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 retained according to Sites-specific retention rules. To retain sites the same as other files in Drive, you can turn off Sites rules. Then sites are retained according to retention rules for Drive because they're stored in Drive. 

To keep data that matches specific conditions for a set time, create a custom retention rule. To keep all service data for all licensed accounts for a set time, create a default retention rule.

Important information about Sites and retention

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.

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Sites-specific retention is turned on until you switch to Drive retention

Sites-specific retention is turned on by default. When you have no rules set up and Sites-specific retention is turned on, users and admins can delete sites or keep them as long as they want.

To manage sites retention separate from Drive, set custom or default retention rules for Sites.

To manage sites the same as other files in Drive, change the retention setting to retain sites by Drive rules.

Drive holds always apply to Sites files

No matter how sites are retained (by Drive retention rules or Sites retention rules), Drive holds still apply to sites.

Set a custom retention rule for Sites

  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 purge files after a set time:
      1. Select Retention period.
      2. Enter the number of days of the retention period, from 1 to 36,500.
      3. Select when to start the file's retention period:
        1. To start the retention based on an event related to a file, click Start of retention periodand thenselect Date created, Date modified, or Date moved to trash
        2. To start the retention based on a Drive label’s date field condition (see Step 6), click Start of retention period and thenselect Date set on label date field. Then select a date field. The retention period for an item begins at the value of that date field. 
      4. Select what to do with files when the retention period ends:
        • Purge only permanently deleted items—This option purges expired items that are emptied from the Trash folder. Users don’t have access to them and don’t expect to keep them. To purge only files that are already emptied from the users' Trash, choose this option.
        • Purge all items in users’ Drives, including items that aren’t permanently deleted—This option purges all expired items, including items in users’ Drive folders. It might purge items users expect to keep. To purge all files, including files that aren't deleted, choose this option.
          Warning: Vault allows Drive to immediately purge files that exceed the retention period when you submit the rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  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: Sites-specific retention is turned on by default. When you create a Sites rule, Vault immediately allows Sites to purge data that exceeds the retention duration. 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, check the confirmation box and click Accept.

Set the default retention rule for Sites

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 purge files after a set time:
      1. Select Retention period.
      2. Enter the number of days of the retention period, from 1 to 36,500.
      3. Select when to start the file's retention period:
        1. To start the retention based on an event related to a file, click Start of retention periodand thenselect Date created, Date modified, or Date moved to trash
        2. To start the retention based on a Drive label’s date field condition (see Step 6), click Start of retention period and thenselect Date set on label date field. Then select a date field. The retention period for an item begins at the value of that date field. 
      4. Select what to do with files when the retention period ends:
        • Purge only permanently deleted items—This option purges expired items that are emptied from the Trash folder. Users don’t have access to them and don’t expect to keep them. To purge only files that are already emptied from the users' Trash, choose this option.
        • Purge all items in users’ Drives, including items that aren’t permanently deleted—This option purges all expired items, including items in users’ Drive folders. It might purge items users expect to keep. To purge all files, including files that aren't deleted, choose this option.
          Warning: Vault allows Drive to immediately purge files that exceed the retention period when you submit the rule. The purged data can include data that users expect to keep. Do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure the rule is configured correctly.
  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: Sites-specific retention is turned on by default. When you create a Sites rule, Vault immediately allows Sites to purge data that exceeds the retention duration. 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.

Turn dedicated retention rules for Sites on or off

Sites data is retained by Sites retention rules until you change Vault settings retain sites by Drive retention rules.

To choose which rules apply to sites, do the following steps:

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

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