Technology Support Center


Room 009 Stalker Hall

M-Th 7:30am to 9:00pm
Friday 7:30am to 6:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm to 9:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm to 9:00pm

Instructional Tools Support Center

Fall and Spring
7:30 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
7:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Saturday & Sunday
12:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

For business: 812-237-4183
To report a problem: 812-237-8000
Voice Mail Help: 237-3038

Business Hours:
8am-4:30pm M-F
Operator Services:
(while school is in session)
8am-9pm Mon-Fri
10am-9pm Sat and Sunday
(when school is not in session)
8am-4:30pm Mon-Fri

Classroom and Event Technology Support
M-F 8:00am to 4:30pm
Classroom Support Hotline:
(Black Phone connected to podium)
M-Th 7:30am to 9:00pm
Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Electronic Mail Retention and Archival


Indiana State University (ISU) strives to eliminate unnecessary electronic mail where possible.  This is a part of our overall document retention/management environment. 

As a result, all employees need to know that all electronic mail (sent or received) will be deleted once it is six months old UNLESS each user specifically sets retention tags to retain specific emails for a longer time.  The standard institutional limit for email retention is four years.  If an individual user needs to retain an email for longer, it must be moved to a location outside of the electronic mail system (such as institutional storage).

The following materials are intended to help our employees (faculty and staff) understand how to turn on tags and retaining and archiving electronic mail.

What You Need to Know

  1. ISU’s system default for deleting an electronic mail message is six months (180 days).  Every e-mail message will be deleted automatically, without notice, 180 days from its original sent or receipt date unless appropriate steps are taken to retain the message for longer.
  2. To retain messages longer than 180 days, we use Outlook “retention tags.”
  3. Tags can be set to apply a retention time period for individual messages, or for a folder. If a folder contains sub-folders, the parent folder tag will prevail unless a sub-folder has a different tag.
  4. The longest retention tag available for most people at ISU is four years.  That is to say, you can tag your e-mail to be retained in Outlook for as long as four years and no longer.  If you need to keep an individual e-mail or group of e-mails for longer than four years, you can drag and drop it/them to institutional storage (outside Outlook).  See instructions below (item 2 in the What You Need to Know How to Do section).
  5. Tags can also be set up to show a time to automatically archive a message.  Archival can be used to manage high volumes of mail and get it out of your primary In-Box before it is deleted.  This is a way to preserve space in your primary In-Box.
    1. Default space allocation for your primary In-Box is 2GB
    2. Default space allocation for your archive is 5GB
  6. The best practices for managing your mail are to:
    1. Use folders to organize mail into logical groupings that have meaning for you and/or your work
    2. Use tags on folders to set up a retention strategy for your email
    3. Make sure you set up a retention tag and an archive tag (if one is needed) for the e-mails in the folder whenever you set up a new folder.
  7. You have an In-Box and an Online Archive in your Outlook account.  Retention limits apply to emails stored in both the In-Box AND the Online Archive.  You cannot keep emails for longer than four years by moving them to your Online Archive.

What You Need to Know How to Do

  1. Tagging – Retention and Archiving (Windows environment)
    1. Tagging a mail message
      1. Right click on the message
      2. Click on “Assign Policy”
      3. Choose an archive policy and/or a retention policy
    2. Tagging a folder
      1. Right click on the folder
      2. Click on Properties
      3. Click on the Policy tab
      4. Under the top section – Retention Policy – click on Folder Policy to bring up the list of tags available to you; choose the time period to apply for default/automatic retention of messages stored to this folder
      5. Under the bottom section – Archive Policy – click on Folder policy to bring up the list of tags available to you; choose the time period for archiving message stored to this folder
      6. Click Okay or Apply

