Retaining Email for More than Three Years

UF Records Management Policy is based on the State of Florida's Sunshine law and other legislation. UF departments and administrative units are expected to review the legislation and policy to determine what lengths of time apply to the various documents and records under their purview.

In an effort to explain the above rules, UF has created the UF Policy on Email as Public Records.

While emails will automatically be deleted from an employee's "Inbox" and "Sent" folders after three years, there are instances where UF employees need to retain email for longer periods of time.  This can be achieved by employees regularly reviewing their "Inbox" and "Sent" email messages and manually moving those that must be retained to a "Retain Permanently" folder. Instructions on how to do this are provided by UF Exchange here.

In addition, there are other options to help individuals meet policies for retaining emails for longer than three years:

  1. Create an additional folder in your Exchange email—for example “Retain for 5 Years”—and add automated rules which would move all items from your "Inbox" and "Sent" folders to this folder. Every so often, delete items that are more than five years old (or permanently file items as appropriate). Any length of time is fine, but there should be an end date.
  2. Create an archive so that all "Sent" and "Inbox" mail can be automatically copied to a network drive. There does not have to be a time limit for how long the emails are saved.

Please note, automated rules in UF Exchange are easily corrupted (can periodically stop working for no apparent reason), so even after the rules are set up, it is still the responsibility of the individual employee to periodically check that emails are being correctly retained.

For help in setting up either of these options, in creating a "Retain Permanently" folder, or if you have questions, please submit a TSS Help Request.