Sunday, May 29, 2016

Exchange 2010 - retention policies and calendar items

This post, to a certain extent, is a simple "note to self" concerning Exchange retention policies and calendar items. I'm certainly not the first to dedicate a blog post to this subject, since the change in question took place in August 2012 with Exchange 2010 SP2 Rollup 4.

What change?

Before SP2 Rollup 4, retention policies applied to mailbox items but not calendar items (or tasks).

I suspect most Exchange administrators have already managed this change and probably some time ago. For those still managing Exchange 2007, or a version anterior to Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4, it is a significant difference of which we should be aware, especially if our management has a reason to retain older calendar items (or tasks).

And if you are asking "but what are retention policies", I'll direct you to this link:

Messaging Records Management

So, if we applied a default policy tag that would delete mailbox items after 18 months, Exchange would remove items from the "Inbox" or "Sent Items" folder but not calendar items (or tasks).

Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4 changed this behavior: now calendar items older than 18 months (in my example) will also be deleted.

That may or may not be acceptable for your organization.

If not, we have to add a key (DWORD) called...


... in the registry at the following location:


And assign the value "0"

We only need to add this value ("0") if we do not want the "mailbox assistant" to delete calendar items. If we do want calendar items to be deleted after a certain time, we do not need to do anything, since this behavior is the new default. In other words, it would make no sense to add the registry key and then assign the value of "1".

I have made this adjustment in both a test and production environment and have observed that it does function as expected. I could present a series of screenshots showing the "before and after" but reverting back to the status quo ante (previous status quo) and then making the change once again does not seem to be the most judicious use of my time.


For more information, here are some other sources:

Step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) by Satheshwaran Manoharan (Technet article):

How to Disable Retention Policy from Applying on Calendar and Tasks in Exchange 2010

Microsoft announce by Ross Smith IV (Exchange Team Blog):

Calendar and Tasks Retention Tag Support in Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4

Comments on the change by Tony Redmond:

Automatic clean-out of Calendar and Task items now possible (but carefully)

Note: The Exchange Team blog (yes, the guys that develop Exchange) and Tony Redmond's blog are both very useful sources for information on the latest developments in the Exchange world.

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