  2. Save Electronic Mail Outside the Outlook Mailbox – Saving to a Folder
    You can easily move an individual message or groups of messages to a folder in your personal (H: drive) or departmental (L: drive) file share.  The steps are:
    1. Open Outlook and Windows File Explorer so that both are in partial-screen mode and you can see them both (neither is in full-screen mode)
    2. In File Explorer, work down through your folder structure to the point where you can see the folder you would like to store a message or messages
    3. Click on a message you want to move to the folder, then drag and drop it to the folder you want to use for storage
      Use Ctl-Click or Shift-Click as you usually do to select a group of messages,then drag and drop them as noted above
    4. In your folder, these messages will be saved in .MSG format, so that when you are in your folder and you open then, they will call Outlook and open in typical message format

  3. Search for Messages Set for Deletion in a Specific Period
    1. Click in the Search box and the Search toolbar tab will display at the top.
    2. Select “Current Mailbox” or “Current Folder” (or where else you want to search)
    3. Drop down the “More” option and select Expiration Date
    4. Select the drop-down under the search field and then select the timeframe that you want to look for the expired messages

  4. Restore a Message That Was Deleted Less Than 14 Days Ago
    Deleted messages are saved in ‘Deleted Item Recovery’, and can be restored by following these steps:
    1. Right-click on the ‘Deleted Items’ folder in Outlook or Webmail
    2. Select ‘Recover Deleted Items’.
    3. A window will open up where you can select the messages that you want to recover; select ‘Restore’ in the webmail interface or in Outlook
    4. Select the radio button for ‘Restore Selected Items’
    5. Click ‘OK’.
      Once it is deleted from ‘Deleted Item Recovery’ after 14 days, it cannot be recovered.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know which e-mails will be deleted?
    Once your tags are set, you can check to see which e-mails will be deleted today, tomorrow, this week, next week, or at other points by using your basic search capability, and searching with Expiration Date as the search criterion.

  2. What is the default retention period for e-mail messages?
    The default retention period assigned to all email is 180 days/ 6months from the date it was created/sent.  This default is assigned to your “inbox” folder, and cannot be changed. All mail will be deleted once it is six months old unless you assign an individual retention period to the email or move it to a sub folder that has a retention tag assigned to it.

  3. What is the default retention for sent messages and calendar appointments?  Can I set tags for those types of items, too?
    Calendar appointments will be retained indefinitely.  Sent messages will work like messages received:  they will be deleted in 180 days unless you move them to a tagged folder or tag them individually.

  4. If I have tagged a message to be retained for one year, and then I get to the end of that year and realize I want to keep it one more year, can I reset the tag for “one more year”?
    In a way, yes.  BUT . . . the retention period is always set with reference to the original date received or date sent for any e-mail.  That date never changes.  So if you have retained a message for one year, then realize you need to retain it for “one more year in addition to that,” you will need to change the retention tag to two years.  Remember, the longest an e-mail can be retained in the system is four years.

  5. When an e-mail message is deleted, is it completely gone?
    E-mail deleted as a result of any retention tag (6-month default, or a tag you set) is available for 14 days after the deletion action.  See instructions in “What You Need to Know How to Do” section.  Once it is deleted from ‘Deleted Item Recovery’ after 14 days, a message cannot be recovered.

  6. How much storage space do I get for e-mail?
    You will have 2Gb of space for your primary e-mail in-box and all folders in it.  You will have 5Gb of space for your Online Archive. 

  7. Can I prevent an e-mail from being deleted by archiving it?
    No, an archived e-mail will be deleted on the schedule set by its associated retention tag (folder or e-mail level).    Archiving simply preserves primary in-box storage space, and helps clear out from your primary mail folders those e-mails that you may need to look at less often.

  8. What if I need to keep a lot of e-mails longer than four(4) years, or what if I need a retention period that is not in the default tags?
    Get Vice President approval to justify an exception to the default tags list for your department.  Contact OIT at x2910 or email once you have approval.  Be ready to send that approval via e-mail to document approval for the request.

  9. What happens to things like tasks, contacts, and calendar appointments?  Will they be deleted, too?
    No.  Tasks, contacts, and calendar appointments will have a default policy of “never delete.”
    They will stay in your Outlook until you take an action to delete them.

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