Set up Vault privileges

Control who can use specific Vault features

As a Google Workspace administrator, you can allow users in your organization to do all Vault tasks or only a specific subset. For example, you might allow certain users to set retention rules, and allow a different group to search and export data.

Before you give users Vault privileges, consult with your organization's legal experts or business personnel to determine which users require access to Vault tools. For some Vault privileges, such as managing searches or exports, you can restrict the privilege so that the user can work with only user data in a specific organizational unit.

Accounts with Vault privileges should be treated as sensitive because they have access and control over other users’ data in your organization.

To grant privileges to a user, you create an admin role that includes one or more Vault privileges. Then, assign the admin role to the user.

Note: You can give a user Vault privileges without giving them a Vault license. Users don’t need Vault licenses to have Vault privileges.

In this article

Step 1: Create an admin role with Vault privileges

You must be signed in as a super administrator for this task.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Accountand thenAdmin roles.
  3. Click Create a new role.
  4. Enter a name and description for the role. For example, the name could be the privilege that the user will have.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Locate and expand the Google Vault section. Tip: In the search box, enter “Google Vault”.
  7. Select privileges for the role. For more details, go to the Vault privileges reference.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Review the privileges you selected then click Create Role.

Step 2: Assign Vault roles to users

You must be signed in as a super administrator for this task.

You can assign Vault roles to one user at a time, or to several users at once.

With either approach:

  • Users usually get the new role within minutes, but it can take up to 24 hours.
  • If the role includes only Manage Exports, Manage Searches, Manage Holds, and Manage Matters, you can restrict the scope of the role to a specific organizational unit.

For instructions, go to Assign roles.

Privileges reference

You can restrict some Vault privileges, such as managing exports, to an organizational unit. Other privileges apply to all organizational units.

Vault privilege What the privilege allows the user to do
Manage Matters
  • Create matters and share those matters with other users.
  • Close, reopen, and modify matters.
  • Delete and restore matters.

Important: A user must have at least one more privilege–Manage Holds, Manage Searches, Manage Exports, or Manage Audits– to open and work with matters.

When the privilege is restricted to an organizational unit, the user can share matters only with accounts in the organizational unit.

Manage Holds
  • View the list of user accounts on hold.
  • Create holds.
  • Modify holds.
  • Remove holds.

User can create, modify, or remove a hold only if they have the Manage Holds privilege on all of organizational units included in hold.

If new accounts are added to the hold, the user must have the Manage Holds privilege on the organizational unit that contains the accounts.

Vault users outside the organizational unit can see holds on users in the organizational unit.

Manage Searches
  • Search data and count results.
  • View the contents of messages and files that are returned with search queries.
  • Create or delete saved search queries.

When this privilege is restricted to an organizational unit, the user can search only for data associated with accounts and shared drives in that organizational unit.

Manage Exports
  • View and download exports.
  • Delete all exports.

Important: To create exports, a user needs this privilege and the Manage Searches privilege.

When this privilege is restricted to an organizational unit, the user can export only data associated with accounts and shared drives in the organizational unit.

Google Workspace super administrators don't have access to all exports. They can only work with exports they own and exports in matters shared with them.

Manage Audits
  • View audit logs for matters that were created by or shared with the user.
  • View all hold reports for your entire organization.
  • View holds in matters that the user has access to.

This privilege applies to all organizational units.

Manage Retention Policies
  • Create and view retention rules for your entire organization.
  • Update retention rules for your entire organization.
  • Delete retention rules for your entire organization.

This privilege applies to all organizational units.

View Retention Policies
  • View all retention rules for your entire organization.

This privilege applies to all organizational units.

View All Matters
  • View all matters in your entire organization.

This privilege applies to all organizational units.

Privileges examples

The following list provides a summary of privileges that you can combine as needed. For details on each privilege, go to the Privileges reference.

For search and export

  • Search data, preview results, and save queries, but not export search results
    Select Manage Searches. To allow a user to search in any matter, not just matters owned by or shared with the user, also select View All Matters.
  • View, download, and delete exports, but not create exports
    Select Manage Exports. To allow a user to work with exports in any matter, not just matters owned by or shared with the user, also select View All Matters.
  • Create exports, plus all other search and export actions
    Select Manage Searches and Manage Exports. To allow a user to search and export in any matter, not just matters owned by or shared with the user, also select View All Matters.

For holds, audits, and matter

  • Create and remove holds, view lists of holds
    Select Manage Holds. To allow a user to create and remove holds in any matter, not just matters owned by or shared with the user, also select View All Matters.
  • View audit logs and holds for matters they can access, view all hold reports
    Select Manage Audits.
  • Create, share, close, and delete matters
    Select Manage Matters and at least one of the following: Manage Holds, Manage Searches, Manage Exports, or Manage Audits.

For retention

  • View, create, edit, and delete retention rules
    Select Manage Retention Policies.
  • View retention rules, but not create, edit, or delete them
    Select View Retention Policies.

Troubleshoot Vault privileges

User doesn’t have any matters listed on the Matters page

If the user's admin role doesn't include the View All Matters privilege, then the user can only see matters they own and matters shared with them. The user won't see any matters if they don't own any and don't have any shared with them.

How to fix: Share matters with the user. For instructions, go to Share a matter.

User can’t open any matters

If the user's admin role has only the View All Matters privilege and no other privileges, then the user can only view the list of matters but not open them.

How to fix: You have 2 options:

  • Assign the user another admin role that includes another Vault privilege.
  • Edit the user's assigned admin role to include another Vault privilege.

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