I'm curious to see if anyone else has come across this, last year I played around with auto applying labels and using retention policies in security and compliance centre and it all looked good.

I read recently that Microsoft are moving some bits around as part as moving to labeling from AIP and auto e-discovery and auto labeling fall only available with an E5 licence.

That said, I still have the options available to create labels, label policies and renention policies in my business essentials tenant. Im able to create labels and policies, but even after waiting the 24 hours or whatever the labels are auto applying to content, nor are they available for use within any SharePoint library.

Would this be by design? has anyone else noticed this? Any insight would be great as personally losing the ability to auto-tag content to apply retention schedules for any plan less than E5 could be a big issue for most orgs with E3 plans...

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  • OK so I've since created two retention labels, pressed "auto-apply a label" to create seperate retention policies to basically just apply the label based on in policy a) the UK drivers licence sensitive info type and policy b) words in a document. Both labels and policies look fine and show as successful, but now even 2 days later the policies aren't applying nor are they even visible to manually apply. More investigation needed I think!
    – Antoeknee
    Mar 14, 2019 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


As far as I understood (and tested) the A5 license gets into play only if in the retention label you select to add 'disposition approval'. This creates a mechanism that when the document 'expires' instead of being deleted (or kept), an email is fired to a specific set of users who will be in charge of deciding what to do with the file (among the options, move the expiry date in the future, change label or do nothing). To be able to access this area in the portal one user needs to have the A5 license. This has been tried and tested one year ago by me.

Not aware that for the auto label you need the A5. It would not make much sense as the A5 is probably needed just for the option of the 'disposition approval' that is an additional step, entirely optional, that you add to any label.

  • Thanks for the reply :) Yeah that makes sense to me, we aren't looking at disposition approval it's solely for the purpose of labeling a document as 'something' and in most cases applying a rentention policy to delete it after X years. Reading through the info on Microsofts site seems to bundle auto applying labels in with the extra elements of an E5 licence with auto e-discovery and such. I'm running more tests in my E1 tenant so I'll wait and see if labeling does end up working!
    – Antoeknee
    Mar 13, 2019 at 12:54
  • If it is for the 'normal' application, manual of for the whole document library you do not need A5, I found out that autolabeling a document because it carries the credit card number (for example) did not work all the times, according with the format it was written so we did not pursue this path.
    – susan
    Mar 13, 2019 at 13:59
  • 1
    OK so some more on this, I spoke to Microsoft support regarding this and they suggested I wait up to 7 days to see if labels auto-apply and believe it or not they did! So im not sure what conclusion to draw, Im now going to test this in an E3 environment too, but I still think it would be pragmatic to go with E5 but odd none the less!
    – Antoeknee
    Mar 19, 2019 at 9:01

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