M365 Changelog: Records Management, Information Governance & eDiscovery– Optimized behavior of file versions preserved

MC288633 – Updated February 22, 2022: Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

To improve performance, any file with multiple versions that is deleted from SharePoint or OneDrive which is preserved to the Preservation Hold Library (due to its applicable retention label, retention policies or eDiscovery holds) will now be retained as a single file containing its full version history, rather than each version being retained as individual files as has been the case until now.

Note: Microsoft had previously announced that this feature would begin rollout in the fall of 2021, however Microsoft is postponing this rollout until mid 2022. This allows our customers more time to prepare and for us to ensure that the rollout plan accommodates the end of year activities and minimizes the risk of impact.

This message is associated with Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82062.

When this will happen:

Rollout will begin in early August (previously early February) and be complete by late August (previously mid-March).

How this will affect your organization:

This update will change the behavior of deleted files that are set to be retained, and that have multiple versions of the file. They will be retained in the Preservation Hold Library as a single file with all versions as part of its version history just like they exist before being deleted. Previously, each version was retained individually as a separate file.

Additionally, this change will also affect your ability to search those versions in eDiscovery. Searching will now only work on the last version of a document by default rather than getting multiple matches for versions in between them which provides consistency for eDiscovery searches regardless of whether the file has been deleted or not.

If you have query-based holds configured in eDiscovery, there will be a change to how retained files are searched and retained as outlined above. If a file is deleted from a source covered by a query-based hold policy, it will no longer retain specific document versions that meet the query criteria and instead only hold the latest version of document if it meets the query criteria when the document is deleted.

These changes do not impact the retention or deletion of your content or cause any changes to your retention labels or policies, all versions are still being kept, just as part of the version history of the file.

What you need to do to prepare:

You might want to notify your users or team responsible for eDiscovery, Information Governance and Records Management about this change and update your training and documentation as appropriate.

Additional information