Retain Google Sites data with Vault

As part of your organization's information governance plan, you can control how long Google Sites data is retained. Use retention rules to set how long to keep sites and when to delete them, if ever. By default, sites are subject to retention rules for Drive because they're stored in Drive. To manage the retention of sites separately from other Drive items, you can set Sites-specific retention rules. These rules don't take effect until you enable Sites retention rules in Vault's retention settings.

Set custom retention rules to keep data that matches specific conditions for set time. Set a default retention rule when you need to keep all data for a service for all licensed accounts in your organization for a set time. Custom retention rules override default retention rules, even when the default retention rule has a longer retention period.

Before you set retention rules, we strongly recommend you read about how retention works and review supported data types for Sites.

WARNING: An improperly configured retention rule can allow Sites to immediately and irreversibly purge data. Use caution when you create or change retention rules. We recommend that you test new rules on a small set of accounts before you apply the rules to your entire organization.

Important information about Sites and retention

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Don't enable retention for Sites until you create retention rules

Sites-specific retention is disabled by default and sites are retained according to Drive retention rules. If you turn on Sites retention before you set Sites retention rules, sites aren't protected from deletion. Some sites might be purged during this lapse in retention coverage because they're no longer protected by Drive retention rules.

Drive holds always apply to Sites files

When you turn on Sites-specific retention rules, Drive holds still apply to sites.

Set a custom retention rule for Sites

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retentionand thenCustom Rulesand thenCreate.
  3. For the service, select Sites and then click Continue.
  4. Choose an entity:
    • Organizational unit—Apply the rule to a specific organizational unit:
      1. Click the field and choose an organizational unit.
      2. (Optional) To apply the rule to shared drives that accounts in the selected organizational unit are members of, enable Include results from shared drives.
    • All shared drives—Apply the rule to all shared drives in your organization.
    • Specific shared drives—Apply the rule to a shared drive shared with a specific account.
      1. Click Add shared drives.
      2. Enter one or more accounts and click Find.
      3. Select one or more shared drives.
      4. Click Add.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Choose how long to keep files:

    • To permanently retain files covered by this rule, select Indefinitely.
    • To discard files after a set time:
      1. Select Retention period.
      2. Enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
      3. Select the reference time for the start of the retention period.
  7. If you set a duration, choose what to do with sites after the retention period ends:
    • To purge only sites that users permanently deleted, choose the first option.
    • To purge all sites, choose the second option. This rule can purge both deleted sites and sites still in users' Drives.

      Warning: If you enabled dedicated Sites rules, Vault immediately allows Sites to purge data that exceeds the retention duration when you create a rule. This data might include sites users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.

  8. Click Create. If you set a retention period, Vault asks you to confirm you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept to create the rule.

Set the default retention rule for Sites

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

When turned on, the default Sites retention rule applies to all sites that aren't covered by a custom rule or a hold, including sites in My Drive and in shared drives.

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retention. The list of default retention rules opens.
  3. Click Sites "".
  4. Choose how long to keep files:

    • To permanently retain files covered by this rule, select Indefinitely.
    • To discard files after a set time:
      1. Select Retention period.
      2. Enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500.
      3. Select the reference time for the start of the retention period.
  5. If you set a duration, choose what to do with sites after the retention period ends:
    • To purge only sites that users deleted, choose the first option.
    • To purge all sites, choose the second option. This rule can purge both deleted sites and sites in users' Drives.

      Warning: If you enabled dedicated Sites rules, Vault immediately allows Sites to purge sites that exceed the retention duration when you save the rule. This data might include sites users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.

  6. Click Save. Vault asks you to confirm you understand the rule's effects. Check the boxes and click Accept to save the rule.

(Optional) Enable dedicated retention rules for Sites

These steps are for new Vault (vault.google.com). Go to steps for classic Vault

Sites data is retained by Drive retention rules until you change Vault settings and enable Sites retention rules.

To apply Sites retention rules to Sites data instead of Drive retention rules:

  1. Sign in to vault.google.com.
  2. Click Retentionand thenSettings.
  3. Next to Sites, select Retained by Sites rule.
  4. Click Save.

Use classic Vault

Click below to open steps for classic Vault (ediscovery.google.com). Go to steps for new Vault

Set retention rules for Sites in ediscovery.google.com

Create a custom retention rule for Sites

  1. Sign in to Vault and click Retention.
  2. Click Create Rule.
  3. Choose Sites and choose an entity from the entity menu:
    • Organizational unit:
      1. Click the menu and choose an organizational unit
      2. (Optional) Check Include results from shared drives if you want this rule to apply to sites in shared drives associated with accounts in the organizational unit.
    • All shared drives—Apply the rule to all shared drives in the organization.
    • Specific shared drives— Click Find shared drives to enter a member account and apply the rule to a specific shared drive.
  4. Choose how long to keep sites:
    • To permanently retain sites covered by this rule, choose Indefinitely.
    • To discard sites after a set time, enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500. Choose the reference date for the duration, either when a site was created, when it was last modified, or when it was moved to trash.
  5. If you set a duration, choose what to do with sites after the retention period ends:
    • To purge only sites that users permanently deleted, choose the first option.
    • To purge all sites, choose the second option. This rule can purge both deleted sites and sites still in users' Drives.

      Warning: If you enabled dedicated Sites rules, Vault immediately allows Sites to purge data that exceeds the retention duration when you create a rule. This data might include sites users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.

  6. Click Save to create the rule. Vault asks you to confirm you understand the effects of this retention rule. Check the boxes and click Confirm to create the rule.

Set a default retention rule for Sites

The default retention rule applies to all sites that aren't covered by a custom rule or a hold, including sites in My Drive and in shared drives.

  1. Sign in to Vault and click Retention.
  2. On the list of Default retention rules, click Sites.
  3. Check the box to Set a default retention rule for Sites.
  4. Choose whether to keep sites indefinitely or expunge them after a set time.
  5. Choose how long to keep sites:
    • To permanently retain all sites, choose Indefinitely.
    • To discard sites after a set time, enter the number of days, from 1 to 36,500. Choose the reference date for the duration: when a site was created or when it was last modified.
  6. If you set a duration, choose what to do with sites after the retention period expires:
    • To expunge only the sites that users permanently deleted, choose the first option.
    • To expunge all sites, choose the second option. This rule can expunge both deleted sites and sites in users' Drives.
  7. Click Save to create the rule. Vault asks you to confirm you understand the effects of this retention rule. Check the boxes and click Confirm to create the rule.

(Optional) Enable dedicated retention rules for Sites

After you create retention rules for Sites, you can apply those rules to your organization's sites:

  1. Sign in to Vault and click Retention.
  2. Click Settings and check the box for Sites.
  3. Click Save.
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