In my previous post, I provided an overview of retention labels and their uses.  In this post, I will demonstrate how admins or record managers can go about creating retention labels in Office 365.

Creating Retention Labels

  1. Log in to the tenant (
  2. In the left-hand menu click on Compliance

Creating and Publishing Retention Labels - Compliance Console Select

  1. The Microsoft 365 Compliance console will open.
  2. Open the Classification menu on the left-hand side and select Retention Labels

Creating and Publishing Retention Labels - Retention Label Menu Select

  1. Click on “+ Create a label”

Creating and Publishing Retention Labels - Create New Label

  1. Enter the Top-Level information on your label:
    1. Name: Meaningful name to describe the label
    2. Description for Admins: Explanation of the purpose of the label. It contains any special information only viewable by admins in the console.
    3. Description for users: User-based explanation of the label purpose. May actually match the admin description.
  2. Click Next
  3. Enter the File plan descriptors. Note all fields are optional and only there to organize the labels within your organization.:
    1. Reference ID: Internal reference number for the label (you will likely need to click on the drop-down beside the reference ID and click on “Add a new file plan descriptor Id”.

Creating and Publishing Retention Labels - File Plan Reference ID

    1. Business function/department: This is the department or functional group to which the label most closely belongs to. There is a list prepopulated, but if the department that best fits here does not exist you can add it by clicking on “Add a new file plan descriptor Business function/department”.

Creating Retention Labels - Select Department

    1. Category: Select the category that best fits the top-level organization of the label. Like the other options, you can create a new one by clicking on “Add a new file plan descriptor category”

Creating and Publishing Retention Labels - Add Category

    1. Subcategory: like category above select the best category that fits the needs of the label. Not required.  If a new one is required, click on “Add a new file plan descriptor subcategory”.

Creating Retention Labels - Select Sub Category

    1. Authority Type: Select the authority within the organization that requires the label. Can add a new one if required.
    2. Provision/citation: if the label is based on a documented industry standard. You can select from this list or create a new one.
  1. Click Next.
  2. Turn on Retention. If you leave this off, the label is not a retention label but a classification label only.
  3. Based on the requirements of the data retention, select the required amount of time the data should be retained. Have the option to retain forever or for a specific amount of time in days, months and years.
  4. For disposition, select Trigger a disposition review.
    1. Enter individual users who need to be notified AND have access to the disposition report. If they are not listed here they will not see the reports (even if Global Admin).  At this point, you cannot add groups.  This is coming through.
  5. Select the basis for when the data should be retained by. Options include:
    1. Select either “when it was created” or “when it was modified
    2. Exchange only: the exchange mailbox can only be triggered on received or sent dates.
  6. If the document should be a record when the label is applied, click on the “Use label to classify content as a ‘Record’”.

Creating Retention Labels - Set Retention Configuration

  1. Click Next.
  2. Review the settings and once ready click “Create this label”.

In the next post, I will demonstrate how to publish this label.


Thanks for reading!