One of the coolest collaboration features in Office 365 is Office 365 groups. Employees can create these groups on the fly and use them to collaborate with their co-workers on projects, sharing team documents, emails and calendars. These groups are easy and fast to create and judging by their usage telemetry, they are VERY popular.
However as the number of Office 365 groups increases, it can create a bit of a mess, for instance when a project is completed but the group is still hanging around. To help address that issue, Microsoft just turned on the public preview of Office 365 groups expiration!
With this new feature you can set an expiration timeframe for any Office 365 group you choose. Once that timeframe is set, owners of any groups set to expire will be asked to renew them if they still need them. Groups that aren’t renewed will be deleted. And using a feature we shipped earlier called “Soft-delete of groups”, any group that was not meant to be deleted can be restored within 30 days by the group owners.
Office 365 groups expiration can be configured from the Azure Active Directory portal, as well as programmatically via Azure Active Directory PowerShell. Below is a quick tutorial on how to get started with the functionality in the new Azure portal experience.
To create a policy for your tenant, simply select Users and groups, go to Group settings, and select Expiration.
Specify the group lifetime in days and select which groups you want the expiration settings to apply to.
Group owners will receive a renewal notification 30 days before the expiration date, and from that notification they can renew their group with a single click!
If the owners don’t renew their group within the required timeframe, their group will expire and be deleted. Owners of deleted groups will receive a notification letting them know their group has been deleted and giving them the opportunity to restore their group for 30 days after its deletion date.
This functionality is made possible with a feature Microsoft recently rolled out that allows you to soft-delete and restore Office 365 groups! You can now restore your group and all its content, including Sharepoint, Planner, and Outlook, for a period of 30 days from when the group was deleted.
The Office 365 groups expiration feature is available in public preview today for Azure AD Premium customers, but note that this feature will require Azure AD Premium when it GAs.