Default Retention Policy in Exchange Online
Please refer to the Microsoft 365 security center and the Microsoft Purview compliance portal for Exchange security and compliance features. They are no longer available in the new Exchange admin center.
To proactively retain or delete mailbox content for information governance in Microsoft 365, we recommend that you use retention policies and retention labels from the Microsoft Purview compliance portal, instead of messaging records management that's described on this page. However, you should continue using messaging records management to move messages to archive mailboxes.
If you currently use messaging records management, this older feature will continue to work side-by-side with retention policies and retention labels. However, we recommend that going forward, you use retention policies and retention labels instead. They provide you with a single mechanism to centrally manage both retention and deletion of content across Microsoft 365.
Exchange creates the retention policy Default MRM Policy in your Exchange Online and on-premises Exchange organization. The policy is automatically applied to new users in Exchange Online. In on-premises organizations, the policy is applied when you create an archive for the mailbox. You can change the retention policy applied to a user at any time.
You can modify tags included in the Default MRM Policy, for example by changing the retention age or retention actions, disable a tag, or modify the policy by adding or removing tags from it. The updated policy is applied to mailboxes the next time they're processed by the Managed Folder Assistant
[NOTE] The Default MRM Policy doesn't include a default tag to automatically delete content from the Deleted items folder as per Extended email retention for deleted items in Office 365. If you want to apply the 30-day retention or set a custom retention period, that can be done by adding an appropriate retention tag for deleted items folder to the Default MRM Policy.
Retention tags linked to the Default MRM Policy
The following table lists the default retention tags linked to the Default MRM Policy.
|Name||Type||Retention age (days)||Retention action|
|Default 2 years move to archive||Default Policy Tag (DPT)||730||Move to Archive|
|Recoverable Items 14 days move to archive||Recoverable Items folder||14||Move to Archive|
|Personal 1 year move to archive||Personal tag||365||Move to Archive|
|Personal 5 year move to archive||Personal tag||1,825||Move to Archive|
|Personal never move to archive||Personal tag||Not applicable||Move to Archive|
|1 Week Delete||Personal tag||7||Delete and Allow Recovery|
|1 Month Delete||Personal tag||30||Delete and Allow Recovery|
|6 Month Delete||Personal tag||180||Delete and Allow Recovery|
|1 Year Delete||Personal tag||365||Delete and Allow Recovery|
|5 Year Delete||Personal tag||1,825||Delete and Allow Recovery|
|Never Delete||Personal tag||Not applicable||Delete and Allow Recovery|
What you can do with the Default MRM Policy
|You can...||In Exchange Online...||In Exchange Server...|
|Apply the Default MRM Policy automatically to new users||Yes, applied by default. No action is required.||Yes, applied by default if you also create an archive for the new user.
If you create an archive for the user later, the policy is applied automatically only if the user doesn't have an existing Retention Policy.
|Modify the retention age or retention action of a retention tag linked to the policy||Yes||Yes|
|Disable a retention tag linked to the policy||Yes||Yes|
|Add a retention tag to the policy||Yes||Yes|
|Remove a retention tag from the policy||Yes||Yes|
|Set another policy as the default retention policy to be applied automatically to new users||No||No|
- A Retention Tag can be linked to more than one Retention Policy. For details about managing Retention tags and retention policies, see Messaging Records Management Procedures.
- The Default MRM Policy doesn't include a DPT to automatically delete items (but it does contain personal tags with the delete retention action that users can apply to mailbox items). If you want to automatically delete items after a specified period, you can create a DPT with the required delete action and add it to the policy. For details, see Create a Retention Policy and Add retention tags to or remove retention tags from a retention policy.
- Retention policies are applied to mailbox users. The same policy applies to the user's mailbox and archive.