Retain Google Calendar events with Vault

For your information governance plan, you can control how long Google Calendar events are retained. Use retention rules to set how long to keep events and when to delete them, if ever. For example, you can specify that some events should be kept for 7 years.

To keep data that matches specific conditions for a set time, create a custom retention rule. To keep all service data for all licensed accounts for a set time, create a default retention rule.

WARNING: An improperly configured retention rule can cause the immediate and irreversible purging of data from user accounts. Use caution when creating or changing retention rules. We recommend that you test new rules on a small group of users before applying them to your entire organization.

On this page

Important information about Calendar & retention

Before you set retention rules, we strongly recommend you read about how retention works and review Calendar events supported in Vault.

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What data is retained

Covered:

  • Primary calendar events
  • Out of office events
  • Booked appointments
  • Focus time

Not covered:

  • Secondary calendar events, such as holiday or group calendars
  • Tasks
  • Working location
  • Unbooked appointments

For details, see Calendar events supported in Vault.

Understand potential delays with retention rules
  • When you create or update a retention rule, it can take up to 24 hours for the rule to propagate. Vault doesn't retain events that are deleted by users during this propagation period.
  • When a retention coverage period expires and the rule is set to purge events, it can take up to 30 days for affected events to be removed.
Custom retention rules versus default rules

To keep data that matches specific conditions for a set time, create a custom retention rule. To keep all service data for a set time, create a default retention rule.

For details, go to Types of retention rules.

About retention periods

Start of retention period

The retention period begins when the event has ended.

For all day events, the time zone of the calendar that stores the event determines when the event ends. If an event is set up with no end time, the system uses the default event duration of 1 hour.

Additional considerations for retention periods

Attendee copies of events

  • If the organizer copy of an event is deleted (manually or because of a retention rule), the attendee copy is also deleted and isn't visible in trash.
  • When an attendee copy of an event is deleted (manually or because of a retention rule), the organizer receives a Declined response status if they are within your organization. If the organizer is outside your organization, they do not receive a response.

Recurring events

Recurring events in Calendar are stored as one event, rather than separate events. The end of a recurring event occurs at the completion of the last instance in the series or at the Calendar limit of 730 occurrences. When the recurring event's retention period expires, Vault deletes the entire series of events.

A recurring event can be split into 2 independent series (for example, when a user changes an event occurrence from daily to weekly and applies the change to This and following events). If the first series has already passed its retention date, it's deleted. Vault retains the updated recurring event starting from This event.

Create a custom Calendar retention rule

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retentionand thenCustom Rulesand thenCreate.
  3. For Service, select Calendarand thenContinue.
  4. Next to Scope, select an organizational unit that the custom retention rule will apply to and click Continue.
  5. (Optional) To permanently retain messages covered by the rule, for Duration and action, click Indefinitely, then move to step 8.
  6. (Optional) To discard messages after a set time, for Duration and action, select Retention period and enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  7. Choose what happens when the retention period ends:
    • Purge only deleted events from primary calendars—Purges expired events that have been deleted by users and are no longer in trash. Users don't expect to keep them.
    • Purge all events from primary calendars—Purges all expired events from primary calendars.
      Warning: When you submit a new rule, Vault allows Calendar to immediately purge events that exceed the retention period. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Don't proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  8. Click Create.
  9. If you set a retention period, Vault asks you to confirm that you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept.

Create a default Calendar retention rule 

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retention. The list of default rules opens.
  3. Click Calendar .
  4. Choose how long to keep events:
    • To permanently retain messages covered by this rule, select Indefinitely.
    • To discard all messages after a set time, select Retention period and enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
  5. If you selected Retention period in step 4, choose which events to purge after the retention period ends:
    • Purge only deleted events from primary calendars—This option purges expired events that are already deleted. Users don't have access to them and don't expect to keep them.
    • Purge all events from primary calendars—Purges all expired events from primary calendars.
      Warning: When you submit a new rule, Vault allows Calendar to immediately purge events that exceed the retention period. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Don't proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Vault asks you to confirm you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept.

Delete a Calendar retention rule

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retention, then select Default Rules or Custom Rules.
  3. Choose an option. To delete a rule:
    • Custom rule—Point to the rule and click Delete.
    • Default rule—Point to Calendar  and click Delete.
      Warning: Data that is covered by this rule but isn't protected by holds or other retention rules might be immediately purged.
  4. To confirm, click Delete.

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