Retention Rules

Retention Rules are a special type of Automation that is only available for sites using HyperPrivacy Mode. Retention rules help enforce your company's document retention policy by removing items after a certain period of time. You can also enforce the uniqueness of items with a retention rule that deletes copied files automatically.

Retention is a Path Based Rule

Retention rules apply to a single path, or to all of the paths accessible to the rule's creator. All users can make new retention rules, but each user's rules apply to paths in the user's home folder or paths which are shared with them. An administrator cannot create a rule that globally applies to all folders in other users' home folders.

Site Wide Retention Rule

It is possible to emulate a retention rule for your entire site. Choose one administrator who will be the only user with a home folder. Set up all of your other users without a home folder. The administrator should create any needed folders in their own home folder, then share each folder with the users or groups who need to access them.

All of the folders in the site belong to one administrator's home folder, so that administrator can create a global retention rule.

Event-Based Triggers

Retention rules delete files from the affected paths when specific actions are taken in those folders by any user. This can be any combination of read operations (either downloading or opening a file) or copying a file.

A retention rule that triggers on file Reads will remove files whenever they are opened or downloaded. One use for this is an automated exchange flow where a file should be downloaded only once for processing. For example, if you deliver files to a counterparty who uses an SFTP script to download all files in a folder that has been shared with their user account, a retention rule means the counterparty does not have to be responsible for keeping the folder tidy, or for determining whether or not a file has ever been downloaded.

When an event-based rule triggers when files are copied, the copy of the item is immediately deleted. This essentially disables the copy function for the affected folders. You might use this rule for version control, so that only a single version of a particular file exists.

Time-Based Triggers

Retention rules can be set to remove files a certain number of days after they are uploaded, or a certain number of days after they were last modified. The system will check to see if files meet the rules for these time-based triggers every 12 hours.


File deletions caused by retention rules appear in the Activity listing. The IP address for the actions will be When a user performed an action that triggered the deletion, that user will be logged as performing the deletion.


When configuring a new retention rule, you can add a step for notifying users about the deletions. As with notifications automations, this can be configured to send to a combination of users or groups, but only those users who have access to the path that is removed will receive the email.

File deletions caused by retention rules will trigger any matching notification automations for deletions. Users will only receive emails for files deleted from paths they have access to.

When notifications are configured for a retention rule and as a stand-alone notification automation, users may receive more than one email for the same activity.

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