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How does Office 365 Clutter affect data retention?

The Microsoft Office 365 Clutter feature is designed to clean up email inboxes, but the feature is not perfect. Learn how to overcome data retention issues that may arise.

In some cases, the Microsoft Office 365 Clutter feature could have data retention implications. It depends on an organization's data retention requirements.

As the name implies, Office 365 Clutter is designed to reduce inbox clutter. Users receive a variety of mail: Some of it is important -- a message from your boss -- while some is spam, which can be safely deleted. However, there are messages that fall somewhere in between. This is clutter.

An example of clutter might be a newsletter a user subscribes to or a group email blast about an upcoming company picnic. Microsoft Office 365 tries to place these types of messages into the Clutter folder so that only the most important ones appear in a user's inbox.

However, the Office 365 Clutter feature is not perfect. As with any spam-like filter, messages are occasionally categorized as clutter when they shouldn't be. These messages are then subjected to the retention requirements of a user's Clutter folder rather than the inbox.

You can overcome this problem by taking advantage of retention policies and retention tags. A retention policy is an Exchange Server container that stores a collection of retention tags. A retention tag is essentially a retention requirement, such as two years. Retention policies are applied to user mailboxes, and the tags within those retention policies can be applied to individual folders. Applying the appropriate retention tag to the Clutter folder can help solve the Office 365 Clutter retention issue.

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This was last published in October 2015

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