Google Apps Vault FAQ

Purchasing and availability

How do I buy Google Apps Vault for my domain?

For instructions on buying Vault or starting a free trial, see Buy Google Apps Vault.

General administration

If I delete a user from Google Apps, is this user's Google Apps Vault data also deleted?

Yes. If you delete a user, all the data associated with the user's account will be removed from Google. As a best practice, Google recommends suspending user accounts instead of deleting them. When using a tool like Google Apps Directory Sync, ensure that the tool is configured to suspend accounts instead of deleting them.

How do I preserve data in Google Apps Vault for a user who leaves the organization?

Do not delete the account. If you delete a user, you also delete that user's Vault archive.

If a user leaves your organization and you want to continue preserving that user's data in Google Apps Vault, a Google Apps administrator should suspend the user's account. Email data is preserved for a suspended account, but the account can receive no new mail. Note that suspended accounts are billed the same as active accounts.

Can vanity domains be created for Google Apps Vault? For example,

No. For security reasons, Vault can only be accessed through

What languages does Google Apps Vault support?

Vault supports queries in every language that Gmail supports.


If I am an existing customer and I enable Vault, will my retention rules apply to existing content?

Yes. As soon as retention rules are enabled, Vault acts on all messages in Gmail, new and existing.

Are retention periods in Google Apps Vault static, or can they be extended or shortened?

Retention periods can be changed by adjusting the period of the retention rule. If a message is subject to multiple rules with different retention periods, the message will be retained based on the rule with the longest duration.

Does Google Apps Vault save data sent to a Google Apps for Business Group?

Google Groups data are not in the scope of Google Apps Vault. However, email sent to a Google Group that delivers to user mailboxes is saved within Google Apps Vault. If Google Groups are configured to not deliver email directly to user mailboxes, the Group content is not saved in Google Apps Vault.

If I create retention rules in Google Apps Vault, should I also use the Email Retention setting in the Google Apps Admin console?

No. If you create retention rules with Google Apps Vault, a Google Apps administrator should disable the Email Retention setting in the Google Apps Admin console (under Settings > Email).

How are email conversation threads retained?
  • If one email in a thread is retained, the entire thread is also retained.
  • If one email in a thread is subject to being expunged, only that email will be expunged.
  • Search results show only one email per thread. To view the entire thread, click the message.
  • Exports will include the entire thread if one of its messages is matched by a query.
  • The "conversation view" setting in user's account has no effect on these behaviors.

Gmail and chat

If a message isn't delivered in Gmail (for example, spam messages that are blocked), will Vault store it?

No. The message must be delivered to the mailbox for it to be archived in Vault.

In the Google Apps blog post it states “Vault provides access to all of your Gmail and ‘on the record’ chats.” Does that mean that a user can take the chat "off the record" and Vault won't retain it?

Yes. Only "on the record" chats will be archived.

Can admins require chats to be "on the record" so that they are retained with Google Apps Vault?

No. Admins can only require chats to be "off the record." Learn more.

What happens to a Google Apps Vault users when they exceed their Gmail quota limit?

There is no impact to Vault when users exceeds their Gmail quota. If users do hit their Gmail quota, they are subject to the normal Gmail restrictions once the quota is reached.

Do Google+ Hangouts work with Vault?

There is partial compatibility between Hangouts and Vault:

  • Any history-on (in other words, on-the-record) messages can be searched, exported, and placed on hold for eDiscovery purposes.
  • Retention and archiving policies will not be properly applied to history-on messages. For example, once a retention period has expired, history-on messages will be expunged from Vault, and they will no longer be searchable or exportable by Vault administrators or Vault users with the appropriate privileges. However, your users will still have access to their Hangouts histories.

To enable Google+ Hangouts, you must understand how Hangouts works with Vault and then accept a Vault-Hangouts amendment. This amendment appears for your acceptance when you opt in to Hangouts in the Admin console. Learn more.

How can I restore messages retained in Vault back to Gmail?

If email messages are retained in Vault but have been deleted from a user’s Gmail mailbox, they can be restored. Note that this does not apply to chat messages. Before you restore messages, ensure that you comply with your organization’s legal and business policies.

Note: Google does not provide technical support for configuring third-party products. GOOGLE ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIRD-PARTY PRODUCTS. Please consult the product’s Web site for the latest configuration and support information.
  1. Follow these directions to export the messages from Vault to an MBOX file.
  2. Choose one of these options to import the MBOX file to Gmail:
    • Import the MBOX file using a third-party tool such as EmailChemy.
    • Convert the MBOX file to PST format using a third-party tool, such as Aid4Mail, then import the messages to Gmail using Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange.
    • Use Google Email Uploader for Mac. Note that you’ll need the username and password for the Gmail account you want to import the MBOX file to. If you are not a super administrator and the account has 2-step verification enabled, you’ll also need to disable it.
      1. Enable the Migration API.
      2.  Download the Google Email Uploader.
      3. In Google Email Uploader, select the File menu.
      4. Select Add folder of MBOX files.
      5. In the Select mailboxes to upload window, select the MBOX file.
      6. Enter the username and password for the Gmail account you want to import the MBOX file to. We strongly recommend that you don’t select additional options.
      7. Click Upload.


What happens to a matter when the account of the user who created that matter is deleted?

The matter remains in Vault. Any Vault user with the "Manage Matters" privilege can still share that matter with other Vault users.

It's important to remember, however, that user accounts on hold in the matter must not be deleted in the Admin console and also require a Vault license to stay on hold.

How can I exclude saved and automatically saved drafts in a Vault search?

Add the following operator to your search terms-(label:^deleted AND label:^r)