Declare records by using retention labels

Microsoft 365 licensing guidance for security & compliance.

To declare documents and emails as records, you use retention labels that mark the content as a record or a regulatory record.

If you're not sure whether to use a record or a regulatory record, see Compare restrictions for what actions are allowed or blocked. If you need to use regulatory records, you must first run a PowerShell command, as described in the next section.

You can then either publish those labels in a retention label policy so that users and administrators can apply them to content, or for labels that mark items as records (but not regulatory records), auto-apply those labels to content that you want to declare a record.

How to display the option to mark content as a regulatory record


The following procedure is an auditable action, logging Enabled regulatory record option for retention labels in the Retention policy and retention label activities section of the audit log.

By default, the retention label option to mark content as a regulatory record isn't displayed in the retention label wizard. To display this option, you must first run a PowerShell command:

  1. Connect to the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center PowerShell.

  2. Run the following cmdlet:

    Set-RegulatoryComplianceUI -Enabled $true

    There is no prompt to confirm and the setting takes effect immediately.

If you change your mind about seeing this option in the retention label wizard, you can hide it again by running the same cmdlet with the false value: Set-RegulatoryComplianceUI -Enabled $false

Configuring retention labels to declare records

When you create a retention label from the Records Management solution in the Microsoft 365 compliance center, you have the option to mark items as a record. If you ran the PowerShell command from the previous section, you can alternatively mark items as a regulatory record.

For example:

Configure a retention label to mark content as a record or regulatory.

Using this retention label, you can now apply it to SharePoint or OneDrive documents and Exchange emails, as needed.

For full instructions:

Applying the configured retention label to content

When retention labels that mark items as a record or regulatory record are made available for users to apply them in apps:

  • For Exchange, any user with write-access to the mailbox can apply these labels.
  • For SharePoint and OneDrive, any user in the default Members group (the Contribute permission level) can apply these labels.

Example of a document marked as record by using a retention label:

Details pane for document tagged as a record.

Searching the audit log for labeled items that were declared records

The actions of labeling to declare items as records are logged in the audit log.

For SharePoint items:

  • From File and page activities, select Changed retention label for a file. This audit event is for retention labels that mark items as records, regulatory records, or that are standard retention labels.

For Exchange items:

  • From Exchange mailbox activities, select Labeled message as a record. This audit event is for retention labels that mark items as records or regulatory records.

For more information about searching for these events, see Search the audit log in the Security & Compliance Center.

Next steps

For a list of scenarios supported by records management, see Common scenarios for records management.