Configure a Data Retention Policy

Applies to

Smartsheet Advance Package (Requires Enterprise Plan)


Who can use this capability

System Admins can configure a data retention policy.

A data retention policy controls how your organization saves data for compliance or regulatory reasons, as well as how it disposes of data once that data is no longer required. 

Use the Governance Data Policy Control to set your data retention policy, governing what data to keep and what data to purge. 

You can only create one policy, but you can assign as many inclusion groups to that policy.. The policy conditions as of now only support sheets. The policy can apply to sheets older than a specified created on or last edited on date. 

Once you configure and activate your data retention policy, it runs in the background to ensure any data retained meets your compliance requirements. If the scan discovers sheets that do not comply with your policy, the sheet owners are notified that their data is not compliant and will be deleted if they do not take action. If they fail to take action to bring their sheets into compliance, the sheets will be deleted; they’ll receive an additional notification informing them their sheets have been deleted. 

Set up a data retention policy

To configure a data retention policy:

  1. Log into the Admin Center.
  2. Select Governance Controls and on the Data Retention Policy tile, select Configure
  3. Follow the instructions on your screen to set the policy conditions.  
    • Set Created and Last Modified Dates.
    • Set how often you want to run the policy, how much advance notification you want to provide, and which groups you want the policy to affect.
  4. Click Save & Turn On to activate the policy.  

You can enable or disable your policy at any time from Governance Controls. 

To edit your data retention policy: 

  • Go to Governance Controls in the Admin Center and click Edit Policy.

When you update the policy, the scan runs as scheduled in the update.  Any change to the policy restarts the time frame and adds (or removes) any included groups. 

You can edit or disable your data retention policy, but you cannot delete it. 

Recover deleted items

Owners can recover sheets if they do so before the policy permanently deletes the item. 

To recover an item deleted by the data retention policy, do one of two things:

  • Move the sheet out of the deleted items folder.
  • Open and modify the sheet, then save it with the new changes.