There is a major bug in retention policy. My organization has a retention policy applied on O365 groups, so the sharepoint sites associated with the O365 group also fall under the retention policy. Strangely we can still delete any O365 group but the SharePoint Site associated with it is not getting deleted automatically and gives warning/error "This site has a compliance policy set to block deletion". This has become a major concern for as the no of SharePoint sites created due to O365 groups are getting increased, though we are able to delete the O365 group but cannot delete the SharePoint Site.

I have opened a ticket with Microsoft and escalated it to the Product team, but they are also struggling to find out why this is happening. Moreover they themself are not aware of how exactly retention policy is working for O365 groups. Can anyone post his/her view on this.

2 Answers 2


This is expected behavior. You're only protecting the Group resources and not the Group object itself.

You should ask to put in a Design Change Request to adjust this behavior, or if you have a TAM, escalate to that individual.

  • I don't think that this is a expected behavior because , once the O365 group is deleted the corresponding mailbox is getting soft deleted but the SharePoint site still shows in the Active sites in the Admin center, which makes it kind of an orphan site which cannot be deleted. End users are creating test O365 groups and then deleting them, but due to the policy on O365 groups the corresponding SharePoint Sites are not getting deleted automatically which is creating a lot of clutter in the SharePoint side. Commented May 17, 2021 at 11:25
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    This behavior is indeed expected and by design. Read through docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/compliance/….
    – user6024
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 17:04

From my experience, the M365 Group retention policy is supposed to retain only files, list items and M365 group's mailbox contents.

However, I am little suprised you were able to delete the M365 group. At the same time, all data was retained as promised. M365 AD groups do not contain any data. I suspect all files and mailbox contents were still preserved.

Again, I still think that the ability to delete an M365 group under a retention is a little troubling. If it's by design, it should be changed by Microsoft.

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    Due the fact that M365 groups can be deleted even after the retention policy is applied, there is a lot of clutter on the SharePoint end. There were a few groups created for testing purpose and thereafter deleted ,but the SharePoint Sites corresponding to them are still showing in the "Active SItes" in the SharePoint Admin center and cannot be deleted due to policy hold. Commented May 17, 2021 at 11:38
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    I have just conducted a test and I confirm that I could not delete a SharePoint site when an M365 group is deleted. I was thinking that I could add a retention exclusion. But it is currently impossible since the group is gone and there is nothing to exclude. So yes, looks like a problem to me. Commented May 17, 2021 at 20:01

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