Users attempting to delete SharePoint Online files assigned Microsoft 365 retention labels are blocked. That is, until a change arrives in November to make SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business behave in the same manner. It’s a good change because it avoid the scenario where users remove retention labels to delete files, which undermines the organization’s compliance strategy. Now, deleted items go into the preservation hold library and stay there until their retention period expires. My only complaint is that the control over the mechanism is not as simple as it should be, but that’s a small and relatively unimportant flaw in the overall scheme of things.
The preservation hold library is an important component of SharePoint Online retention processing. A change coming in November should simplify file handling and reduce the amount of storage taken up by retained files in the library. Basically, instead of storing multiple versions of a file, SharePoint Online will hold a single file containing all the updates. It seems like a good change to make. We’ll know more when it rolls out.
Microsoft is changing how the removal of an Office 365 retention policy affects the data held in the SharePoint Online Preservation Hold Library. Instead of an immediate purge, data will be kept for a period to allow administrators to recover it. Sounds like a good idea and it should help people rescue a situation when someone removes a retention policy in error. That is, if they notice that the policy is no longer in effect for a site.
If you’re interested in deploying backups for SharePoint Online, you might be doing so to prevent data loss through accidental user deletion. However, Office 365 retention labels and policies can help prevent accidental deletion too. And the best thing is that retention policies and labels are part of Office 365 E3, so you don’t have to pay more to get protection.