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This article will explain how to delete old documents from a site using retention policies. This is a very good technique to prevent data loss and delete old documents. Basically, retention policies are not for data retention but serve that purpose too.

The same functionality can be also used to delete the content based on its age. This excellent technique will keep your site updated and  content under control. You can also get rid of items that you do not need and will never access again.

Two Ways Using Retention Policies

There are two main ways in which you  get rid of the old stuff:

  1. Site Level Retention
  2. Label Level Retention

Delete Old Content Using Site Retention

How to keep the documents for a given period? We use this technique to create a “deletion policy”. Microsoft recently split up the Security & Compliance Center into two. You have to select the Compliance section to create retention policies. Let’s see how to create this.

Step 1: Go to apps and click on compliance.

Step 2: Then click on policies and select Retention.

Step 3: From information governance, select retention and select “+New retention policy” to create a new one.

Step 4: Name the policy and describe the policy then click on next.

Step 5: From the settings tab select the time period and base for your policy.

Step 6: If you wish to specify more options, you can select the advanced retention settings.

Step 7: Select the duration and click next.

Step 8: Here you can select the location for applying policy and what to include and exclude.

Step 9: The last step is to review your policy settings before creating. The main idea is to check for any errors while creating the policy.

Delete Old Content Using Label Level Retention

The next option to delete old documents from a site is by using the label retention policies option. The steps for the setup of deletion  using the retention label are almost identical to the site retention process.

You would start with the same steps with label creation and then publishing it with the help of the respective policy. Then applying it to documents or to a folder. The only difference would be at the label creation, for deletion. Let’s check out how to do this.

Step 1: Go to apps and click on compliance.

Step 2: Select policies, go to information governance and select labels. Under labels create a new label by clicking “+Create a label”.

Step 3: Name and describe the label and click next.

Step 4: This is the most important setting. Here you have to turn on the toggle button to enable retention under label settings.

Step 5: Like the above one, specify the label conditions and time period of policy and click next.

Step 6: Review your label for any errors before creating the label. Then click on  create the label to make it live.

This is  functionally the same as the site retention. The documents labeled with the deletion policy will be deleted and moved to the Recycle Bin.

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