Microsoft Exchange email system: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

If a user of the Scottish Governments email system deletes an email from their personal email box (local copy) how long will a copy of this email be retained on (1) the email server and (2) in a backup system.

For example, once deleted from a personal email box by a user when is it deleted from the email server. Is it right away or is it held on the server for a longer period. If longer please confirm how long.

Please also confirm if this applied to all iTECS customers using the Scottish Governments email, backup and archive systems.


The Scottish Government uses Microsoft Exchange as its email messaging and calendar system. If a user deletes an email it is held in the Deleted Items area for 28 days. Once the mail item is purged automatically from the deleted items after 28 days our backup platform retains a copy for 28 days. It is possible for users to bypass the deleted items area and in these circumstances, our backups retain a copy for 28 days.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top