Messaging Records Management (MRM) and Retention Policies in Office 365

Original KB number: 4032361


Microsoft Office 365 provides a default retention policy (also known as Default MRM Policy). To check for these policies in your environment, run the following cmdlet:

Get-RetentionPolicy | fl Name

For example, the output of this cmdlet resembles the following:

Name : Default MRM Policy
Name : Contoso-Default-Retention-Policy

To see which policy is set on a mailbox, run the following cmdlet:

Get-mailbox <SMTP> | fl RetentionPolicy

For example, the output of this cmdlet resembles the following:

RetentionPolicy: Contoso-Default-Retention-Policy

To change or set a retention policy for a user, run the following cmdlet:

Set-Mailbox <SMTP> -RetentionPolicy "Contoso-Default-Retention-Policy"

To view the retention policy tags  that are associated with the plan, run the following cmdlet:

(Get-RetentionPolicy "Contoso-Default-Retention-Policy").RetentionPolicyTagLinks | Format-Table name

The output of this cmdlet resembles the following:

1 Month Delete
1 Year Delete
3 Year Delete
6 Month Delete
Never Delete
Voice Mail Deletion
1 Week Archive
1 Month Archive
1 Year Archive
Never Archive
2 Year Archive
3 Month Archive
6 Month Archive
3 Year Archive

To view the details for a specific retention policy tag, run the following cmdlet:

Get-RetentionPolicyTag "1 Week Delete" | Format-list Name,Type,AgeLimitForRetention,MessageClass,RetentionAction

The output of this cmdlet resembles the following:

Name : 1 Week Delete
Type : Personal
AgeLimitForRetention : 7.00:00:00
MessageClass : *
RetentionAction : DeleteAndAllowRecovery

To view the details for all retention policy tag, run the following cmdlet:

Get-RetentionPolicyTag | Format-Table Name,Type,AgeLimitForRetention,MessageClass,RetentionAction

The output of this cmdlet resembles the following:

 Name Type AgeLimitForRetention MessageClass RetentionAction
---- ---- -------------------- ------------ ---------------
1 Week Delete Personal 7.00:00:00 * DeleteAndAllowRecovery
1 Month Delete Personal 30.00:00:00 * DeleteAndAllowRecovery6 Month Delete Personal 180.00:00:00 * DeleteAndAllowRecovery1 Year Delete Personal 365.00:00:00 * DeleteAndAllowRecoveryNever Delete Personal * DeleteAndAllowRecovery ...


If a retention policy is not working as expected, review the following articles first to make sure that you understand how the policy processes items in your mailbox.

More Information

For end users

To view and apply retention policy tag in Outlook, right-click a folder, and then select the desired tag.

A screenshot of selecting a folder policy

Depending on a user's Group Policy, they may be able to change this list (add/delete) through OWA under Options > Mail > Retention Policies.

A screenshot of the Retention Policies page through OWA

Check the retention policy option that applies to the folder in which the items are stored. To do this, right-click the folder, and then scroll down to Assign policy.

A screenshot of the Assign Policy page

Check Retention Policy and Expire  fields to see whether an item is set an expiration date.

A screenshot of the expiration date set page

Use the search bar to quickly find items that are set to expire. For example: "expires:<=the next month".

For more information, see Learn to narrow your search criteria for better searches in Outlook.

Use Customer Search Folder to do a more extensive search. To do this, under Advance setting, use the Expire field. For more information, see Create a Search Folder.

A screenshot of the Customer Search Folder page

Set a specific expiration date. For detailed steps, see Set a message expiration date.

For administrators

Administrators can create new retention tags and policies by using the correct permission through the Exchange admin center (EAC) or PowerShell. For detailed steps, see Create a Retention Policy.

New Retention Tag

A screenshot of creating New Retention Tag page

New Retention Policy (using new or existing tags)

A screenshot of creating New Retention Policy page

Retention tags are used to apply retention settings to messages and folders in user mailboxes. There are three types of retention tags:

  • Default policy tag (DPT) is a retention tag that applies to all items in a mailbox that doesn't already have a retention tag applied. You can have only one DPT in a retention policy.
  • Retention policy tag (RPT) is a retention tag that applies to default folders, such as Inbox and Deleted Items.
  • Personal tag is used to make retention settings to custom folders and individual items, such as email messages. It is available to Outlook Web App, Outlook 2010, and later versions.

For more information, see the following articles:  

Help users recover missing message