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Govern your data with Microsoft Purview

Updated: Jun 13

Use the capabilities from Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle Management (formerly Microsoft Information Governance) and Microsoft Purview Records Management to govern your data for compliance or regulatory requirements.

From a licensing perspective, there can be considerable overlap between data lifecycle management and records management. Both solutions support the retention and deletion of data for Microsoft 365 apps and services.

Use the following graphic to help you identify the main configurable components for these solutions that each have their configuration area in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal:

Microsoft purview

Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle Management

To keep what you need and delete what you don't:


What problems does it solve?

Lets you retain or delete content with policy management for email, documents, Teams and Yammer messages.

Lets you retain mailbox content after employees leave the organization so that this content remains accessible to administrators, compliance officers, and records managers.

Provides additional mailbox storage space for users.

Supports bulk-importing PST files to Exchange Online mailboxes to retain and search email messages for compliance or regulatory requirements.

Data Lifecycle Management

Microsoft Purview Data Lifecycle Management (formerly Microsoft Information Governance) provides you with tools and capabilities to retain the content that you need to keep and delete the content that you don't.

Retaining and deleting content is often needed for compliance and regulatory requirements, but deleting content that no longer has business value also helps you manage risk and liability. For example, it reduces your attack surface.

Microsoft 365 features

Retention policies are the cornerstone for data lifecycle management. These policies are used for Microsoft 365 workloads, including Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, and Yammer. Configure whether content for these services needs to be retained indefinitely or for a specific period of time for users to edit or delete it. Or you can configure the policy to automatically permanently delete the content after a specified period if it's not already deleted. You can also combine these two actions for retain and then delete, which is a very typical configuration. For example, retain email for three years and then delete it.

When you configure a retention policy, you can target all instances in your organization (such as all mailboxes and all SharePoint sites) or individual instances (such as only the mailboxes for specific departments or regions or just selected SharePoint sites).

If you need exceptions for individual emails or documents, such as a longer retention period for legal documents, you do this with retention labels that you publish to apps so that users can apply them or automatically apply them by inspecting the content.

Other data lifecycle management capabilities to help you keep what you need and delete what you don't:

  • Mailbox archiving provides users with additional mailbox storage space and auto-expanding archiving for mailboxes that need more than 100 GB of storage. A default archiving policy automatically moves the email to the archive mailbox, and if required, you can customize this policy. For more information about mailbox archiving, see Learn about archive mailboxes.

  • Inactive mailboxes retain mailbox content after employees leave the organization. For more information about inactive mailboxes, see Learn about inactive mailboxes.

  • Import service for PST files by using network upload or drive shipping. For more information, see Learn about importing your organization's PST files.

Microsoft Purview Records Management

Manage high-value items for business, legal, or regulatory record-keeping requirements:


What problems does it solve?

It lets

s you create retention labels interactively or importthem in bulk and export them for analysis. Labels support additional administrative information (optional) to help you identify and track business or regulatory requirements.

Labels support flexible retention and deletion schedules that can be applied manually or automatically, with records declaration when needed.

Manually review content before it's permanently deleted, with proof of disposition of records.

Record Management

A records management system, also known as records and information management, is a solution for organizations to manage regulatory, legal, and business-critical records. Records management for Microsoft Purview helps you achieve your organization's legal obligations, provides the ability to demonstrate compliance with regulations, and increases efficiency with the regular disposition of items that are no longer required to be retained, no longer of value, or no longer required for business purposes.

Use the following capabilities to support your records management solution for Microsoft 365 data:

  • Label items as a record. Create and configure retention labels to mark items as a record that can then be applied by users or automatically applied by identifying sensitive information, keywords, or content types.

  • Migrate and manage your retention requirements with a failed plan. By using a file plan, you can bring in an existing retention plan to Microsoft 365 or build a new one for enhanced management capabilities.

  • Configure retention and deletion settings with retention labels. Configure retention labels with the retention periods and actions based on various factors that include the date last modified or created.

  • Start different retention periods when an event occurs with event-based retention.

  • Review and validate disposition with disposition reviews and proof of records deletion.

  • Export information about alfthee disposed of items with the export option.

  • Set specific permissions for records manager functions in your organization to have the right access.

Using these capabilities, you can incorporate your organization's retention schedules and requirements into a records management solution that manages retention, records declaration, and disposition to support the full lifecycle of your content.


When an item is declared a record:

  • Restrictions are placed on the item in terms of what actions are allowed or blocked.

  • Additional activities about the item are logged.

  • You have proof of disposition when the item is deleted at the end of its retention period.

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