Many Office 365 users have discovered the hard way that you cannot recover an email that has been deleted for more than 30 days. Microsoft has just updated this policy and now gives you more control over how long you wish to retain deleted emails.

Office 365

If you are an Office 365 user you have likely experienced the anguish of attempting to recover a deleted email that has been deleted beyond the 30 day recovery limit. Well, now you can breath easy as Microsoft has just announced a change in its policy that enables you to recovery any scrapped email regardless of how long ago you deleted it.

Prior to this change, when a user deleted an email in Office 365, the email was placed in the Deleted Items folder where it was kept for 30 days. After 30 days, the email is purged and cannot be recovered. The change that Microsoft just introduced makes it possible to change the deleted-items retention policy from anywhere from one day to 24,855 days.

OK, so maybe technically we can’t say a deleted email is recoverable regardless of how long it was deleted, but at 24,855 days – or 68.1 years – it is probably a moot point.

So, how long should you set the recovery period for? Well, this depends on your firm and the nature of your work, but extending it to the full 24,000 plus days is overkill. Keeping all those emails on file is not only unnecessary but it will also require considerable resources to store.

Some firms are regulated to keep all records for a minimum of anywhere from two to seven years so certainly make sure you are in compliance with any regulatory requirements.

With all that in mind, here is how you change the retention duration for your deleted emails:

  1. Click on Office 365 Admin.
  2. Select Exchange Admin Center.
  3. Select Compliance Manager.
  4. Click on Retention Policies.
  5. Modify the retention duration to a time frame that suits your needs and covers your regulatory obligations.

Are you using Microsoft Office 365?  Have questions about how your organization can benefit from hosting your email with Microsoft’s Office 365 service?  Call (415) 294-5250 or drop us an email today at

Author: Lance Stone, Date: 2015-05-20

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