Tech Tips: Proactive Archiving with Google Vault

What is Google Vault?

Google Vault is one of Google’s software and cloud-computing tools – a suite of products collectively named G Suite. Designed to support Gmail and Google Drive, among other applications, Google Vault is an archiving service.


The primary purpose of Google Vault is for the retrieval of data in the event of an investigation – whether this is an internal issue or a legal investigation. Google Vault administrators within the organisation set retention rules that dictate the period of time that data is preserved. Based on various factors, such as department, email subject, file name, etc, a particular category of data can be subject to a specific retention rule.

Even when an item is deleted from a user’s account, the data will be available for retrieval until the end of the retention period. If a default retention rule is applied, it will affect only data that isn’t subject to a custom rule. There’s also an option to retain certain data – or all data – indefinitely.


When searching for an item, administrators can use filters such as recipients, senders, dates, or terms, making it easier to find items within a vault that contains possibly hundreds of thousands of items.

The search parameters you use can be saved for future searches, and because the searches are dynamic, they’ll include all available data – even material that’s been added since the previous search.


A hold is a retention rule that overrides all others and remains in place until the hold is lifted. Holds can be imposed on the accounts of specific users, and that user’s activity will be held in archive until the hold is lifted. The hold takes precedence over all other retention rules.


Administration of Google Vault is a task assigned to specific users. These individuals have the ability to add, lift, and change retention rules, impose holds, and retrieve data. An audit report will provide details of vault activity so that the actions of all administrators can be traced.

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