Previously we discussed how Office 365 handles records.  Now that we have a good foundation of how records work I’ll discuss creating and publishing record labels.  The steps to create are similar to those in my previous retention label post but I’ll cover the differences here.

Creating and Publishing Record Labels in Office 365

Record Labels are retention labels with the record label option enabled.  If you are already familiar with setting up retention labels (accomplished in the M365/O365 Compliance center) then you are well on your way.  I’ll provide the steps here though for any that have not yet done this.

Creating a Record Label

  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. Under the Solutions section click on Records Management (if you don’t see this option click on Customize navigation below and add it to the navigation section).

Creating and Publishing Record Labels - Records Management Menu

  1. Click on either the File Plan tab link or “Manage your File Plan

Creating and Publishing Record Labels - Click File Plan

  1. Click on “+ Create a label” and select Retention label.

Creating and Publishing Record Labels - Creating Record Label Menu

  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 and Publishing 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 and Publishing 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 and it needs to be a retention label in order to become a record.
  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”, “when it was modified”, “when it was labeled” or “an event
    2. Exchange only: the exchange mailbox can only be triggered on received or sent dates.
  6. Place a checkmark in the option: “Use label to classify content as “Record”“.

Creating and Publishing Record Labels - Set Retention Label as Record

  1. Click Next
  2. Review the configuration of the label and click “Create this label“.
  3. You will find your record label has been added to the file plan.

Creating and Publishing Record Labels - Record Label Added to File Plan


If unsure of the process to publish a record label for users to utilize you can review my post on the steps to accomplish this

In my next post, I’ll demonstrate how to apply a retention label in SharePoint, OneDrive, Outlook and Teams


Thanks for reading!