E-mail Business Records – What To Keep and for How Long

This chart provides an overview of basic records retention categories. UCOP employees should refer to the E-mail Management Web page for more complete information and in particular review “Managing E-mail as a University Record." How long to retain an e-mail business record depends on its retention category, as shown below.

E-mail Retention Categories

Record Retention Category

What To Do



Delete promptly, or as soon as they are no longer immediately useful.

E-mail with Variable Retention Periods


Check the University Records Retention Schedules Manual for a prescribed retention period. If there is no defined period, consult your manager and consider good business practices in your field. Save records that colleagues should be able to access to file shares, or print and put them in central hard copy files.


E-mail for Permanent Retention


Permanent records should be accessible to more than one authorized individual and therefore stored in network file shares or in central hard copy files. UCOP departments also should consider sending a copy of e-mail designated for permanent retention to records for inclusion in the permanent UCOP Central Records Collection, provided the record is suitable for the collection.


E-mail under Litigation Hold


Retain as instructed by University counsel until advised that the hold is no longer in place and the records may be destroyed.