What is Retention Policy in SharePoint?

Definition:

Retention policy is the feature in SharePoint that can be utilized to retain the content for a specific period of time. After the retention period is over, content will be treated according to the policies set for that content.

Purpose of retention policy:

Everyday data is increasing rapidly and it is becoming very essential that we maintain good quality of data and delete old or non-relevant data from the site.

Strict governance is must for each site/list or library under which content of the site is reviewed periodically and retained or deleted as per the need.

To support this need,

SharePoint has introduced retention policies which periodically check the content and their retention/expiry policies and based on that, actions are applied on the content.

There are 4 places where you can set retention policies:

  1. Site Collection:
  • To set Site policy, go to Site Settings >> Site Policies (under Site Collection Administration)
  1. Content Type:
  • To set Content Type policy, go to Site Settings >> Site Content Types (under Web Designer Galleries) >> Information management policy settings
  1. List or library:
  • To set List or Library policy, go to Library Settings >> Information management policy settings
  • Click on Change Source
  • You will see two options for retention source.
  • Content Types: Uses retention schedules on site level content types. This will ensure that this library complies with the site's information policy.
  • Library and Folders: Define schedules on the library and its folders. Those schedules will be enforced regardless of any schedule defined on the content types
  1. Folder:
  • To set Folder level policy, go to Library Settings >> Information management policy settings
  • Click on Change Source
  • You will see two options for retention source. Select Library and Folder
  • You will see folder structure of your library on Left hand side of the page.
  • Select the folder that you want to set policy on.
  • Now, you can set the retention policy for the selected folder.
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