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SharePoint is a web-based collaboration and document management solution with more than 200 million monthly active users, including 85% of Fortune 500 companies (Source: Microsoft). SharePoint is primarily used as a data storage location for other Microsoft 365 apps as well as to communicate information across the organization. Widespread adoption of SharePoint by businesses also means that there is an increased risk of data loss due to a wide variety of reasons. Since Microsoft is not responsible for backing up your data, retaining SharePoint data is the responsibility of IT administrators so that business data is available at all times.
Learn more about the differences between OneDrive and SharePoint.
Here is a diagram that shows the default data retention steps in SharePoint and how data can be restored by users and administrators within specific timeframes.
Note: The retention period begins when something is first deleted and does not change if the deleted item moves from the first-stage to second-stage Recycle Bins.
Files stored in SharePoint and OneDrive can be retained if a retention policy or retention label is applied to them. They can be used together or separately according to data type and your business requirements. Retention policy is used to assign the same retention setting for content at a site or mailbox level. Retention label is used to assign retention settings at an item level (to a particular document, file, or an email).
To know when to use retention policies and labels, how to create them, and how they differ from each other, click here.
To know more about these principles, click here.
If you want to know how to lock a retention policy, click here.
To know how to create an eDiscovery hold, click here.
Step 1: Navigate to the library you want to enable versioning
Step 2: Click on the Settings icon and select ‘Library settings’
Step 3: Click on ‘Versioning settings’
Step 4: Configure the settings and click on ‘OK’
While the native settings offered by Microsoft are helpful in retaining your data, they do not serve as a backup solution. Microsoft is not responsible for backing up your data and they recommend using third-party apps for backup. Here is what Microsoft says in their Services Agreement (Section 6.b).
“WE STRIVE TO KEEP THE SERVICES UP AND RUNNING; HOWEVER, ALL ONLINE SERVICES SUFFER OCCASIONAL DISRUPTIONS AND OUTAGES, AND MICROSOFT IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DISRUPTION OR LOSS YOU MAY SUFFER AS A RESULT. IN THE EVENT OF AN OUTAGE, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETRIEVE YOUR CONTENT OR DATA THAT YOU’VE STORED. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU REGULARLY BACKUP YOUR CONTENT AND DATA THAT YOU STORE ON THE SERVICES OR STORE USING THIRD-PARTY APPS AND SERVICES.”
Limitations of Native Retention Settings: The native retention settings offered by Microsoft do not serve as an effective data backup and recovery option. Having a third-party backup solution will shield your data during data loss incidents.
Unlimited Public sites restore
Restore any file with folder structure
Restore past version automatically
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