I have a data extension which includes a few records. It was not set up a data retention policy in the first place. I have reconfigured the data retention through Contact builder so that individual records would be deleted after 1 day. After over a half day, I rechecked and these records are still there.

Does this reconfiguring data retention apply to existing records in the DE? If it does execute the deletion, when does it happen?

1 Answer 1


All existing records will have the start time be when you set the retention. This is because the entry time of a record to a DE (hidden field _CreatedDate) does not exist until you set a data retention rule.

So in your case all previous records will be deleted 1 full day after setting retention and then continue on as expected after.

  • I have queried the hidden field you mentioned and it showed the same date time in the DE last modified date. Makes sense to me now! Thanks so much!
    – Duc Le
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 13:40
  • I don't know if I missed something but the previous records are still there after over 1 day. I checked the data retention policy again and compared between the hidden field _CreatedDate and getdate() function in SQL ( May 14 2022 9:41AM vs May 15 2022 5:35PM )
    – Duc Le
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 23:42
  • @duyduc27 - I am honestly not sure on that - I would likely double check the retention to ensure it is set up correctly and if it is not pushing out records despite being set up correctly, I would contact Global Support as they can dive deeper into the issue than we can. Commented May 18, 2022 at 16:26
  • I believe it's a bug, I recall I read about it somewhere here. I'm working on it with their support though. Will update the result so people can profit.
    – Duc Le
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 1:15
  • 1
    @DucLe even though you set retention policy of 1 day, your records wont be self deleted after 24 hrs of insertion. It would be 36-40ish hours to be deleted. This is a bug with SF retention policy which is there for a pretty long time already.
    – tkhuynh
    Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 6:45

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