We have setup Send Log Data Extension for a Business Unit without specifying any Data Retention Policy. Now we would like to specify the Data Retention Policy (All Individual records for 7 days) for the Send Log Data Extension. How can we do it? Is this something which Support can set up in the Backend?

2 Answers 2


You can also use Contact Builder for this task. Accessing the Data Extension through that application and selecting Manage Policies allows you to customize all of the Data Retention settings. It can be a little bit glitchy when saving, so make sure you confirm the settings after making any changes.

  • Thanks Anon. I was able to test this in my Test Org and it saved data retention for Individual Records. Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 17:06
  • Although above option works, SFMC support doesn't recommend us to use this option. Also, this doesn't support row-based data retention yet. In the UI it shows as if its setup, however, rows won't get deleted. this is a bug and SFMC development team will fix this in a future release. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 3:08

You can alter the DE retention settings with the SFMC SOAP API. Here's a sample SOAP envelope of the call:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<s:Envelope xmlns:s="http://www.w3.org/2003/05/soap-envelope" xmlns:a="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2004/08/addressing" xmlns:u="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-utility-1.0.xsd">
      <a:Action s:mustUnderstand="1">Update</a:Action>
      <a:To s:mustUnderstand="1">https://webservice.s7.exacttarget.com/Service.asmx</a:To>
      <o:Security xmlns:o="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/2004/01/oasis-200401-wss-wssecurity-secext-1.0.xsd" s:mustUnderstand="1">
         <u:Timestamp u:Id="_0">
         <o:UsernameToken u:Id="uuid-1f92d508-707e-4dff-a594-341bafb7a741-1">
               <!-- Removed-->
               <!-- Removed-->
   <s:Body xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
      <UpdateRequest xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI">
         <Objects xsi:type="DataExtension">
            <PartnerKey xsi:nil="true" />
            <ObjectID xsi:nil="true" />

Your Send Log DE will need to have less than around 30 million rows for this to work. If it has more than that, the API call usually times out.

  • Thanks, Adam. As per below documentation (developer.salesforce.com/docs/… ) Row Based data retention is not supported yet. I was looking to setup Data Retention for individual records. does it still work? Also, we are dealing with more than 100 million records :( Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 17:03
  • I feel your pain. I built a system to prune data extension rows for this very reason -- adding retention. A simplified version of the prune script is here: Prune rows in a Data Extension Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 20:43
  • 1
    As per SFMC support, API calls are causing the Data Extension to be corrupted while changing Retention Policy due to a bug. The issue has been investigated and found to be a product bug in which if Retention date is modified through API call, DE gets into a state where it cannot be cleared. So at this moment, we cant use API calls to update Data Retention. Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 15:34

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