Backup Retention

Exchange backup retention policy

Deleting Exchange backups as soon as they've exceeded their retention period is essential. Retaining backups beyond the time limit specified by internal security policies or compliance mandates won't just waste storage space; it could also lead to fines or other penalties from compliance violations. However, manually reviewing backups to see when they need to be deleted can be cumbersome and inefficient.

Thanks to a retention check in its backup scheduler, RecoveryManager Plus can automatically discard old backups for you. All you have to do when scheduling a backup is specify the maximum time a backup can be held in the repository. Every time a backup is taken, Recovery Manager Plus checks the existing backups to find any backed-up items that have exceeded their retention period, then removes them from the repository. 

How is the retention policy enforced?

Let's say you've configured an Exchange mailbox backup with the following parameters: a retention period of six months, daily incremental backups, and the first full backup starting on August 1st.

When the backup is triggered on August 1st, RecoveryManager Plus will analyze the metadata of that particular mailbox. 

RecoveryManager Plus identifies the last modification date of each item in all mailboxes, then calculates the age of the item by comparing the last modified time to the current date and time. The age of each item is compared with the set value of the maximum retention period, which is six months in this case.

  • If the age of an item exceeds the specified interval, the item will not be backed up.
  • If the age is less than the specified retention period, the item will be backed up.

Exchange Online backup retention policy

Once the first backup is complete, only items that have been created or modified in the past six months will be backed up. During the next backup cycle, RecoveryManager Plus backs up any changes made to mailbox items since the previous backup cycle. Once the backup is complete, RecoveryManager Plus again compares the age of the previously backed up items with the retention policy and discards backups older than the defined threshold.


  • Automate the process of discarding older backups and eliminate the risk of violating data retention mandates.
  • Combat growing storage costs by automatically trimming surplus backup data.

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