adobe requirements for using Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features with PDF files, see this article from Adobe: Microsoft Purview Information Protection Support in Acrobat.

If you only want monitoring data from policy matches, you can turn off the Always audit file activity for devices in the endpoint DLP global settings.

If the Always audit file activity for devices setting is on, activities on any Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, and .csv files are always audited, even if the device isn't targeted by any policy.

To ensure activities are audited for all supported file types, create a custom DLP policy.

Endpoint DLP monitors activity-based on MIME type, so activities are captured, even if the file extension is changed, for these files types:

After the extension is changed to any other file extension:

  • .doc
  • .docx
  • .xls
  • .xlsx
  • .ppt
  • .pptx
  • .pdf

If the extension is changed only to supported file extensions:

  • .txt
  • .msg
  • .rtf
  • .c
  • .cpp
  • .h
  • .cs
  • .java
  • .tsv

File types

File types are a grouping of file formats. They're utilized to protect specific workflows or areas of business. You can use one or more file types as conditions in your DLP policies.

File Type Apps Monitored file extensions
word processing Word, PDF .doc, .docx, .docm, .dot, dotx, .dotm, .docb, .pdf
spreadsheet Excel, CSV, TSV .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlm, .xlsm, xltx, xltm, xlsb, .xlw, .csv, .tsv
presentation PowerPoint .ppt, .pptx, .pos, .pps, .pptm, .potx, .potm, .ppam, .ppsx
archive File archive and compression tools .zip, .zipx, .rar, .7z, .tar, .gz
email Outlook .msg

File extensions

If the file types don't cover the file extensions you need to list as a condition in a policy, you can use file extensions separated by comma instead.


The file extensions and file types options cannot be used as conditions in the same rule. If you want to use them as conditions in the same policy, they must be in separate rules.


These Windows versions support file extensions and file types features:

  • Windows 10 versions 20H1/20H2/21H1 (KB 5006738)
  • Windows 10 versions 19H1/19H2 (KB 5007189)
  • Windows 10 RS5 (KB 5006744)

What's different in Endpoint DLP

There are a few extra concepts that you need to be aware of before you dig into Endpoint DLP.

Enabling Device management

Device management is the functionality that enables the collection of telemetry from devices and brings it into Microsoft Purview solutions like Endpoint DLP and insider risk management. You need to onboard all the devices you want to use as locations in your DLP policies.

enable device management.

Onboarding and offboarding are handled via scripts that you download from the device management center. The device management center has custom scripts for each of the following deployment methods:

  • Local script (up to 10 machines)
  • Group policy
  • System Center Configuration Manager (version 1610 or later)
  • Mobile Device Management/Microsoft Intune
  • VDI onboarding scripts for non-persistent machines

device onboarding page.

Use the procedures in Getting started with Microsoft 365 Endpoint DLP to onboard devices.

Onboarding devices to Defender also onboards them to DLP. So, if you have onboarded devices through Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, those devices show up automatically in the list of devices. You need only Turn on device monitoring to use endpoint DLP.

managed devices list.

Viewing Endpoint DLP data

You can view alerts related to DLP policies enforced on endpoint devices by going to the DLP Alerts Management Dashboard.

Alert info.

You can also view details of the associated event, with rich metadata, in the same dashboard

event info.

Once a device is onboarded, information about audited activities flows into Activity explorer even before you configure and deploy any DLP policies that have devices as a location.

endpoint dlp events in activity explorer.

Endpoint DLP collects extensive information on audited activity.

For example, if a file is copied to removable USB media, you'd see these attributes in the activity details:

  • activity type
  • client IP
  • target file path
  • happened timestamp
  • file name
  • user
  • file extension
  • file size
  • sensitive information type (if applicable)
  • sha1 value
  • sha256 value
  • previous file name
  • location
  • parent
  • filepath
  • source location type
  • platform
  • device name
  • destination location type
  • application that performed the copy
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint device ID (if applicable)
  • removable media device manufacturer
  • removable media device model
  • removable media device serial number

copy to usb activity attributes.

Endpoint DLP and offline devices

When a Windows endpoint device is offline, existing policies continue to be enforced on existing files. Additionally, with just-in-time protection enabled and in "block" mode, when a new file is created on an offline device, the file is still prevented from being shared until the device connects to the data classification service and evaluation completes. If a new policy is created on the server, or an existing policy is modified, those changes are updated on the device once it reconnects to the internet.

Consider the following use cases.

  1. Policies that have been pushed to a device will continue to be applied to files already classified as sensitive even after the device goes offline.
  2. Policies that are updated in the compliance portal while a device is offline won't be pushed to that device. Similarly, such policies won't be enforced on that device, until the device is back online. However, the outdated policy that exists on the offline device will still be enforced. Just-in-time protection

If notifications are configured to display, they'll always display when DLP policies are triggered, regardless of whether or not the device is online.


While policies that have already been pushed to an offline device are enforced, the enforcement events do not appear in activity explorer until the device is back online.

DLP policies regularly sync to endpoint devices. If a device is offline, the policies can't be synchronized. In this case, the Devices list will reflect that the device is out of sync with the policies in on the server.


This functionality is not supported on macOS endpoint devices.

Just-in-time protection

Just-in-time protection applies a candidate policy to onboarded Windows 10/11 devices. The candidate policy blocks all egress activities on monitored files until policy evaluation completes successfully. The candidate policy is applied to:

  • Items that have never been evaluated.
  • Items on which the evaluation has gone stale. These are previously evaluated items that haven't been reevaluated by the current, updated cloud versions of the policies.

Endpoint DLP can use Just in time protection once it's enabled in Microsoft Purview compliance console > Settings.

You can prevent a file from being permanently blocked if policy evaluation starts on a file, but doesn't complete. Use the Choose fallback action in case of failure setting under Microsoft Purview compliance console > Settings > Just in time protection to either Allow or Block egress activities if the policy evaluation doesn't complete.


Because the candidate policy from just-in-time protection is applied to all supported files on onboarded devices, it may block user activity on files that won't have a policy applied once evaluation occurs. To prevent this productivity interruption, you should configure and deploy policies to devices before enabling just-in-time protection.

Audit mode

When in audit mode, just-in-time protection is triggered in the background. Administrators can see just-in-time events in Activity explorer, without users being blocked. Audit mode applies to users that aren't in scope or excluded from scope. Just-in-time protection will automatically apply Audit mode to users who do not have any Block or Block with override policies applied to them when the feature is enabled.

Enforce mode

When in Enforce mode, just-in-time protection blocking is applied for users or groups selected in the policy scope. All egress activities are blocked until the evaluation is complete.

Next steps

Now that you've learned about Endpoint DLP, your next steps are:

  1. Onboard Windows 10 or Windows 11 devices into Microsoft Purview overview
  2. Onboard macOS devices into Microsoft Purview overview
  3. Configure endpoint data loss prevention settings
  4. Using Endpoint data loss prevention

See also