We have set Litigation Hold on User mailbox (Exchange Online). Now we no longer need the hold as the user is leaving the company. We are planning to remove the hold, can someone help me understanding how many days would it take for all the emails to get deleted completely. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff628734%28v=exchsrvcs.149%29.aspx This article says that "Next time when Microsoft Exchange checks the Recoverable Items folder for items older than 14 days, emails are deleted"

  1. Do I have to delete the users account after 14 days to avoid inactive mailboxes?
  2. After removing the hold, immediately if I delete the user account what might happen?

1 Answer 1


After a research and inputs from O365 community, below are the answers to my questions: 1) If we delete an email from our inbox, it goes to the deleted folder. If we delete it from deleted folder it goes to Recoverable items folder. Items in the Recoverable Items folder are retained for 14 days by default and then purged by Microsoft Exchange.

But if a hold is placed on mailbox, they are not deleted permanently and are preserved for the duration of hold.

2) After the hold is removed, the items which already exist in recovery deleted items folder should be permanently purged within one day by default no matter whether you delete the user or not.

Other items which do not stay in recovery deleted times folder will be deleted permanently after 30 days if you delete the user from Office 365 Portal page.

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