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Retention policy not deleting

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I've set retention policies up they seem to be working, in Outlook and OWA I see the bar about this item will expire in X days. On the Junk E-Mail folder I've got it set to delete after 30 days but it's not deleting the items. In the retention policy bar it says this item is expired but it's not deleted it. If I check the same message in OWA I get a message saying this item expires in 0 days to keep this item longer apply a different policy.

I've checked the policy settings and it definitely says after 30 days the retention action is delete.

The messages I'm looking at should have gone on the 10th so they are 4-5 days older than the should be.

Any ideas?

All Replies
  • Hello Crock,

    Thank you for your post.

    As I understand, you noticed that some emails in the Junk E-mail folder are not been deleted after 30 days.

    To help to troubleshoot this problem, please try the steps below and check what happens.

    1. Connect Windows Powershell to Exchange Online.

    2. Run the following command to start the Managed Folder Assistant for a specific mailbox.

        Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity <name of the mailbox>

    3. Access your mailbox via OWA at to check if the problem can be resolved.

    Additional Information
    Set Up and Manage Retention Policies in Exchange Online

    Thank you.
    Jack Sun

  • Well that sorted it. Bit suprised it was half working in that the policy showed but didn't do anything to start with, I'll keep an eye on it and check stuff for tomorrow dissapears.


  • OK so I checked again this morning expecting some more items to be deleted but again they haven't.

    Reading the documentation is states it goes through every mailbox over a 7 day period. Does this mean then that items will be marked for deletion after the retention period but could hang around for up to seven days after this??

  • OK I left it another week but I've still got items that should have dissapeared over a week ago so it doesn't appear to have worked in the way I thought above. Any ideas?

  • OK it did it at some point in the last 12 hours so it looks like it can take up to 8 days to trigger, or is someone reading these and fixing things in the background ??? I doubt it :-)

  • I've left this a few months and it's still not working correctly.

    I've got a retention tag set for Junk E-mail to be deleted after 30 days and it's in our standard policy.

    When I look at an email in the Junk E-mail folder it shows the policy correctly and a 30 day expiry date but they don't get deleted. I know the service is working, if I move something over 30 days into the deleted folder and run the start-managedfolderassistant cmdlet then it purges it but it never looks at the Junk E-mail folder, every other folder works fine though.

    Is there something special about this folder that I'm missing?

  • Hi Crock,

    I would recommend you run the managed folder assistant which will force the updated retention  policies to be applied to your users, you can do this in PowerShell with the following commands:

    $Mailbox = get-mailbox -resultsize Unlimited

    $Mailbox | ForEach-Object {Start-ManagedFolderAssistant -Identity $_.UserPrincipalName}