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Google Vault - Getting Started with Secure Data Archiving

Google VaultExternal Link is the cornerstone for archiving files and information within Google WorkspaceExternal Link. In addition, Google Vault is an audit-proof archiving, i.e. the documents are archived unchanged.

Why do I need Google Vault?

The principles for proper keeping and storage of books, records, and documents, including the principles of secure archiving, are defined in the GOBD (Grundsatz zur ordnungsmäßigen Führung und Aufbewahrung von Büchern, Aufzeichnungen und Unterlagen). Secure archiving refers to the correct storage of electronic records over an extended period. This is important as secure archiving is legally mandated in the German Commercial Code. Companies are usually obligated to retain documents for a period ranging from 6 to 10 years. Specific retention rules can be established for each Google Workspace service.

What exactly does Google Vault do?

Google Vault stores Google Workspace services in eDiscovery, an internal web-based archiving service that archives, searches, exports, and can display facts. The following Workspace services can be archived in Vault:

  • Gmail messages
  • Files in Google Drive
  • Conversations in Google Chat with Chat Log enabled
  • Recordings in Google Meet
  • Google Groups

What functions does it offer?

  • Retention. Here you can define how long data is retained. After the retention period, the data is removed from the user accounts and from the Google systems.
  • Legal matter (Holds). Once a hold is placed on a matter, the data is retained indefinitely.
  • Search. Data can be searched by user account, organisational unit, date, or even keywords. Boolean operators and wildcards are supported.
  • Export. Data can be exported
  • Reports. Audit reports can be used to display data from users within a specified time period.

Who can use Google Vault?

Google Vault is already included in the licence for the following licence types:

  • Business Plus
  • Enterprise
  • Enterprise Essentials (only with domain confirmation)
  • Education Fundamentals and Plus
  • G Suite Business

If the licence version Frontline or still G Suite Basic is in use, a separate Google Vault licence can be purchased.

Quick-Start Guide: How can I set up Google Vault?

Google Vault can be set to store your data in just a few steps and can be accessed at the following link: https://ediscovery.google.com/External Link.

Standard retention rules are great for quickly and securely archiving data from specific times for a period of time. They take effect when no custom retention rule has been created or is effective.

Custom retention rules can be created by clicking on the red "Create Rule" button. For a rough overview, here is a screenshot of the retention menu in Google Vault.


This page displays all the rules with their settings.

The gif animation below shows the Google Vault retention homepage, giving you a quick overview of default retention rules for all services. The short clip also demonstrates how to easily set up a retention rule for emails.

To set up a retention rule, follow these steps: access the link mentioned earlier (https://ediscovery.google.com/External Link), click on 'Retention' on the left, choose the relevant service, and then tick the box that says 'Set default retention rule for emails.' Another menu will appear where you can specify the duration. You can choose 'Indefinite' if you don't want any associated data to be deleted, or you can set a specific duration in days. Finally, save your settings, and your emails will be securely stored in Vault.



Google Vault offers reliable and, above all, legally compliant protection for your company data. Getting started is quick and easy. If you need support setting it up or using it, just contact us.

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