Set expiration for Microsoft 365 groups

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In this blog post I will go through the process of enabling 365 Group expiration. I will also assign a default owner to 365 groups where no owner exists.

Please note:

  • Groups with user activities are automatically renewed as the expiration nears so the group will not be deleted unless there is no user activity. With Azure AD intelligence, groups are now automatically renewed based on whether they have been recently used. This feature eliminates the need for manual action by group owners, because it’s based on user activity in groups across Microsoft 365 services like Outlook, SharePoint, or Teams. For example, if an owner or a group member does something like upload a document in SharePoint, visit a Teams channel, or send an email to the group in Outlook, the group is automatically renewed and the owner does not get any renewal notifications.
  • Owners of the group are notified to renew the group, if the group is not auto renewed, for example, no user activity.
  • Any group that is not renewed is deleted and can be be restored within 30 days by the group owners or the administrators.
  • You can only set an expiration policy for Microsoft 365 groups in Azure AD
  • Currently, only one expiration policy can be configured for all Microsoft 365 groups in an Azure AD organisation
  • Configuring and using the expiration policy for Microsoft 365 groups requires you to possess but not necessarily assign Azure AD Premium licenses for the members of all groups to which the expiration policy is applied.
  • When you first set up expiration, any groups that are older than the expiration interval are set to 35 days until expiration unless the group is automatically renewed or the owner renews it
  • When a dynamic group is deleted and restored, it’s seen as a new group and re-populated according to the rule. This process can take up to 24 hours.
  • Expiration notices for groups used in Teams appear in the Teams Owners feed.
  • If groups are not automatically renewed, email notifications are sent to the Microsoft 365 group owners 30 days, 15 days, and 1 day prior to expiration of the group
  • Owners are sent an email to confirm when the group is deleted with the option to click a link to restore the group for up to 30 day
  • When a group expires and is deleted, 30 days after deletion the group’s data from apps like Planner, Sites, or Teams is permanently deleted, but the group mailbox that is on legal hold is retained and is not permanently deleted.
  • If you have set up a retention policy for Microsoft 365 groups, when a group expires and is deleted, the group conversations in the group mailbox and files in the group site are retained in the retention container for the specific number of days defined in the retention policy. Users won’t see the group or its content after expiration, but can recover the site and mailbox data via e-discovery.

Let’s get started with configuring Microsoft 365 group expiration

  1. Login to the Azure Portal
  2. Click Azure AD or browse and click using the search box
  3. Click Groups

4. Click Expiration


– Specify the number of days for group expiry
– Add a contact email address or use several email addresses by separating them with a semicolon ;
– If you wish to apply the policy to all 365 groups, select All
– If you wish to select a number of 365 groups, click Selected and locate the groups you would like to apply the expiration policy.

Remove Microsoft 365 group expiration policy

In the event you need to remove the policy

  1. Select Azure Active Directory > Groups > Expiration
  2. Set Enable expiration for these Microsoft 365 groups to None

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