MC264360: Microsoft Compliance center: Information Governance: Retention label deletion behavior change in SharePoint

Until this release, attempting to delete a file with a retention label configured to “retain items for a specific period” in SharePoint caused an error blocking the deletion of it. To improve consistency of user experience between OneDrive and SharePoint, the behavior of any retention label set to “retain items for a specific period” in SharePoint will change to allow users to “delete” the document which will then be preserved in the Preservation Hold Library until the specified period expires. This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82063.

Improved consistency of user experience between OneDrive and SharePoint, allowing users to “delete” files labeled with a retention label configured to “retain items for a specific period” as this operation is no longer blocked with an error message. When deleted, these files will still be preserved for compliance purposes by moving a copy of them to the “Preservation Hold Library” of the site where they can be accessed by eDiscovery and other compliance solutions.

When the retention settings are to retain and delete.
Affected Workloads

  • Microsoft 365 suite
  • SharePoint Online

When this will happen

We will begin rolling this out in early August and expect to complete rollout late August.

Making retention labels available to people in your organization so that they can classify content is a two-step process:  Create the retention labels.  Publish the retention labels by using a retention label policy.

How this will affect your organization

Users in SharePoint will now be able to “delete” files labeled with a retention label configured to “retain items for a specific period” as this operation is no longer blocked with an error message. When deleted, these files will still be preserved for compliance purposes by moving a copy of them to the “Preservation Hold Library” of the site where they can be accessed by eDiscovery and other compliance solutions.

When deleted, these files will still be preserved for compliance purposes by moving a copy of them to the “Preservation Hold Library” of the site where they can be accessed by eDiscovery and other compliance solutions.

  • This change does not cause any loss of data meant to be retained, it simply allows users to remove the file from their library view while it’s preserved for compliance purposes.
  • This change does not alter the behavior of labels configured to “only delete items when they reach a certain age” or “don’t retain or delete items”. This change also does not affect how retention policies behave in SharePoint.
  • This change only applies to SharePoint. OneDrive files already have this experience.

What you need to do to prepare

No action is needed to enable this feature; however you may want to update any training materials and communicate this change to your users or team responsible for Information Governance and Records Management at your organization.

Note: If you would like to completely prevent the user deletion or editing of files in SharePoint, you can create a new retention label which declares the item as a record. Declaring content as a record prevents both deletion and editing activities on the file.

Learn more

Message ID: MC264360
Published: 24 June 2021
Updated: 24 June 2021