In Exchange 2010, you can use Retention Policies to manage message retention. Retention Policies consist of delete tags, i.e. retention tags with either Delete and Allow Recovery or Permanently Delete actions, or archive tags, i.e. retention tags with the Move To Archive action, which move items to the user's archive mailbox.
Depending on how they're applied to mailbox items, retention tags are categorized as the following three types:
To deploy retention tags, you add them to a retention policy and apply the policy to mailbox users.
In Exchange 2010 SP1, we added support for the Notes folder. In Exchange 2010 RTM, items in the Notes folder aren't processed. After you upgrade to SP1, if the user's retention policy doesn't have a RPT for the Notes folder, the DPT from the user's policy will apply to items in that folder.
In existing deployments, your users may not be used to their notes being moved or deleted.
To prevent the DPT from being applied to a default folder, you can create a disabled RPT for that folder (or disable any existing RPT for that folder). The Managed Folder Assistant, a mailbox assistant that processes mailbox items and applies retention policies, does not apply the retention action of a disabled tag. Since the item/folder still has a tag, it's not considered untagged and the DPT isn't applied to it.
Figure 1: Create a disabled Retention Policy Tag for the Notes default folder to prevent the Default Policy Tag from being applied to items in that folder
Note: You can create a disabled RPTfor any supported default folder.
If you create a disabled RPT for the Notes folder, you'll see items in that folder are not deleted, but they do continue to be moved to the archive! Why does this happen? How do you prevent it?
It's important to understand that:
There's no admin-controlled way to prevent items in default folders from being archived2, short of removing the archive DPT from a retention policy. However, removing the archive DPT would result in messages not moving to archive automatically unless the user applies a personal tag to messages or folders.
The workaround is to have users apply the Personal never move to archive personal tag (displayed as Never under Archive Policy in Outlook/OWA) to a default folder. The tag is included in the Default Archive and Retention Policy created by Exchange Setup. You can also add this tag to any Retention Policies you create.
Figure 2: Users can apply the Never archive policy to a default folder to prevent items in that folder from being archived
1Support for Calendar and Notes retention tags was added in Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4. 2 You can apply a disabled move tag to a folder in user's mailbox using EWS code/script. For details, see Using Exchange Web Services to Apply a Personal Tag to a Custom Folder.
You can't use Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 to apply an archive policy to the Notes default folder or individual notes items. If your users want to preven Notes items from being moved, they must apply a disabled move tag to the Notes folder using OWA.
Figure 3: Apply Personal never move to archive policy to the Notes folder in Outlook Web App in Exchange 2013. The Exchange 2010 Outlook Web App UI differs slightly - it lists archive and retention policies separately. See a screenshot here.
Update 1/23/2013: In Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4, we added Calendar and Tasks retention tag support. You can prevent these from being moved or deleted by creating registry values. See Calendar and Tasks Retention Tag Support in Exchange 2010 SP2 RU4 6/18/2013 Added screenshot - Applying disabled move tag to Notes folder in OWA and link to Using Exchange Web Services to Apply a Personal Tag to a Custom Folder.