Microsoft Teams personal chats removed after 90 days

March 31, 2021 at 4:11 pm

Starting April 30, 2021, UBC will adopt a schedule of removing instant chat messages in Microsoft Teams after 90 days. This chat retention schedule only impacts personal chats between individuals or groups.

Conversations that happen within a team channel in Microsoft Teams are not affected. As courses are set up as teams spaces in Microsoft Teams, and channels within those teams are where students formally discuss course topics, the impact in course contexts should be minimal.

Why are chat messages being removed?

The implementation of Records Retention Schedules for data sources like Microsoft Teams is required to comply with UBC Records Management Office policies. Retention schedules are important because, by regularly removing records that do not need to be stored, UBC reduces the risk of data breaches and maximizes the digital storage space available.

How will my conversations and file-sharing be impacted?

On April 30, any personal chats between yourself and another individual or a group (including chats from meetings) that are older than 90 days will be deleted. This deletion refers specifically to conversations accessible by clicking “Chat” in the sidebar navigation from Microsoft Teams.

If you have shared a file in one of your chats, the link to this file will also be removed. However, since files shared through Microsoft Teams are uploaded behind-the-scenes to Microsoft OneDrive, the file will remain in Microsoft OneDrive. It can continue to be accessed there by the file owner, and anyone who has kept the link.

What can I do to prepare for the change?

  • Review your personal chat history by clicking “Chat” in the sidebar navigation in Microsoft Teams. Copy any information, links, or files that you want to retain into a more permanent place.
  • To share information and files that will be retained beyond 90 days in Microsoft Teams, consider requesting a team. A team allows a group of people to collaborate together in a private space. Invited members can share communications and content through topic-focused areas called channels that are not impacted by this retention schedule.
  • Going forward, treat the “Chat” area of Microsoft Teams as a place for casual conversation. Use another means of sharing information that is of ongoing importance, of a confidential or sensitive nature, or for formal decision-making that requires a paper trail — such as a conversation in a Teams channel.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, contact the UBC IT Service Centre Help Desk.

Posted in Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Teams