What’s included in the Preservation Hold Library in SharePoint?

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When you publish a Retention Policy to a SharePoint site configured to retain content for a specific period of time, it does its “magic” behind the scenes in a special place called the Preservation Hold Library (PHL). This is well-documented in many locations including the official docs.microsoft.com site, numerous other bloggers’ sites, as well as my own.

This post is not about that, but rather what’s included in the PHL.

I was recently asked a question around what type of content is included in the Preservation Hold library. Does it include only documents (primarily what organizations are interested in and what most posts refer to) or does it also include content stored in other locations across the site?

Great question! In case you were also wondering, here’s a list of the actions done on a site for the common types of content and what, if anything, is placed in the PHL when a retention policy is published to the site (without a conditional apply):

Key to know… retention will apply to ALL libraries and lists on the site including list item attachments, site pages, calendar events, and site assets.

A retention policy configured to delete content after the retention period will NOT delete the home page of a site (good thing!), however it will delete any of the images that may have been placed on pages (including the home page) as the images exist in the Site Assets library in a page-named folder and that library is also under retention.

Retention action

In the table above:

  • if versioning is enabled for a library, ALL versions will be copied to the PHL on document deletion
  • content on the site prior to the Retention Policy being published to it (“Existing” in table) and content added after the Retention Policy was published (“New” in table) behaves differently, thus the distinction

Let me know if you have other types of content you’d like me to test/add/include in the table above.

Thanks for reading.

-JCK


Credit: Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

5 comments

  1. Great info, as alway. Thank you. But what is the difference between “New document is changed” and “Existing document is changed”?

    1. Hi Goran, thank you! Any content on the site prior to the Retention Policy being published to it (“Existing” in table) and content added after the Retention Policy was published (“New” in table) behaves differently, thus the distinction.
      -JCK

  2. Thanks Joanne.Great table. I wonder if this is enough for GPDR . We just created a retention policy for 13 years . I hope this does the trick. Is there a “jump start” Help about this complex subject ? Many thanks .Karen

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