Close, reopen, and delete a Core eDiscovery case

This article describes how to close, reopen, and delete Core eDiscovery cases in Microsoft 365.

Close a case

When the legal case or investigation supported by a Core eDiscovery case is completed, you can close the case. Here's what happens when you close a case:

  • If the case contains any eDiscovery holds, they will be turned off. After the hold is turned off, a 30-day grace period (called a delay hold) is applied to content locations that were on hold. This helps prevent content from being immediately deleted and provides admins the opportunity to search for and restore content before it may be permanently deleted after the delay hold period expires. For more information, see Removing content locations from an eDiscovery hold.

  • Closing a case only turns off the holds that are associated with that case. If other holds are placed on a content location (such as a Litigation Hold, a retention policy, or a hold from a different Core eDiscovery case) those holds will still be maintained.

  • The case is still listed on the Core eDiscovery page in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. The details, holds, searches, and members of a closed case are retained.

  • You can edit a case after it's closed. For example, you can add or remove members, create searches, and export search results. The primary difference between active and closed cases is that eDiscovery holds are turned off when a case is closed.

To close a case:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 compliance center, click eDiscovery > Core to display the list of Core eDiscovery cases in your organization.

  2. Click the name of the case that you want to close.

    Close case on case home page.

  3. On the home page, under Status, click Close case.

    A warning is displayed saying that the holds associated with the case will be turned off.

  4. Click Yes to close the case.

    The status on the case home page is changed from Active to Closing.

  5. On the Core eDiscovery page, click Refresh to update the status of the closed case. It might take up to 60 minutes for the closing process to complete.

    When the process is complete, the status of the case is changed to Closed on the Core eDiscovery page.

Reopen a closed case

When you reopen a case, any eDiscovery holds that were in place when the case was closed won't be automatically reinstated. After the case is reopened, you'll have to go to the Holds page and turn on the previous holds. To turn on a hold, select it to display the flyout page, and then set the Status toggle to On.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 compliance center, click eDiscovery > Core to display the list of Core eDiscovery cases in your organization.

  2. Click the name of the case that you want to reopen.

    Reopen a closed case.

  3. On the home page, under Status, click Reopen case.

    A warning is displayed saying that the holds that were associated with the case when it was closed won't be turned on automatically.

  4. Click Yes to reopen the case.

    The status on the case home page flyout page is changed from Closed to Active.

  5. On the Core eDiscovery page, click Refresh to update the status of the reopened case. It might take up to 60 minutes for the reopening process to complete.

    When the process is complete, the status of the case is changed to Active on the Core eDiscovery page.

  6. (Optional) To turn on any holds associated with the reopened case, go to Holds tab, select a hold, and then select the checkbox under Status on the hold flyout page.

Delete a case

You can also delete active and closed Core eDiscovery cases. When you delete a case, all searches and exports in the case are deleted, and the case is removed from the list of cases on the Core eDiscovery page in the Microsoft 365 compliance center. You can't reopen a deleted case.

Before you can delete a case (whether it's active or closed), you must first delete all eDiscovery holds associated with the case. That includes deleting holds with a status of Off.

To delete an eDiscovery hold:

  1. Go to the Holds tab in the case that you want to delete.

  2. Select the hold that you want to delete.

  3. On the flyout page, click Delete.

    Delete an eDiscovery hold.

To delete a case:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 compliance center, click eDiscovery > Core to display the list of Core eDiscovery cases in your organization.

  2. Click the name of the case that you want to delete.

  3. On the case home page, under Status, click Delete case.

    Delete a case.

If the case you're trying to delete still contains eDiscovery holds, you'll receive an error message. You'll have to delete all holds associated with the case and then try again to delete the case.