Get started: Postini customers

Congratulations on your recent transition to G Suite and Vault. We know you’re experienced with eDiscovery and are ready to get started.

Get started with search and export
Note: For comprehensive instructions about your Postini transition, and for a more detailed comparison of GMD and Vault features, see Getting started with Google Vault in the Postini Transition Guide.

1. Sign in to Vault

Vault's interface is separate from other Google services.

Sign in to Vault

2. Create a matter

A matter in Vault serves the same purpose as an investigation in Postini. It's a virtual container for all of the data related to an investigation. You can’t search Vault without one.

Unlike Postini, which always opens the last investigation you worked on, Vault requires you to create or choose a matter each time you sign in. This helps to ensure that your work is always associated with the correct matter.

You can easily share matters with others, including external users.

3. Search for Gmail and classic Hangouts messages

Searching for messages in a large domain with many users can be tricky. Sometimes you'll find too many messages, and other times you won’t find enough. However, with the right search terms, Vault can find just the messages you’re looking for.

Count your search results

A quick way to assess the effectiveness of your search is to use the Count results function, available from the Search drop-down arrow. Vault counts the number of messages that match your search criteria. You can then widen or narrow your search based on the requirements of your matter.

You found too many messages

To reduce the number of messages Vault has found for you:

  • Are you looking for messages sent by specific users? Enter a name in the Accounts field, or try using search operators like and
  • Looking for a specific phrase? In many organizations, Gmail contains millions of messages and most of the commonly used words in a given language. You may find the words you’re searching for occur regularly in messages that are not pertinent to your matter. Try grouping words into phrases with quotation marks.
  • Too many copies of the same message? Vault saves multiple versions of a message as the sender composes it. If you don't need this much detail, click the Exclude drafts box to remove these messages from your search results.
  • Do you want to eliminate certain messages from your search results? Use a hyphen (-) to subtract messages from your search. For example, -subject:vacation removes all messages that have a subject that includes the word "vacation."


You didn't find enough messages

To find more messages:

  • Review your search terms. They may be limiting your results.
  • You can only search for messages in accounts that have been assigned a Vault license. Messages in unlicensed accounts are not retained and are not accessible through Vault. If your organization uses partial-domain licensing, see Assign Vault licenses.
  • Vault returns a message's entire conversation collapsed into a single thread.

    Collapsed thread:


    Click the thread to expand it. Click individual messages to read them:

More search tips

Here are some additional queries you can use to find just the messages needed for your matter.

How to Example query
Find all messages sent to or from an external domain This query returns all messages exchanged with the external domain, regardless of sender:
( OR
Find only chat messages This query returns chat messages and excludes email messages:
Find some words but exclude others This query returns invite and invitational, but not invitation nor invited:
(invit* -invitation -invited)
Find words that are near each other in a message This query returns “don’t ever distribute” but excludes “don’t think we should distribute”. Use any number from 1 to 50.
("don't AROUND 3 distribute")
Exclude deleted messages with a user-applied label This query excludes all deleted messages that have had the “travel” label applied by the user:
-(label:^deleted AND label:travel)
Find specific types of attachments This query returns all messages with PDF attachments:
(has:attachment filename:pdf)
Exclude messages that have been quarantined.

This query excludes messages in admin quarantine:

Refine your search

While you're reviewing search results, the top of the screen shows the terms you just entered.

Click the search bar to bring up the quick-search form and modify your terms.

4. Search Drive for files

When you search for files in Drive, you have to search either by account names or by an organizational unit (with fewer than 5,000 users). Vault searches file names and the contents of supported file types.

File types indexed by Vault
Note: Google Apps for Government customers cannot search the contents of files. However, they can search file names and other file properties.
You can preview files from Google Apps and most types of user-uploaded files directly in Vault.

5. Save your search

Once you’ve finalized your search parameters, you can save the query and quickly perform this search later. Saved searches are dynamic; that is, your future searches will include messages and files created since the last time you searched.

6. Export and analyze

After you've found the messages or files needed for your matter: 

  1. Export search results.
  2. Start analyzing the exported files.

Other Vault tasks

If you have the appropriate Vault privileges, here are some other tasks you may need to perform:

  • You can preserve specific messages and file as required by your organization's retention obligations. Review your retention policies and update them as needed.
  • You can create holds to preserve data for individual users or organizational units. Messages and files subject to a hold are never deleted, regardless of retention settings. 
  • Review the privileges that control what other users can do within Vault.

Postini and Vault feature comparison

Now that you’ve completed the transition to G Suite, you may want to reevaluate to your organization’s eDiscovery policies and procedures to take advantage of the improvements that come with switching from GMD to Vault.

Vault feature Customer benefits
Built on G Suite and Gmail You have expanded search options:
  • Vault is integrated with other Google services, including chat and Drive.
  • There’s no limit on the number of accounts you can search or the date range you specify. You can search all Gmail messages in your domain with a single query.
  • Messages are available in Vault as soon as they are received by Gmail.
  • Vault fully supports the search operators used by Gmail and Drive, in addition to Boolean and wildcard searches.
Flexible retention policies You can now retain specific messages based on organizational unit, search terms, and/or date sent. Review your retention policies and update them as needed.
Note: Currently Vault cannot retain or hold files in Drive.
Targeted holds You can now create litigation holds based on user account, date sent, and/or search terms.
Unlimited retention Your organization is no longer restricted to GMD’s 10-year retention period. Vault can retain messages indefinitely.
In-place storage Because Vault is fully integrated with other Google services, there is no duplicate archive for you to maintain.

See the following sections for additional information about Vault features.

Postini features included with Vault

These features already exist in Vault and are ready for you to use today.

Postini feature Vault feature
Archived email search Search Gmail data

Search for and export messages in Gmail for eDiscovery and compliance purposes.

Advanced Boolean search Search operators

Use advanced search operators, including Boolean operators, Gmail operators, and the wildcard operator.

Identity lookup and search Search Gmail data 

Search for Gmail messages based on one or more user accounts.

Investigation management Organize and create matters

Create a matter to manage your investigations and organize your archive queries. In Vault, a matter is a container for all of the data related to a specific case or investigation.

User holds Litigation holds

Place an account on litigation hold to preserve a user's Gmail data. Access your held data in Vault via search.

Restrict searches Vault privileges

Configure roles for your domain, and then assign them to Vault users.

Message summaries, detailed message display, attachment viewing Preview search results

View search results, including message conversations, header details, and file contents, before you export.

Archive reports Reports and audits

Review the actions users have taken while signed in to Vault.

Place a hold on saved search results Targeted hold

Use holds to prevent messages from being purged from the archive. Holds can be targeted at individual users, organizational units, or at specified search terms.

Export saved results Export search results

Export messages and files for further analysis or to share with non-Vault users.

Retention based on organizational unit Retention rules

Set retention policies for individual users or organizational units.

Postini features not included with Vault

These features are not supported by Vault:

  • Catchall archiving—Vault doesn't archive users who aren't provisioned in G Suite.
  • Lotus Notes™ support—GMD supported the ingestion of Lotus Notes journals. Vault doesn't support Lotus Notes.
  • Non-standard Exchange journal ingestion—Vault only accepts standard RFC 822 MIME (or multipart) journals with journal reports in text or plain, or text or HTML MIME parts. Vault doesn’t accept journals in other formats, nor does it accept BCC-forwarded messages to the journal address that are not wrapped in a journal format.
  • Alerts on Exchange journals—Vault doesn't have capabilities to track Exchange journal flow from a customer’s email server and alert the customer administrators via email on events.
  • Saved search results—GMD supported the ability to save searches and save search results. Vault supports saving searches, but not results. To save results, users must export the data set or create a targeted legal hold.
  • Message size—Vault is built on Gmail, which can accept messages up to 25 MB in size, so users are limited to 25 MB per message.
  • My Investigation—This feature is no longer supported. Users wanting to run searches for discovery, or an investigation, or to place a legal hold must create a matter in Vault. This is equivalent to running a search through a named matter in GMD. Google transitions each user’s “My Investigation” to Vault.
  • Lookup—The GMD-specific feature to look up a user’s address is no longer supported, but Vault still enables users to find specific IDs. Vault automatically looks up a user ID as you type it in a the search box.
  • Company directory panel—In GMD, you could search for a user’s identity, which included all email addresses and aliases registered for that user on your message security service. This type of search is not supported in Vault.
  • Secure FTP transfer—GMD enabled secure FTP transfers of exports from the interface. Vault does not support this feature. However, in an upcoming release, Vault will enable you to manage exports in Drive, which will eliminate the need for FTP transfers.
  • Manual archive purge—While GMD supported manual archive purging, Vault only supports an auto-purge of data from the archive. However, Vault automatically reconciles multiple retention periods on a given document and any legal holds.
  • Sorting results by date, from, to, and subject—In Vault, sorting is limited to sorting results by date.
  • mail flow search—The feature is being retired and isn't included in Vault.
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