M365 Changelog: M365 Records Management & Information Governance – Update on file deletion behavior when using a retention label in SPO

MC289965 – To improve consistency of user experience between OneDrive and SharePoint, the behavior of any retention label set to “retain items for a specific period” in SharePoint will change to allow users to “delete” the document which will then be preserved in the Preservation Hold Library until the specified period expires.

In response to your great feedback and provide more flexibility for different organizations, Microsoft has added the ability to configure this behavior for your tenant.

The default will be for this behavior to be “on”, allowing deletion as specified before. If this behavior is configured “off”, users are prevented from deleting these files and an error message is shown as has been the experience in SharePoint until now.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82063

When this will happen:

The rollout of this change will begin in early November and complete by the end of November.

How this will affect your organization:

The new default behavior allows Users in SharePoint to “delete” files labeled with a retention label configured to “retain items for a specific period” as this operation is no longer blocked with an error message. When deleted, these files will still be preserved for compliance purposes by moving a copy of them to the “Preservation Hold Library” of the site where they can be accessed by eDiscovery and other compliance solutions.

This change does not cause any loss of data meant to be retained, it simply allows users to remove the file from their library view while it’s preserved for compliance purposes.

This change does not alter the behavior of labels configured to “only delete items when they reach a certain age” or “don’t retain or delete items”. This change also does not affect how retention policies behave in SharePoint.

This change only applies to SharePoint. OneDrive files already have this experience.

What you need to do to prepare:

No action is needed to enable this feature; however if you wish to opt out of this change and continue preventing the deletion of files in SharePoint as described, you must make the below configuration change in advance of rollout.

To configure your tenant to continue preventing deletion of files labelled to retain from SharePoint, please utilize the SetAllowFilesWithKeepLabelToBeDeletedSPO function in the SPPolicyStoreProxy class of the SharePoint Client Object Model to set this behavior to false.

When the feature finishes rolling out, this configuration will be available within the Records Management solution settings.

You may also want to update any training materials and communicate this change to your users or team responsible for Information Governance and Records Management at your organization.

Additional information