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Google Vault Retention of Drive, Groups, Hangout, and Voice Data

Here are some key points on how Google Vault, the data retention and electronic discovery app described in last night's tip, stores data from Google applications.


  • Google Vault can save, search, and export files saved to Google Drive from Google applications like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and files from other applications. It will not retain folder directories created in Drive.

  • When there are links in files from Google applications to other Google application files, the links will not remain active if the linked to file is outside the scope of the data to be added to Vault.


  • Messages sent to Google Groups (listserv email groups) will not be retained in Vault unless the Groups has been set to retain the conversation history. Moderated messages that are not approved will not be stored in Vault.

  • As with Gmail, only up to 1 MB of message text and attachments will be indexed. A single megabyte will hold about 250 pages of text.


  • Google Hangout messages will not be stored in Vault unless the chat history is turned on. For Hangout messages sent before April 8, 2015 only those specially designated to be on the record will be retained for Vault.

  • Google Talk chats can also be made on or off the record, but an admin can turn off the conversation history altogether.


  • Google Voice data for archived users or former employees will not be retained.

  • Google Voice data will only be retained for users with standard or premier licenses.

  • While Vault will retain text messages, call logs, and voicemail messages, it will not retain Voice data created before June 5, 2019.

  • Vault cannot access recordings made of calls.


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