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MC268960: Adjusting Version Retention for Outlook Data Files (PST File Type) on One Drive and SharePoint Online

As communicated in MC256835 (May, 2021), starting August 16th 2021 the service will start retaining 30 days worth of versions for any PST files stored OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online team site document libraries. This change will prevent cases of previous versions of PST files from quickly consuming available storage. The change will only impact previous versions of PST files stored in your document library storage. This feature is associated with Microsoft 365 ID 72237.

This update will help customers manage PST file versions from consuming storage capacity for OneDrive & SharePoint Online. PST files are a type of Outlook Data File which can consume a lot of storage – especially when versions are considered. The service will now limit the number of PST versions retained, often resulting in less storage consumption.

MC268960: Adjusting Version Retention for Outlook Data Files (PST File Type) on One Drive and SharePoint Online

As best practice PST files should not be uploaded on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online team site document libraries due to the impact on storage and network bandwidth. When PST files are uploaded on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online team site document libraries, Outlook updates PST files generating multiple versions which leads to storage being quickly consumed by the multiple versions of the PST file.

Note: If you wish to opt out of this policy change, the SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlet is now available. Please make sure you have the latest PowerShell client version 16.0.21411.12000 before executing the following command – Set-SPOTenant – DisableOutlookPSTVersionTrimming $true.

You will have until August 13th 2021 to opt out. This is a one time opt out operation.

  • The Opt out option for cmdlet will have no effect after the deadline.

New behavior will be automatically enabled if you don’t opt out by deadline. Opt out only applies to existing document libraries and does not apply to new doclib created after August 13th 2021.

  • Command: Get-SPOTenant/Set-SPOTenant
  • Parameter: DisableOutlookPSTVersionTrimming
  • Value: True – Opt-out to the versioning change.
  • False – default value

How this will affect your organization

As part of the change, version history for PST files will be retained for up to 30 days. Document libraries will be updated with new PST version retention limits.

  • Once this change is rolled out to your tenant, versions of PST files stored on in your document library that are older than 30 days will be permanently deleted.
  • The service will always retain a minimum of 30 day worth of PST versions that can be restored from.

What you need to do to prepare

If you wish to opt out of the PST version retention update, you will need to execute the SharePoint Online Management Shell cmdlet provided in this post. This cmdlet will need to be executed by August 13th 2021. Without the cmdlet, your tenant will be updated to the new versioning settings on August 16th 2021.

If you choose to opt out of the policy change:

  • Existing libraries will not get the new PST version setting and version retention for existing libraries will work the way it does today.
  • Any new libraries or sites created after August 13th 2021, will get the new behavior.

To prevent uploading .PST files from the OneDrive sync app, read Block syncing of specific file types or To move .PST files out of OneDrive, read How to remove an Outlook .pst data file from OneDrive.

Message ID: MC268960
Effective: August 16, 2021

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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