Storing Zoom Team Chat message history

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Account owners or admins can choose how long chat messages are stored in the Zoom cloud and on local devices. This will delete all messages after the designated time frame. If local messages are being stored for 1 month or less, a yellow banner will appear in your Team Chat window, notifying the members of your account of how long local messages will be stored. If you enable cloud storage, you can view, download, or delete stored chat messages.

Although users can delete messages on a local device, admins can access these messages on the cloud depending on how long the cloud storage retention period has been set. The maximum length of time that messages can be stored is 10 years and the minimum amount of time is 1 day. By default, messages are stored on the cloud for 2 years and messages are stored on local devices for 1 year. Account owners and admins can change this length of time in chat storage settings, which will affect all users in the account.

The time frame is dependent on when the message is sent. For example, if you choose to delete all messages after 3 days, they will be deleted 3 days after being sent, regardless of whether they are received by any of the recipient’s devices.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for managing chat storage history

How to change chat message storage settings

You can change settings to specify how long chat messages are stored for.

Account

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an admin with the privilege to edit account settings.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Account Management then Account Settings.
  3. Click the Team Chat tab.
  4. Under Storage, click the toggles next to the following settings to enable or disable them. If a verification dialog appears, click Enable or Disable to verify the change. 
    • Cloud storage: Automatically save all persistent chat messages to the cloud.
      • Set retention period for messages and files in Zoom's cloud: Specify the time period to store messages, then click Save. After the specified cloud retention period, Zoom will remove all persistent chat messages and metadata from the cloud. 
        Notes:
        • The timeframe for the retention period is dependent on when the message is sent. For example, if the account admin chooses to delete all messages after 3 days, they will be deleted 3 days after it is sent.
        • For 1-on-1 chats, Zoom saves messages to the cloud by using the minimum cloud storage retention rule of both parties.
        • For group chats and channels, Zoom saves messages to the cloud-based on each channel member’s cloud storage retention rule, not based on the channel admin's storage retention rule. For example, if the channel admin sets a retention rule of 1 day, but a channel member has a retention rule of 30 days, the member can still view messages up to 30 days after they are sent.
        • For free users, cloud storage is set to 2 years by default (even though they can't access it in the admin portal).
        • Even when this setting is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted once the intended recipient receives them.
        • When this setting is updated, the new policy will only apply to new messages. It will not retroactively apply to existing messages.
        • If you have master and sub accounts, cloud storage retention rules are set independently in master and sub accounts.
      • Enable files within channels to be backed by third-party cloud storage (only available at the account level): Choose to back files with Zoom Cloud, or integrate with SharePoint or Box.
    • Store messages on local devices (excluding personal channel messages): Automatically delete all persistent chat messages and metadata on the local device after the specified retention period. Attachments will still save on the local device. Specify the time period messages are stored on the desktop or mobile device running Zoom, then click Save.
      Notes:
      • This setting only applies to the account admin’s internal users. It will not affect external users, even if the external users are chatting with internal users in a channel/group chat owned by the internal user. 
      • When this setting is updated, the new policy will apply to both existing and new messages.
    • Store edited and deleted message revisions (only available at the account level): Store edited/deleted messages (as well as the original version) in the cloud. You can view, download, or delete stored messages using the Zoom web portal.
      Note: You must enable Cloud Storage to see this option.
    • Send data to third-party archiving service: Archive messages and files with a third-party archiving service.
  5. (Optional) To prevent all users in your account from changing a setting, click the lock icon next to it , and then click Lock to confirm the setting.

If you enabled cloud storage, you can view, download, or delete stored chat messages.

Group

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal as an admin with the privilege to edit groups.
  2. In the navigation menu, click User Management then Groups.
  3. Click the applicable group name from the list.
  4. Click the Team Chat tab.
  5. Under Storage, click the toggles next to the following settings to enable or disable them. If a verification dialog appears, click Enable or Disable to verify the change. If the option is grayed out, it has been locked at the account level and needs to be changed at that level.
    • Send data to third-party archiving service: Archive messages and files with a third-party archiving service.
    • Cloud storage: Automatically save all persistent chat messages to the cloud.
      • Set retention period for messages and files in Zoom's cloud: Specify the time period to store messages, then click Save. After the specified cloud retention period, Zoom will remove all persistent chat messages and metadata from the cloud.
    • Store messages on local devices (excluding personal channel messages): Automatically delete all persistent chat messages and its metadata on the local device after the specified retention period. Attachments will still save on the local device. Specify the time period messages are stored on the desktop or mobile device running Zoom, then click Save.

Cloud storage - admin chat history tool location rules

If Basic users and external paid users are involved, the following scenarios describe how messages are stored in the Chat History tool in the Zoom web portal.

Note: The account must have the Cloud Storage setting enabled for messages to be stored in the Chat History tool.

Chat type Users involved Which account admin can view the messages in their chat history tool?
1-on-1 chat

Two free users

Not applicable

(Neither of them can access chat history using the web portal)

Channel or group chat

Internal free user

External paid user

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal free user

External free user

External paid user

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

Two external free users

Paid user's account admin
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

External paid user

Both paid users' account admins
Channel or group chat

Internal paid user

External free user

External paid user

Both paid user's account admins
1-on-1, channel, or group chat

Internal paid user

External free user (added to the paid user's account and becomes an internal user)

Paid user's account admin

(messages are only stored from the time the free user was added to the paid user's account)

 

Cloud storage retention rules

The following table shows how long chat messages are stored in the cloud for a variety of scenarios.

Scenario

Users involved and settings enabled

How long are these messages being saved on the cloud? 

1-on-1 chat

Two free users

2 years

1-on-1 chat

1 free user 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and 5 year retention period 

2 years 

1-on-1 chat

1 free user 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage disabled

Not stored in the cloud

Note: Even when Cloud Storage is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted.

1-on-1 chat

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 4 years 

1 paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 6  years 

4 years

1-on-1

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled with retention period of 3 years 

Free user who later is added to another paid account with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 5 years 

Before free user becomes a paid account user, the messages are saved for 2 years 

After free user becomes a paid account user, all new messages are saved for 3 years

Channel or group chat

Free user (channel admin)

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years  

2 years 

Channel or group chat

Free user 

Paid user (channel admin) with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years 

3 years 

Channel or group chat

Free user

Paid user with Cloud Storage enabled and retention period of 3 years 

Paid user (channel admin) with Cloud Storage disabled

Not stored in the cloud

Note: Even when Cloud Storage is turned off, messages sent offline will be stored in the cloud for up to 7 days and auto-deleted.

Channel or group chat

Paid user (original channel admin) with Cloud Storage enabled with retention period of 3 years 

Free user (new channel admin) 

Before free user becomes channel admin, the messages are saved for 3 years 

After free user becomes channel admin, all new messages are saved for 2 years

Note: Chats that contain users from several account can also affect cloud storage retention. Learn more about the effect of Zoom Team Chat settings on inter-account communications.

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