Microsoft Teams Chat Retention

Microsoft Teams chat has become an important tool for our UVic community to quickly communicate and stay connected since it was implemented in May 2020.  In accordance with UVic’s records management obligations, UVic will be implementing a 5-month data retention schedule to the Microsoft Teams Chat feature starting July 15, 2021.

A data retention schedule provides guidance on how long records must be kept and ensures records are not indefinitely stored if they are no longer needed.  Microsoft Teams chat is as a communications platform for collaboration between individuals, groups, or meetings.  It is not meant for the sharing of confidential or sensitive data, or as a record of final decision making.

The 5-month data retention schedule will only impact chats in the context of one-to-one and group chats (including Teams meeting chats).  These are the chats found in the “Chat” tab of your Microsoft Teams applications.  The schedule does not impact discussion hosted within a Teams channel.

Any chat messages that go beyond a 5-month period since creation will be deleted from the system.  This will include any messages that are over the 5-month period once the schedule is implemented.  Links to files shared in one-to-one chats or group chats will also be removed from the chat at the 5-month mark; however, they will still be accessible in the OneDrive of the original sender.

If you require files and information to be referenced past 5 months, please consider hosting them in a Team or OneDrive.  In addition, we recommend reviewing your chat messages that will be older than 5 months by the time this schedule is implemented on July 15, 2021 to ensure that you have the links and/or files that you need.

Faculty and Instructors can contact their LTSI Faculty Support Team ( or visit Teach Anywhere ( with questions regarding how this change affects Course Teams.

For more information, visit the M365 microsite at  If you have any questions, contact the UVic Computer Help Desk at or 250-721-7687.