Message retention policy

This feature is only available to organization owners.

By default, Zulip stores messages indefinitely, allowing full-text search of your complete history.

Zulip supports configuring both a global organization-level message retention policy, as well as retention policies for individual streams. These policies control how many days a message is stored before being automatically deleted (the default being forever). Zulip's system supports:

  • Setting an organization-level retention policy, which applies to all direct messages and all streams without a specific policy.
  • Setting a retention policy for individual streams, which overrides the organization-level policy for that stream. This can be used to just delete messages on specific streams, to only retain messages forever on specific streams, or just to have a different retention period.

In Zulip Cloud, message retention policies are available on the Zulip Cloud Standard and Zulip Cloud Plus plans, as well as for the hundreds of communities with sponsored Cloud Standard hosting.

Configure message retention policy for organization

  1. Go to Organization settings.

  2. Under Message retention, configure Message retention period.

  3. Click Save changes.

Configure message retention policy for individual streams

  1. Go to All streams.

  2. Select a stream.

  3. Select the General tab on the right.

  4. Under Stream permissions, configure the Message retention period.

  5. Click Save changes.

Note: This sends an automated notice from notification bot to the "stream events" topic in the modified stream.

Important details

  • Retention policies are processed in a daily job; so changes in the policy won't have any effect until the next time the daily job runs.

  • Deleted messages are preserved temporarily in a special archive. So if you discover a misconfiguration accidentally deleted content you meant to preserve, contact Zulip support promptly for assistance with restoration. See the deletion documentation for more details on precisely how message deletion works in Zulip.