[EX2010] Litigation Hold (Legal Hold)

Litigation Hold (Legal Hold)

Used to preserve mailbox and electronically stored information in anticipation of legal proceedings, investigations, and unspecified reasons. Organizations may be required to inform when a user is placed on litigation hold.


  • Requires Discovery Management or Legal Hold Mgmt (RBAC) to place a mailbox in legal hold
  • Option to enable or disable, no option in 2010 to set start and end dates
  • Original copies are maintained when modified
  • LitigationHoldDate and LitigationHoldOwner attribute is created when enabled
  • Migration to O365: mailboxes on Litigation Hold are preserved after a mailbox is moved


When a user deletes a folder other than in the Delete Items folder, the message is ‘moved’. When a user deletes from the Deleted Items folder or does a Shift+Delete (Permanent Deletion), the message disappears from the user’s view, is a ‘soft delete’ and moved to Purge sub-folder of the Recoverable Items folder (Recoverable Items folder is also known as the dumpster in previous versions of Exchange). Recoverable Items folder retains items configured on the mailbox database with a default of 14 days. If Litigation is not enabled, items are purged forever based on reaching the quota limit, or longer than the default or set period.

  • Default Quota for Recoverable Items Folder, Warning: 20GB, Items: 30 GB
  • MFA continues to process the mailbox
  • Deleted items are moved retained in a hidden folder called, Recoverable Items (dumpster) with its own storage, and does not count toward the mailbox quota.
  • Recoverable Items folder has 3 sub-folders:
    1. Deletions: Soft Deleted items are moved here, visible from Recoverable Deleted Items (Visible to users)
    2. Purges: Deleted items from the Recoverable Items are moved here. Deleted Items exceeding the delete item retention period configured on mailbox database or mailbox are also purged here by MFA. Litigation Hold prevents deletion of items from this folder when enabled. (Not visible to users)
    3. Versions: Original copies of mailbox items are copied here by process called copy on write, where in specific properties changes on the item will create a copy. (Not Visible to users)

Enable and Disabling Litigation Hold:

Checking Sizing for mailboxes in litigation hold:

Updating the Size for Recoverable Items when quota is reached:


Processing all Mailboxes in litigation hold:


Understanding Litigation Hold

Retention Hold and Litigation Hold in Exchange 2010

Place a Mailbox on Litigation Hold

Author Details
Contributer and Author Enterprise Communications Engineer Hi Epic

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