What's new in Vault

This page will be updated as we add features, enhancements, and fixes to Google Vault.

February 28, 2018: Full support for Hangouts Chat
Vault now supports Hangouts Chat. You can retain, hold, search, and export direct messages and conversations from rooms. Learn more about Vault and Hangouts Chat. 

Additional Vault help topics:

September 18, 2017: Support for PST exports

You can now export mail, chat, and Groups messages as PST files. This feature makes it possible for you to review messages in Microsoft Outlook, as well as third-party litigation support tools that support this format.

June 12, 2017: Improved Drive metadata, time zone support, and Team Drives retention

Get more detailed metadata when exporting files from Drive

When you export files from Drive, the metadata includes information about users who have an indirect relationship to a document. Additionally, Vault gives you the option to determine what that relationship is.

Learn more about users with indirect access to files and your options when exporting from Drive.

Select a time zone during search and export operations

Previously Vault used Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) for all searches and added extra day to include results from earlier time zones. Vault now supports time zone selection for search and export operations. You can specify a time zone when searching for data, and then Vault determines the boundaries of dates for displaying and exporting results.

The new time zone setting affects only search and export operations.

Important: Organizations that span multiple time zones may see different search results compared to those delivered before this feature was released. Learn more about searching for data based on time zones

Create custom retention rules for all Team Drives in your domain

You can now create custom retention rules that cover all Team Drive in your domain. 

Set retention rules for specific Google Groups

You can now apply custom retention rules to specific Google Groups. 

March 9, 2017: Full support for Google Drive, Team Drives, and Google Groups

Full support for Google Drive, including Team Drives

You can now set retention rules and place legal holds on files in Google Drive, making it a fully supported app in Vault.

You can now also search, export, set retention rules, and place legal holds on files stored in Team Drives. 

Note: Drive retention and holds work a bit differently than what you've grown accustomed to with email retention and holds. We recommend you review these articles as you consider the hold and retention policies that work best for your organization:

Export point-in-time Google Drive files

Vault only searches the latest version of a file. However, you can now add a version date to your search to view and export Google files as they existed on that date. Versioning is supported in most Google file types:

  • Docs
  • Slides
  • Sheets
  • Drawings

Versioning isn't supported in Google Forms, Apps Script, or any non-Google file type.

Use Vault for Google Groups

Vault now works with Groups, meaning you can search, export, and set retention policies, and place legal holds on content in Groups.

June 30, 2016: A more intuitive user interface for retention and holds
Vault has an updated user interface that makes it more intuitive for you to manage retention rules and legal holds. This change does not affect your current retention rules and holds, nor does it add new settings.
April 28, 2016: Improved support for extremely large exports
Vault now makes it easier for you to manage extremely large exports that take over 24 hours to process. Previously these exports were terminated, leaving you with no option to download files. Vault exports now pause after 24 hours, at which time you can:
  • Download partial results—The messages and files that Vault retrieved up to that point are available for download. Also included is a CSV file that lists accounts that have not yet been exported.
  • Continue an export—Vault resumes where it left off, retrieving additional messages and files for another 24 hours. You can continue an export as many times as necessary to retrieve all messages and files that match your search query.

If you do not download partial results or resume a paused export before 15 days have elapsed, the export is deleted.

August 12, 2015: Changes to the way you work with holds
We’re introducing several improvements to the way Vault administrators create and manage holds:
  • Assign hold privileges based on organizational units—Vault administrators can be limited to creating and managing holds for users within specific organizational units rather than an entire domain.
  • Holds based on organizational units—Previously, you could create holds for specific user accounts or an entire domain. Now you can create holds that apply to all members of a specific organizational unit.
  • More intuitive hold functionality—Previously, if you removed all accounts from a hold, Vault would apply the hold to all accounts in the domain. Now, you’re prompted to delete a hold if you try to remove all accounts.
  • Enhanced user interface—The language and interface for applying holds is improved and is similar to the recently updated retention flow.
July 6, 2015: A change to the way you set new retention rules
The way you set new retention rules has changed. This change does not affect your current retention settings. Existing rules continue to retain and delete messages according to their original configuration. With the change, you're now prompted to select one of the following options when you set up a new rule, or modify an existing rule:
  • Retention rule applies to deleted messages only—If you select this option, the rule only affects messages that have been deleted by users. This is the default option for new rules and is equivalent to adding label:^deleted to a custom retention rule.
  • Retention rule applies to deleted messages and messages in user mailboxes—If you select this option, the rule applies to all messages except those that meet any custom rules or holds you specify. If you open an existing custom retention rule that uses label:^deleted, it has this option selected. However, your custom rule continues to work according to your original configuration, overrides the option, and only deleted messages are affected.

