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Change the deleted item retention period for a mailbox in Exchange Online

Exchange Online
 

Applies to: Exchange Online

Topic Last Modified: 2015-09-29

When a user permanently deletes a mailbox item (such as an email message, a contact, a calendar appointment, or a task) in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Web App, the item is moved to the Recoverable Items folder, and into a subfolder named Deletions. A mailbox item is deleted and moved to the Recoverable Items folder when a user does one of the following things:

  • Delete an item from the Deleted Items folder.

  • Empty the Deleted Items folder.

  • Permanently delete an item by selecting it and pressing Shift+Delete.

The duration that deleted items are retained in this folder is based on the deleted item retention period configured for the mailbox. An Exchange Online mailbox is configured to retain deleted items for 14 days, by default. You can use the Shell to change this setting to a maximum of 30 days. If you need to retain deleted items for longer than 30 days, you can place the mailbox on In-Place Hold or Litigation Hold. Deleted item retention settings are ignored when a mailbox is placed on hold. To place a mailbox on In-Place Hold or Litigation Hold, the mailbox needs an Exchange Online (Plan 2) user license. For more information, see In-Place Hold and Litigation Hold.

Before the retention time for a deleted item expires, Outlook and Office Outlook Web App users can recover (or purge) deleted items by using the Recover Deleted Items feature. To learn more about these features, see the "Recover deleted items" topic for Outlook or Outlook Web App.

If a user purges a deleted item, you can recover it before the deleted item retention period expires. For details, see Recover deleted messages in a user's mailbox.

To learn more about deleted item retention, the Recoverable Items folder, In-Place Hold, and Litigation Hold, see Recoverable Items folder.

TipTip:
Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at Exchange Server, Exchange Online, or Exchange Online Protection.

These examples increases the deleted item retention period to 30 days, which is the maximum duration for Exchange Online mailboxes. The default retention period is 14 days.

This example increases the deleted item retention period for the mailbox of Emily Maier.

Set-Mailbox -Identity "Emily Maier" -RetainDeletedItemsFor 30

This example increases the deleted item retention period for all user mailboxes in the organization.

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox')} | Set-Mailbox -RetainDeletedItemsFor 30

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-Mailbox.

To verify that you’ve changed the value for how long deleted items are to be retained, run one of the following commands.

Get-Mailbox <Name> | FL RetainDeletedItemsFor

Or

Get-Mailbox -ResultSize unlimited -Filter {(RecipientTypeDetails -eq 'UserMailbox')} | FL Name,RetainDeletedItemsFor
 
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