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How to Set Up the Retention Policy for Office 365 or G Suite in MSP360 Managed Backup

The retention policy is a vital part of creating your backup process. It determines what versions of the data should be saved and for how long. With a proper retention policy, you can be sure that all the information that is stored in your Office 365 or G Suite services is safe. In this guide, we explain how to set up the retention policy for these services in your backups.

Please note: in our example, only Office 365 is covered, as G Suite is exactly the same.

Setting up a retention policy for Office 365 or G Suite in MSP360 Managed Backup is a two-step process. First, you need to create a policy for a service, then you assign this policy to a user or group of users.

Creating a New Office 365 / G Suite Retention Policy

Log into your console and proceed to the Office 365/G Suite section. In the upper-right corner, click the green account icon and choose Retention Policies.

Retention Policies in the menu

Hit the Create retention policy button at the top-left.

Create Retention Policy button

Give your policy a name. You will need this name later to assign this policy, so it should be relevant.

Test Retention Policy for Mail

Choose the service you want to create a policy for in the For service drop-down menu.


Select how many days should pass from the date of backup or the date of creation/modification before items are deleted. The Purge Delay option adds a selected number of days to this period. Thus, if you want to delete items that are older than three days from the date of backup and set a two-day delay, the data will be removed from the backup dataset five days after the date of the backup.

Creating Test Retention Policy for Mail

Other services

For services other than mail, there are two additional options: you can choose how many revisions of the data to keep and also force MSP360 Managed Backup to keep the last revision of data in any case, regardless of other preferences. To avoid data loss, it is recommended to have this option switched on. As for revisions, the solution will store the specified number of latest dataset versions. All the versions that do not match your criteria will be deleted in the number of days you set in Purge Delay. Additionally, if you set the number of revisions, the Delete older than option is disabled.

After you set all the options, click Create.

Please note: all the options will be saved for the selected service only. If you create a retention policy for Drive, it won’t work for Sharepoint, so you need to set up a separate retention policy for every service you use.


Test Retention Policy for Drive


Test Retention Policy for Contacts


Test Retention Policy for Calendar


Note that only the global administrator can delete SharePoint data, so the SharePoint retention policy should be assigned to the global administrator, otherwise it won’t work.

Test Retention Policy for SharePoint

All your policies will appear in the policies list, along with their options. Here, you can edit or delete them.

Policies List

Now it’s time to assign the policies to users.

Assigning the Office 365 / G Suite Retention Policy

Proceed to the Users tab. Select a user or group of users you want to assign your retention policy to and click Retention Policy above the users list.

Selecting users to assign policies

A slide-in will appear at the right. Choose a retention policy for each of the services from the drop-down menus.

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Choosing a retention policy for each of the services

If you lack a retention policy for one or more services and want to add a new set of rules or change an existing one, click the Retention Policy list. This will open a list of all your policies, where you can review and edit them if needed.

Retention Policy List

To make a new policy within this window, click Create. You already know how to do this from the first part of our guide.

Creating a new policy

Once you’ve chosen the retention policy for a user or group of users, click Save. The policies are applied every 24 hours at 3 a.m. UTC. Bear this time in mind if you change or delete them. Also, if you change or delete the retention policy for a user or group of users, this launches a full Office 365 / G Suite backup for them.

Now you know how the retention policy for Office 365 / G Suite works in MSP360 Managed Backup. Customize the policies granularly for each service you use and keep your data safe. If you have any questions, please contact us.

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