Remember: Vault is fully integrated with Gmail, and there is no separate archive. Choosing the second option above means that you want the rule to apply to all messages, whether users have marked the messages for deletion or not. This option can potentially delete messages that your users expect to keep. For example, if you set a default retention rule to retain messages for 365 days and select the second option (to apply to all messages), and you have no custom rules or holds, Vault deletes every message in your domain that is older than 1 year.

Setting up the retention policies that your organization needs can be complicated, so we've put together this article to help you. Contact G Suite Support if you need any additional help.

April 8, 2015: Full support for Hangouts chats

Vault now fully supports Hangouts chats. You can retain, hold, search, and export chats that occur within Hangouts with history turned on. Additionally, administrators can now control whether history is on or off.

Full Vault support is only available for Hangouts that take place after this date. For Hangouts that occurred before this feature was launched:

  • only on-the-record chats can be searched, exported, and placed on hold
  • retention policies are not properly applied to Hangouts messages


December 23, 2014: System and user labels included with message preview and export

Vault previews and exports now include several additional pieces of information to help you analyze messages:

  • Message previewsYou can now view system labels, which show the status of each message from the message owner's perspective. You can also see any labels applied to the message by the user.
  • Message exportsYou can now view any labels applied to the message by the user.
September 29, 2014: Organizational unit-based matter collaboration

A G Suite admin can now restrict access to matters based on organizational units. If this is enabled, a Vault user can share matters only with members of the specified organizational units and their sub-units. Learn more about Vault privileges and how to assign them.

September 4, 2014: No limits on searching large domains

Vault no longer restricts how many accounts you can search for email. Please note that you may experience delays when searching and counting over domains with more than 50,000 accounts.

July 9, 2014: Improved error reporting

Vault now reports additional information when emails in Gmail or files in Drive are unavailable for export. Learn more about error reports.

June 25, 2014: Vault for Drive and G Suite Business

Vault for Drive

Vault's robust functionality now includes another data source—Drive—so that your organization can find even more business-critical content. Vault for Drive comes at no additional cost for Vault customers and works with existing Drive content in your users' accounts. Postini customers transitioning to Vault will also be able to use Vault for Drive at no additional cost once the transition is complete.

With Vault for Drive, here’s what you can do with all of your Drive content, including both Google documents (such as Docs, Sheets, Slides) and other stored files (like DOCX, PDF, and JPEG):

  • Search for specific users’ Drive files.
  • Preview search results in Vault to make sure you find just what you need.
  • Create copies of search results and export them for future use.

Setting retention policies, creating holds, and conducting domain-wide searches for Drive content are not available at this time. Get started searching for files in Google Drive.

G Suite Business

G Suite Business is the enhanced office suite. In addition to everything available in G Suite Basic, it includes unlimited Google Drive storage and Google Vault for everyone in your organization, plus additional Drive administration, audit, and reporting features. Learn more about G Suite Business.

If your organization uses partial-domain licensing and you upgrade to G Suite Business, Vault is automatically available to everyone. All users will be subject to your current data retention and deletion policies. Read About upgrading to G Suite Business to ensure you don't accidentally lose data.
June 19, 2014: Exclude email drafts

You can more easily exclude email drafts from searches, and when creating retention rules and holds.

May 30, 2014: Assign Vault privileges based on organization unit

The Manage Exports and Manage Searches privileges can now be granted to a user for an entire organization, or only for specific organizational units (OUs). For example, you can assign a Vault administrator the Manage Searches privilege for your whole organization and the Manage Exports privilege for one OU. Privileges are still assigned in the Admin console by your G Suite administrator.

May 14, 2014: Improved options for setting custom and default retention periods

The options for setting or modifying retention periods are now more clear, and we’ve added safeguards when setting a retention period for a specified number of days.

May 1, 2014: Organizational unit-based search

Vault users can now search for data within a specific organizational unit (OU), in addition to searching the entire domain or searching by user account. Searching within an OU reduces the number of irrelevant search results that a domain-wide search can produce, and eliminates the need to specify individual accounts. When performing a search within a matter, select Organization then select the OU you want to search. Accounts cannot be included in an OU-based search, but you can still optionally specify a date range and search terms.

January 21, 2014: Targeted legal holds

Admins can now hold specific messages—for example, from a certain date or with certain terms—for indefinite preservation in Vault. Only messages that meet the specified parameters are preserved. Previously, Vault admins had to put an entire user account on hold to preserve messages in that account. Holding an entire account is still possible.  Learn more about the two types of holds.

December 5, 2013: Improved preview for custom retention rules

The preview function allows Vault admins to examine the content that a custom retention rule will retain once it is set. Admins no longer have to enter a username. When admins click the Preview button, Vault displays results based on what the admin selected—a specific OU or the whole domain. Previously, admins had to enter a username to preview the results of a custom rule. Learn more about retention rules.

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