As part of your Google Workspace data eDiscovery projects, you can use holds to preserve items in Drive, including Google Meet recordings, indefinitely to meet legal or preservation obligations. You can apply a hold to individual accounts or all accounts in an organizational unit, and optionally include shared drives. Holds override retention rules, so data on hold is protected from your normal data governance rules that might purge it otherwise.
If a user who's subject to a hold deletes items in Drive and empties the Trash, the items are removed from the user's view, but the items are still available to Vault. As long as the hold is in place, you can search and export all items.
For more information about holds, see the holds FAQ.Holds apply only to items created by users in your organization
Items created by external users and shared with users in your organization aren't subject to your organization’s retention rules or holds.
When you create a hold, files covered by the hold will remain visible to the user, even if a retention rule should have removed the files from that user's view.
- A hold on Drive applies to items owned by and directly shared with the users or organizations covered by the hold. This includes items in a shared drive that are directly shared with a user, regardless of whether the user is a member of that shared drive. This doesn't include folders or Drive shortcuts.
- You can't place a shared drive on hold. Instead you must place its members on hold and check the Include Shared Drives box.
- a shared drive member:
- moves a file out of a shared drive, and that member isn't on hold.
- removes a member that's currently on hold from the shared drive, and there are no other shared drive members on hold.
- no shared drive member is on hold.
When a shared drive is deleted, files in the deleted shared drive are subject to the following holds scenarios:
If a user is a member of the deleted shared drive as an individual (not a member through a group) and is subject to a hold, then all files in the shared drive are preserved until the hold is removed. After the hold on the user is removed, and if the files aren't subject to another hold or retention rule, they are deleted.
If a user isn't a member of the deleted shared drive but has access to a file in the shared drive as an individual (not as a member of a group) and that user is subject to a hold, then only that file is preserved until the hold on the user is removed. Files that don't match a retention rule or hold are deleted.
Place Drive on hold
- Create or open the matter that will contain the hold.
- Click Create Hold.
- Enter a unique name for the hold.
- Choose the type of hold: Drive.
- Use the drop-down list to apply the hold to either individual accounts or to an entire organizational unit:
- Accounts—enter one or more email addresses for the accounts that are subject to this hold.
- Organization—Choose an organizational unit from the drop-down list.
- Check the Include files from associated shared drives box to include shared drive content accessible by the users subject to this hold, in addition to their own Drive content.
- Click Save to create the hold.
Modify an existing hold on Drive
You can change some of the criteria of a hold. However, you can't change the data type.
- Open the matter that contains the hold.
- Click the hold, then click Edit Hold.
- Modify any of the following criteria:
- Accounts—Add or remove accounts or organizational units. You cannot add accounts to a hold that covers an organizational unit, nor can you add organizational units to a hold that covers individual accounts. Additionally, If you remove all users, you're prompted to delete the hold.
- Include files from associated shared drives–Change this setting as desired to include or exclude files in shared drives.
- Click Save.