Excluding Inbox Subfolders from Retention Policy Purges - Horrible Design
In our Exchange 2003 configuration, we excluded subfolders in users' Inboxes from our retention policies. Subsequently, many users created a hierarchy of folders inside their Inbox to save important documents. When we moved to Exchange 2010 and tried to recreate the policy, we assumed the behavior would be the same. Unfortunately, we were rudely awakened to the fact that the default setting in 2010 is to process the Inbox and all subfolders. Several users lost their subfolders, some with data going back years. Fortunately we test this on a fairly small pilot gruop before rolling this out to the entire organization. The users who lost data were able to recover it through Recover Deleted Items, but it was extremely painful because the folder hierarchy was lost. They could only recover messages to their Inbox, losing all organization they previously had. This is terrible. I have opened a ticket with Microsoft on this and have asked twice specifically how to exclude Inbox subfolders from retention policy processing. I am told this cannot be done. Users must save data in a folder at the root level of their mailbox, not nested in the Inbox. Or they can use personal tags. I have 400 users. Getting them all to reorganize their mailbox so that saved items are outside the Inbox is going to be a huge pain. Instructing new users not to create subfolders beneath their Inbox is going to be a huge pain. If they forget, the only way we are going to find out about it is when all their stuff is deleted, and then we have to recover to a flat structure. My $0.02: It seems to me that it would make a lot more sense if there were a switch or option to exclude Inbox subfolders from being processed. Thank you for listening.
January 10th, 2011 12:12pm

Hi, Sorry for the inconvenience and you could connect Microsoft at https://connect.microsoft.com/ to fill in feedback, your feedback will promote our product and our service. Best regards, Serena Please remember to click Mark as Answer on the post that helps you, and to click Unmark as Answer if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
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January 12th, 2011 3:37am

Thanks, I'll do it!
January 12th, 2011 3:04pm

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