When the University migrated email services to Office 365 in 2015, some of the previously configured system settings were not retained – including the Deleted Items Retention Policy. IT Services will be reinstating this system setting on Monday, August 15th, 2016.
The Deleted Items Retention Policy was not automatically migrated from our previous Exchange environment and has been inactive since late summer 2015.
This was an oversight when testing the migration tool. The setting did not carry forward and was unnoticed due to the minimal impact it caused (as a result of everyone having a lot more available space in their email, in general).
All users on the Office 365 system do not currently have a Retention Policy on their Deleted Items folder, meaning that anything put into the Deleted Items folder (via deletion or otherwise) will not be automatically purged after a pre-determined period of time. This pre-determined period of time was previously configured as 7 days in the Exchange environment and will be reinstated as 14 days in Office 365.
Once ITS reinstates the Deleted Items Retention Policy in Office 365, it may take a few days before it affects your personal mailbox. Once it does take effect for you, any email in your Deleted Items folder deleted more than 14 days prior will be purged (deleted from your Deleted Items folder automatically, by Office 365). Going forward, email messages will stay in your Deleted Items for 14 days after deletion and then they will be automatically purged.
If you need to recover email that has been purged from your Deleted Items folder due to this retention policy, you can do so for up to another 14 days after they are purged (28 days after initial deletion, total). Once the 14 day recovery period has passed, those emails are no longer recoverable (they are permanently and irreversibly deleted). Please see the links below for information on how to recover email that has been purged from your Deleted Items folder:
--- Recovery instructions for Outlook 2013 and 2016:
--- Recovery instructions for Outlook on the web: