How Long Does Office 365 Keep Deleted Emails: Via a Guide

Published By Aldrich Calvin
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 7th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading
Category General

Summary: Nowadays, there is a widespread query among users which is how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails. Well, if you’re among the users who arrived here while seeking a solution to the same query. Then, don’t worry, this post is designed specifically for you. Within this blog, we cover all reliable techniques for the same question. 

Furthermore, we will discuss the out-of-the-box automated software, that can back up your data and ensure your data continuity. Additionally, if we talk about the data that is kept in M365 will remain until intentionally or accidentally deleted. Office 365 email accounts are at risk because they can lose data due to mistakes made by users or security breaches. 

So, we will learn about all the answers related to this question “How long does Office 365 keep deleted emails?” 

For how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails within its retention period?

Microsoft recently updated Office 365’s Exchange Server hosting. This change lets users retain deleted items indefinitely and set the default retention period. With this change, Office 365 users have the same option as On-premises Exchange Administrators to extend retention time from 30 to 24,855 days.

What’s the Outcome After Deleting Office 365 Emails?

Previously, when you deleted emails in Office 365, they went to the Deleted Items folder. Now, you can choose to keep them there or have Outlook Web Apps (OWA) empty them when you log out. Emails stay in Deleted Items until you delete them, then move to the Hidden Deleted Items folder. 

You can recover them from there within 30 days. After 30 days, they’re permanently deleted and can’t be recovered. However, there are important things that we need to know if a mailbox is smaller than 10 MB. On top of that, it won’t be included in the scheduled task. You need to apply the retention policy manually. Therefore, in the next part of the phase, we will learn the causes in the context of how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails.

What Causes the Deleted Items Folder to Automatically Empty?

To manage your personal Microsoft 365 account retention policy, log in to the web-based Outlook account:

  1. Select Settings icon > Settings > Mail > Message options in Outlook Web Apps.
  2. Then, when signing out, select the option to Empty the Deleted Items folder.

Why Recycle Bin is Not a Proper Backup Solution?

As we know the Deleted Items folder is a temporary destination, and it is used to store recently deleted data. It is there to help you get back your discarded data which you accidentally deleted, but only for about 30 days. If you don’t empty it during that time, you can get your deleted files back, like emails.

In the context of how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails. Additionally, the recycle bin is not a practical technique as there are a couple of reasons for that. First, the Recycle Bin is only temporary. Second, it can’t save all your data. In simple terms, your discarded data whether by accident or on purpose, won’t always be there to get back. 

Additional resources: How to Backup Office 365 Emails Locally

Apply the Email Retention Policy in Office 365

With your Office 365 Administrator credentials, follow these steps to establish a retention policy:

  1. First, Go to the menu and select the Admin option.
  2. From the Report Category, Select the Security and Compliance option. 
  3. Then, From the Drop-Down Menu, Select Exchange Admin Center.
  4. After that, Go to compliance management, pick retention policies, and then click the () option.
  5. Then, Give the policy a name and use the () option to add tags.
  6. Using the Add button, you can now select several retention tags and then click the Save button.
  7. Lastly, After completing the preceding steps, Create a new retention policy.

What’s the Procedure If Your Retention Policy Is Out of Date?

As we saw above, what is a retention policy, its functionality, its purpose, and how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails? In addition, at this time we will understand that, if our data is lost permanently, then how can we recover the data, So, there is a most reliable solution to solve this question, which is SysTools Credible Office 365 Backup & Restore Software. Moreover, after the retention term has expired, in this scenario, it can help to retrieve your data efficiently.

Use the tool mentioned above to back up and recover data by following the detailed instructions:

Step 1. Download and launch the software.

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Step 2. Select “Office 365” as a source platform and “Outlook” as a destination platform.

Step 3. Select the categories that you want to back up from Office 365 under the Workload selection.

Step 4. You can perform the date-based selective backup of the mailbox data using the Date-Range Filter option. Click on Next.

Step 5. Then, Log in to your Office 365 account with the necessary administrative credentials.

Step 6. After validating, the permissions will be granted to the source user. Click on Next.

Step 7. Browse the backup folder path to set the destination where the PST file will be saved.

Step 8. Validate the correct permissions and click “Next”.

Step 9.  Afterward, you have several methods to include users from the source account who need processing, including Fetch Users, Import Users, and Download Template.

Step 10. Lastly, Click on the Start Backup button to start the backup procedure.

Wrapping Up

In this comprehensive article, we found all reliable solutions for the query of how long does Office 365 keep deleted emails. Moreover, we learned about the retention policies and how long O365 keeps the deleted emails. Within this write-up, we also cover an alternative method to back up the data efficiently.