Vault retention FAQ

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

Yes. Retention rules affect all supported data types, existing and newly created.

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

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

Does Vault retain, hold, and search all Groups messages?

Vault can hold, retain, and search messages in groups that have archiving is turned on. However, group owners can turn archiving on or off for their groups. If a group owner turns archiving off, the messages from that group are still available in user mailboxes.

If I create retention rules in Vault, should I also use email and chat auto-deletion in the Google Admin console?

We recommend you don’t use both. If you create retention rules with Vault, a Google Workspace administrator should disable email and chat auto-deletion in the Google Admin console.

Email and chat auto-deletion rules apply to messages visible in users’ mailboxes only and don’t affect message availability to Vault or Vault retention rules. Auto-deletion rules can’t preserve messages longer than Vault retention rules. They can remove email and chat messages from users’ mailboxes sooner than Vault retention rules, but those messages are retained and remain available to Vault until both Gmail’s 30-day preservation policy and any Vault retention rules expire. Learn more

How are Gmail conversations retained?
  • If any message in a conversation is being retained by a retention rule, the entire conversation is also retained.
  • When all retention rules expire, only those messages in a conversation that are covered by expired rules are expunged. Messages in the conversation that have no applicable retention rules remain available to Vault.
  • Search results show only one email per thread. To view the entire thread, click the message.
  • The "conversation view" setting in user's account has no effect on these behaviors.
How do labels affect retention?

When you apply a label in Gmail, the label is applied only to messages already in that conversation. Future messages in that conversation are not automatically labeled. If a label-based custom retention rule applies to a message in a conversation, the rule retains all messages in that conversation until the date that the last labeled email is to be removed from the user’s mailbox. Replies to the last labeled message do not extend the retention period for that conversation. Learn more.

Can I use retention rules to preserve files stored in Google Drive?

Yes, you can create retention rules for files in users' Drives and for files in shared drives.

How do retention rules affect draft messages?

Vault treats undeleted draft messages just like every other message. If you create a default or custom retention rule, undeleted draft messages in your domain are also retained by the rule. You can choose Exclude drafts when creating a retention rule, and that rule will not affect draft messages.

If a draft is deleted without being sent, it is expunged 30 days later regardless of retention policies or holds.

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