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Exchange 2013 Retention Policy

Posted on 2014-12-03
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Last Modified: 2014-12-04
I am designing retention policies and tags for my organization. I was testing a 1yr permanent delete tag on an individual mailbox, specifically set to delete items in the default folders(inbox, deleted items etc.) older than 1 yr.  I added the user mailbox to the policy and immediately noticed that it worked and deleted all the items older than one yr. I then removed not only the user mailbox from the policy, but also deleted the tags and policy. I did this back in August. I logged into the mailbox today to begin working on this project again and noticed that the mailbox folders effected by the policy I had created  only contained mail going back 1 yr. (12/3/2013) which means the policy/tags are still in effect even though I removed/deleted then months ago. Is this normal or is this a glitch? I would have expected that once the policy was removed that the mailbox would then only be subject to the default policy or any other active policies. (no other policies exist that would cause the deletion of mail from the mailbox) Basically I want to know if I implement a policy on mailboxes, is it unchangeable or will it simply change when a new policy is created. In which case the policy I tested with was removed and since no new policy was created, the system kept working under the previously set and then deleted policy?
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Question by:Rebol
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Adam Farage earned 500 total points
ID: 40478790
This is controlled by the managed folder assistant process, which is throttled. Depending on the amount of system resources available and the number of items within the mailbox, this could be a cause of the bottleneck.

So just a brief explanation...

When a retention policy is applied to a mailbox the managed folder assistant (ill be calling this the MFA for the rest) goes through the whole mailbox and then tags each individual message with a "tombstone" date. This tombstone date is to let the MFA know when to take the retention action, which is to remove / archive / ect the items.

The same exact thing occurs when the mailbox is removed from a retention policy, but reverse. Instead of tombstoning the messages it is removing the retention date mapi property on each message.

There are two things I would do...

1) Run the following below to make sure the policy is actually removed:

Get-Mailbox user@company.com | Select RetentionPolicy

Open in new window


2) Force run the MFA against the mailbox and monitor, see what happens:

Start-ManagedFolderAssistant user@company.com

Open in new window


let us know what happens.
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Author Comment

by:Rebol
ID: 40481254
That seems to have fixed it. Thanks
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