Microsoft to Introduce Auto-Expiration for Teams Meeting Recordings

Only for New Recordings

Updated 31 August, 2021

Announced in MC274188 (July 30), in late September, Microsoft will roll-out meeting recording auto-expiration for new Teams meeting recordings (TMRs) stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (Microsoft 365 roadmap item 84580). The new feature will move the MP4 files used for TMRs to the site recycle bin when their expiration date lapses. For enterprise users, the expiration period is 60 days after the creation of the recording. A reduced period of 30 days applies for academic users with the Office 365 A1 license. Once in the recycle bin, the MP4 files follow the standard SharePoint file deletion cycle. Auto-expiration for TMRs is available for all Office 365 and Microsoft 365 licenses which contain Teams.

Update: According to the roadmap item, the date for the introduction of the expiration period has moved out to October.

TMRs are the first workload to move video storage from the classic Stream Azure-based platform to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business (ODSP), From August 16, 2021, all new TMRs will be in ODSP. Even though tenants have a lot more storage quota available (especially in OneDrive for Business for recordings of personal meetings) than in Stream, the new policy aims to restrict the amount of storage occupied by TMRs (roughly 400 MB per hour).

Setting a New Expiration Period for TMRs

Microsoft says that 99% of TMRs are not watched again 60 days after the original meeting, which is why they’ve chosen this to be the default expiration period. Users can change the expiration period for individual TMRs by updating file properties through the file details pane (selecting preset values of 14, 30, or 60 days, a custom date, or Never Expire). Organizations can set a default expiration period for newly created TMRs using the Teams meeting policy assigned to user accounts. For example, to set the default expiration period for recordings of meetings made by people assigned the VIP User Meeting Policy, run the command:

Set-CSTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity "VIP User Meeting Policy" -MeetingRecordingExpirationDays 120

Originally, Microsoft’s documentation described a maximum expiration period is 99,999 days (273 years). Subsequently, problems emerged when tenants set such a high value and the safe limit was found to be 9,999 days, which should be more than enough to keep any normal recording (remember, you can apply a retention label to keep recordings for longer). The minimum is 1 day. The expiration period for A1 users can only be reduced from the default 30 days.

Background processes run to evaluate TMRs in ODSP to check their expiration date. If the expiration process detects an expired file, the process moves the file into the recycle bin and clears the expiration date field. Users receive email notifications when expired recordings move into the recycle bin. If necessary, they can rescue important recordings from the recycle bin for up to 90 days after deletion. Once moved back from the recycle bin, the recording has no retention date set and will therefore not be evaluated for deletion again.

To help users understand when a recording approaches expiration will see visual indications in:

  • Beside the link to the meeting recording in the meeting chat. Anyone with view access to the recording sees the expiration notice.
  • Two weeks before expiration, a red icon appears beside the MP4 files for TMRs in the Recordings folder of OneDrive for Business accounts (personal meetings) or SharePoint Online sites (channel meetings).

Auto-expiration applies only to new TMRs. Existing TMRs stored in either ODSP or Stream do not have an expiration period. Auto-expiration is only available for TMRs and cannot be used with other file types held in ODSP. Expiration dates are kept if users move recording files to a different site (it’s the same file). They are not when users copy recording files (it’s a different file). Downloading and uploading a recording creates a new file with no expiration date. If you want to be sure that the expiration process does not remove a Teams meeting recording, apply a retention label to the file.

Tenant administrators can track the creation of TMRs in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online by using PowerShell to extract and analyze audit events.

Auto-Expiration and Retention

Auto-expiration is a good housekeeping rather than a compliance feature. It will help organizations cope with a swelling collection of TMRs in user OneDrive for Business accounts and SharePoint Online sites but will do nothing to help with data governance. Two interesting developments due to arrive soon are automatic transcription for TMRs and indexing of transcripts. From a compliance perspective, this means that it will be possible to search for words spoken during a meeting and be able to put those words in the context they were spoken. Obviously, this is a big advance in compliance capabilities.

