Where do deleted Teams messages go?


You may be wondering where a message goes when you delete it on Microsoft Teams. Does it go to a recycling bin like files and folders, or does it get permanently erased from the system? In this blog, we will go over what happens when you delete a message in Microsoft Teams; we will also cover if deleted messages can be recovered and who can view deleted messages if they are recoverable. 

Deleted messages in Microsoft Teams generally are not recoverable and are often deleted forever. There will be a button that says “undo,” which will allow you to recover a deleted message only for a limited duration. If you refresh the page, the recovery opportunity will expire forever. However, suppose a company has set a retention policy to record all deleted messages in Microsoft Teams. In that case, those messages will go into a secure area on the admin account. 

  1. Where do deleted Microsoft Teams messages go when a retention policy is set. 
  2. Where do deleted Microsoft Teams messages go when there isn’t a retention policy set. 

When a message is deleted in Microsoft Teams, there will be only two paths the message will take; if the message has been deleted without a retention policy, the message will be deleted permanently; however, if a retention policy is set, the message will be stored in a secured location within Microsoft Teams admin. I will cover exactly what happens to the message in both scenarios more in-depth. 

Where do deleted Microsoft Teams messages go when a retention policy is set

If you have a retention policy set, the message is stored and can be accessed upon request. The message is not stored in its original format; rather, it’s logged as an audit only when a retention policy is set for this particular account. However, you may be wondering how an admin member of your account can see the stored Teams message that you deleted. Read through as I provide the steps on how an admin member can view stored messages that have been deleted in Microsoft Teams. 

  • Firstly, open Office 365. 
  • You can use the launcher to navigate over to “admin.” 
  • Under Admin centers, click on “compliance.” 
  • From there, click on the drop-down for “eDiscovery.” 
  • After that, you need to click on “user data search.” 
  • Finally, navigate to the correct Teams log of that deleted message. 

You will be able to view an audit log of deleted messages in Microsoft Teams when the steps are complete. As you can see, the deleted message will not go anywhere initially when the message has been deleted from your account. A member of the admin team can use this method to recover a deleted message from your Microsoft Teams account. So while you may assume that a message has been deleted from your account, an admin member can simply use this method above to recover your deleted messages. 

in-depth guide [with screenshots] – Where do deleted Microsoft Teams messages go when a retention policy is set

Here is an in-depth guide on what happens when a message is deleted and a retention policy set in Microsoft Teams. The in-depth guide includes screenshots to give you more context on what the steps are referring to. This guide also features a more in-depth analysis of certain steps, which are complicated to understand; you can use this for more information on what the step will achieve and how it can help complete the process. 

  • Firstly, open Office 365. 
  • You can use the launcher to navigate over to “admin.” 
  • Under Admin centers, click on “compliance.” 
  • From there, click on the drop-down for “eDiscovery.” 
  • After that, you need to click on “user data search.” 
  • Finally, navigate to the correct Teams log of that deleted message. 

With the in-depth guide, you should now be able to complete the steps and view the audit log of messages that are deleted in Microsoft Teams. When you delete a message in Microsoft Teams, that message, as you can see above, will remain on the network. So, in theory, if a member of the admin team wants to recover or see a deleted message from your Microsoft Teams account, they can simply use the steps above to proceed with viewing the deleted messages. So from first impressions, it may look like the message has been deleted from your account, and there is no way to recover it, but as we see from the steps above, the correct members and the correct permissions enabled can change the path of your deleted messages. 

Where do deleted Microsoft Teams messages go when there isn’t a retention policy set

If a retention policy has not been set, the deleted message in Microsoft Teams will be deleted forever. There will be no log of the message that has been deleted; the only log that will remain from the message is that a message has been deleted with no context on what has been deleted. However, do not be alarmed when a message has been deleted, and there is no retention policy in place; you can still recover it; Microsoft understands that sometimes content needs to be recovered and has given you the ability to recover certain messages within a given length of time. 

On the instance when a message has been deleted in Microsoft Teams, you can simply click the undo button as illustrated above. This will need to be quite immediate because if you delay the process of undoing a deleted message, you run the risk of having that message deleted permanently. Once the page has been refreshed, or your account has been logged off and logged in again, the message will no longer be available for you to undo. 

In this situation, Microsoft keeps a log of deleted messages for a very short period— this log is maintained. If you accidentally delete the wrong message, you can simply click “undo” to restore the messages you have deleted. You can proceed by deleting the correct messages if necessary. 

Conclusion

As we can see above, messages in Microsoft Teams that have been deleted will either be logged as an audit in the compliance manager or be deleted forever with only a short window of time for you to recover that message. If you need more information on the content that has been provided above, simply contact us, and we will address those issues as soon as possible. 

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