Configuring a SharePoint Data Retention Policy for New Collaborate

FYI's New Collaborate feature utilises SharePoint as a secure way to send documents to clients but is not intended to be a permanent secure vault. It is important for your practice to maintain the number of documents shared using this tool. By implementing a SharePoint Data Retention Policy you can automatically remove documents after a specific timeframe.

Note: A data retention policy is an optional requirement for New Collaborate. It is a Microsoft feature only available to practices with a Microsoft Business Premium or higher licence.

FYI recommends having your practice's OneDrive administrator, or IT professional create a Data Retention Policy in Microsoft Purview. This will allow your practice to continue sharing via secure links with clients. More information about Data Retention policies can be accessed from the Microsoft article Create and configure retention policies.

Before you Begin

Important Notes

  • The policy must be set against the account that is selected as the FYI OneDrive Admin.
  • The policy could take up to 7 days to take effect.
  • The exact setting to which documents are auto-archived will depend on what is suitable for your practice. We recommend setting this to 18 months.
  • Deleted files will no longer be available for clients to access using the share links your practice previously provided them.
  • You will still have your FYI copy of each of these documents, the client’s Collaborate copy is the only item being removed.

SharePoint Locations

The steps below cover applying a Data Retention policy for all SharePoint sites. 

If you have multiple SharePoint sites, you can optionally edit your Retention Policy to limit it to just your new Collaborate SharePoint. Once your new Collaborate site has been created, edit your Data Retention Policy and enter your Collaborate Site URL. Refer to the section Limiting the Data Retention Policy to a single SharePoint site for instructions.

For more information on Configuring the Location Names refer to the Microsoft article Configuration information for SharePoint sites and OneDrive accounts.


Create a Data Retention Policy

The following steps are a recommendation only. Please refer to your IT Administrator to confirm the requirements for your practice. 

To create a Data Retention Policy, you will need to access Microsoft Purview. In Microsoft Purview:

  1. Select Data lifecycle management > Microsoft 365 > Retention Policies.
  2. Click + New Retention Policy.
  3. Set the name and a description for the policy so that it is clear what the policy is set up to achieve, for example, 60 Days Retention Policy. Click Next.
  4. Select Static as the option for Choose the type of retention policy to create. Click Next.
  5. For Choose where to apply this policy, enable SharePoint classic and communication sites


  6. Set all other toggles off and click Next.
  7. On the next screen, select Retain items for a specific period and set the drop-down value to Custom. This will allow you to specify your desired retention period, for example, 2 months (for a 60-day retention).
  8. From the Start the retention period based on drop-down, select "When items were last modified".
  9. Ensure that the option for At the end of the retention period is set to Delete Items automatically. 

  10. Click Next.
  11. Review the settings and click Submit to save the policy.
  12. The policy will then be applied to your OneDrive site within 7 days.


Once the retention policy is in effect, documents will be automatically deleted from the Collaborate site after the specified period.

Limiting the Data Retention Policy to a single SharePoint site

Once your site has been created, you can limit the Data Retention policy to a single SharePoint site only.

  1. Open Microsoft Purview.
  2. Click on your Retention Policy and click Edit.
  3. The Name will be displayed. Click Next.
  4. The Type of Data Retention Policy will be displayed (this cannot be amended once the policy has been created). Click Next.
  5. The Locations will be displayed. For the SharePoint classic and communication sites click the Edit button.
  6. Copy and paste your practice's SharePoint Collaborate Site URL into the text box and click the + to add the site to the list.

  7. Once added to the list, tick the box next to the site, and click Done.

  8. The SharePoint row will show "1 site". Click Next.
    If the site URL is invalid an error will be displayed at the end when submitting the changes.
  9.  The Retention Settings will be displayed. Click Next.
  10. Click Submit to save the changes.
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