To take advantage of spoken word retrieval and make sure that transcripts and videos are available to eDiscovery investigators, you obviously need to retain TMRs. For this reason, a retention label on a TMR prevents the auto-expiration process removing recording files until the retention period assigned in the label lapses. Also, a retention label mandating deletion after a period takes precedence over auto-expiration, meaning that if the retention label has a shorter retention period than the auto-expiration date, that’s when SharePoint will remove the file.

Precedence applies for retention labels assigned manually or via an auto-label policy (available to tenants with Office 365 E5). Organizations which leverage retention labels to preserve the recordings of important Teams meetings might not see much change after Microsoft introduces the new auto-expiration feature.


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19 Replies to “Microsoft to Introduce Auto-Expiration for Teams Meeting Recordings”

  1. MC274188 says…

    You can use PowerShell to modify “MeetingRecordingExpirationDays.” This can be done at any time, as the setting is present in PowerShell today even though the feature is not yet enabled. An example command is: “Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy -Identity Global -MeetingRecordingExpirationDays 50”

    …and the parameter is documented (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/skype/set-csteamsmeetingpolicy?view=skype-ps),
    …but Microsoft say (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/cloud-recording?WT.mc_id=365AdminCSH_SupportCentral ; retrieved 2021-08-05)

    “The auto-expiration feature discussed in this article is not yet launched. Please refer to the roadmap (Feature ID: 84580) for more information on its delivery date.

    We are providing information about how this feature will work in the FUTURE, so that you are able to plan for this change and modify the Teams policy settings in advance.”

    When I – and others (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/answers/questions/456349/recording-expiry-time-days.html) try to set it on 5 August 2021, it doesn’t work.

      1. Acknowledged; but usually qualify such changes with “rolling out now”, so we know to try, expect it might not work, and to try again a while later. But nothing says that; some says “yes, do it now” while other elements say “this is for info only;”.

      2. It’s frustrating, but that’s the way Office 365 works. You can configure your tenants to use targeted release to have a better chance of picking up features earlier. That, and maybe using Teams in preview mode, will allow you to see features before the general public.

  2. Anyone figured out if moving a recording from the default folder will remove the “tag” for the delete process to kick in?

      1. I’m looking at my MP4 file in one drive and there is no indication in the file properties that it has an expiration date. Shouldn’t there be?

      2. The expiration date setting might not have reached your tenant yet. It typically takes four-six weeks to deploy a new feature to all tenants. When it arrives, only new recordings will receive expiration dates.

      3. Is the expiration date the same on channel meeting recordings as they are for personal meeting recordings? Do they both fall under the same policy? or are there different policy settings in powershell we can set for each type of recording?

  3. When it’s rolled out, will all old recordings automatically go the recycle bin, or will we get 60 days grae to sort ourselves out (I can’t currently see an option to proactively extend dates on important recordings).

  4. I noticed that if a meeting is recorded in an actual team, the MP4 is uploaded to Sharepoint, but if an ad hoc (peer to peer) meeting is recorded, that MP4 uploaded to onedrive. So these both default to a 60 day retention? Can you set a separate retention for the recorded files from a team vs a peer to peer meeting? Or are they all subject to the same retention settings?

    1. Ad hoc meetings are personal meetings and are therefore uploaded to the OneDrive of the person who starts the meeting. A single policy governs the expiration of meetings. If you want to differentiate, you’d need to use an auto-label policy to apply retention labels to specific locations.

  5. I am trying to change settings & getting below error:

    Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy: You are not permitted to invoke Set-CsTeamsMeetingPolicy with the following parameters: Meeting Recording Expiration Days

    1. Looks like Microsoft is making some changes on the back end to fix the problem with people setting the value to an invalid number (like 99,999 days). I’ll ping the developers to ask what’s going on.

  6. Message Center post MC274188 was updated yesterday (8/31/2021) to indicate the feature isn’t available yet and that they’ll update the post again when it is possible to modify the default value. The rollout timeframe has also been adjusted.

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