Increase One Drive For Business default 30 day retention Limit

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When a user account is deleted from the active users page located in the Microsoft 365 admin center, you can choose what you want to do with the user’s product licenses, email, and One Drive for business account.

You may grant another user access to the mailbox. This process converts the user’s mailbox to a shared mailbox. The benefit of shared mailboxes is that they don’t require a license.

But, today I would like to discuss what happens to the user’s One Drive For Business account upon account deletion and how you can increase the default 30 day retention limit.

If configured, by default, when a user is deleted, the user’s manager is automatically given access to the user’s OneDrive. In the event a manager is not configured, you will still receive a few options before hitting the button to delete the account. One of these options highlighted below allows you to give another user access to the leavers One Drive For Business files for 30 days after the user is deleted. You can also specify a secondary owner which I will cover further down this post.

30 days is the default limit to retain One Drive files after user deletion, but what if you wanted to retain the data for longer. There is an option to extend the default 30 day limit for all one drive for business accounts upon account deletion.

1. Login to the One Drive Admin center (admin.onedrive.com)
2. Click Storage from the left pane

3. Amend the 30 day limit as required. The maximum retention for One drive files after a user is marked for deletion is 3650 days. If you attempt to add a figure above 3650 days the figure will default to the maximum after clicking save and revisiting the storage section.

The user granted access will receive an email with a link and further instructions for accessing the deleted user’s OneDrive files.

As mentioned above, by default, when a user is deleted, the user’s manager is automatically given access to the user’s OneDrive. But what if a manager is not set and the admin accidentally bypasses the prompt to assign the OneDrive account to another user? You could assign a secondary owner in case a user doesn’t have a specified manager.

  1. To perform this action, visit the Sharepoint admin center

2. Click More features

3. Click Open User profiles

4. Click Setup My Sites under My Site Settings

5. Scroll down and locate My Site Cleanup

Specify a secondary owner account. This account will be the appointed owner of the OneDrive account if the user’s manager isn’t set in Azure AD. Email notifications will also be sent to the secondary owner account when the value is populated.

Notes:
Upon reaching the retention limit, the OneDrive account for the deleted user is moved to the site collection recycle bin, where it is kept for 93 days. During this time, users will no longer be able to access any shared content in the OneDrive but you can restore the account via Powershell.

If a OneDrive is put on hold as part of an eDiscovery case, managers and secondary owners will be sent email about the pending deletion, but the OneDrive won’t be deleted until the hold is removed.

The Recycle Bin is not indexed and therefore searches do not find content there. This means that an eDiscovery hold can’t locate any content in the Recycle Bin in order to hold it.

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