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Teams – Recording Auto-Expiration feature announced

Announced as a part of the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Microsoft is introducing a meeting recording auto-expiration feature, which will automatically delete Teams meeting recording files stored in OneDrive or SharePoint after a preset period of time.

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Added to the roadmap in July this year, this new feature is set for release in a couple of months from now (October 2021).

The feature inclusion is designed primarily to help organisations cope with a swelling collection of Teams Meeting Recordings (TMRs) in user OneDrive for Business accounts and SharePoint Online sites, but will stop short of helping with data governance.

So what is Auto-Expiration?

Essentially Auto-expiration is a good housekeeping feature that Microsoft is providing following a lot of customer feedback indicating customers want more controls for managing storage clutter created by TMRs. 

As standard, the auto expiration feature will come with a 60-day deletion period as a suggestion for how often your files should be cleared from the recordings folder. This automatic expiration schedule will be implemented by default as soon as the feature is implemented in Microsoft Teams. Any new TMRs created after the release will expire 60 days from their creation date. The decision to make the standard expiration at 60 days comes from Microsoft’s discovery that 99% of files are not rewatched after 60 days.

If you want your meeting recordings to expire faster than that, or you want to stop them from being deleted for a little longer, you can go into the Teams settings to modify the expiration dates. The SharePoint and OneDrive systems will monitor the expiration date for all meeting recordings, moving the files automatically into the recycle bin.

FAQ’s

Who does this impact?

Anyone storing a TMRs (non-channel, channel, or ad-hoc meeting) in OneDrive or SharePoint.

Why should I use this feature?

You should use this feature to limit OneDrive or SharePoint storage consumed by TMRs (note: they typically use around 400 MB per hour of recording).

Why is this being turned on by default?

Microsoft believes nearly all customers will benefit from the reduced storage load on their tenant by removing recordings that will likely never be rewatched after 60 days. 

Will it be automatically deleted after 30 days even if the data is accessed or downloaded?

Accessing the file does not change the expiration date.

Does playing the recording change the expiration date?

No, playback does not impact the expiration date.

Should admins rely on this for security and compliance adherence?

No, admins should not rely on this feature for legal protection since end users can modify the expiration date of any recordings they control.

Further FAQ’s can be found on the Microsoft announcement page

What you need to do to prepare

Firstly, decide on what your organisation needs as the expiration period and if that is different from the default 60 days then arrange for it to be modified.

Secondly, if you are going to specify a tenant level expiration standard then inform your user base about the change before Microsoft deploys it so that they are aware they will need to take action to retain their new recording files past the specified time period once the feature is enabled.

Live transcription by default

Further to the auto-expiration feature, Microsoft Teams recording will now start live transcription by default, according to a new update on the roadmap. Microsoft explained that “if both recording and policy settings are enabled”, Teams will also start live transcription” when recording is enabled.

Live transcription is a feature that displays a written record of the spoken text and each speaker is identified, Live transcription is captured automatically in near real-time using AI/ML, and it will now automatically appear in your recordings.

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