M365 Changelog: Exchange online archive–Automatic archive of mailbox items in Purges, Versions and Discovery Holds folders

MC288630 – Updated November 11, 2021: Microsoft has updated the post for additional clarity and updated the timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Microsoft is rolling out an update which will automatically move any mailbox items preserved in the “Purges”, “Versions”, and “Discovery Holds” folders in the primary mailbox to the archive mailbox daily. Customers will no longer be required to create separate policies for archiving email content in the “Recoverable Items” folders mentioned. Once this change finishes rolling out, the existing archiving policies created by customers for these folders will be ignored. This change does not impact the “Deletions” folder which is also part of the “Recoverable items” folder.

When this will happen:

Microsoft will begin rolling out this in mid-October and expect to complete it by end of November (previously end of October).

How this will affect your organization:

When this feature rolls out, the mailbox items in the “Purges”, “Versions”, and “Discovery Holds” folders of the “Recoverable Items” folder will start automatically moving to the archive mailbox in a period determined by the shortest of these options:

  1. Deleted items purge time configured in the tenant
  2. Configured archival policy for these folders
  3. 14 days

There won’t be any perceived experience change for customers as these folders are not visible to users.

What you need to do to prepare:

There is nothing you need to do to receive this feature update and it will not affect your existing policies. However, existing archiving policies related to the affected folders will be ignored as described above. You may consider updating any training or reference material for your Exchange administrators to highlight that it is no longer necessary to create archiving policies for these folders.

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