A Guide To The Uses Of Google Vault

A Guide to the Uses of Google Vault

Google Vault is a valuable tool that companies can use to archive data and export it if necessary. It’s beneficial to anyone that has confidential data such as financial information. Google Vault safely stores the information in the cloud, so it doesn’t take up any room on your actual computer.

Google Vault is a Google Workspace product that will archive information based on the rules you have set up. In the event of a legal matter that you need to access this information, you can search for it and export it to be used in an investigation using a process called eDiscovery.

If you’re curious about whether or not Vault is something that you need for your business, stick around. The guide to the uses of Google Vault is right here, so keep reading. 

What Is Google Vault?

Google Vault is a web-based product created by Google for Google Workspace users. It will allow you to archive information from Google apps such as Gmail, Google Meet, Drive, and Google chat.   After they are archived, you will be able to use eDiscovery to search and find information in the event of any litigation or other legal aspects. 

How Does eDiscovery Work with Google Vault?

This is the process for searching and finding information in an electronic format. This information is generally sought due to legal matters or investigations that may arise in the course of doing business.

The entire eDiscovery and Google Vault process will run from the time a lawsuit is imminent until it is presented and includes all data that an attorney would deem relevant.


Why Use Google Vault?

Why would you need Google Vault? The short answer is that no business is immune to legal proceedings, whether founded or not. If you have employees, you are also responsible for the communications that they have with other people using your business account.  

With everything being digital these days, there is no such thing as too much protection. If someone should say that you or an employee did something inappropriate, would you feel better having something better to back you up then just “I never said that.”?

That is where Vault comes in. They will archive your conversations for you, and you can search them out if ever needed.


Here are some of the benefits of Google Vault, and how they work:


How Google Vault does it

Data Retention

  • If you or an employee intentionally deletes the Google Workspace data, it will still be maintained in the Vault. 

  • Vault administrators can search for and export any required date.

Industry Compliance

  • Some industries have compliance standards that must be followed. Insurance, for example, is seven years of documents. 

  • Vault can keep the data that you need to stay compliant without you having to be hands-on.

Legal Investigations

If a legal matter comes up, Google Vault will automatically

  • Put required user information on hold (retention rules no longer apply)

  • Search for information that has involved parties

  • Export the data from your search results

  • You can run audit reports to see what has been done in Google Vault


What Does Google Vault Retain from Each App?

Google App

What It Covers



  • All emails that your users send and receive

  • Emails sent through other servers

  • References linked in emails

Google Groups

  • Distribution lists and Q&A Groups

  • For Q&A type groups the admin will have to turn the archiving on

Google Drive

  • Google Docs

  • Google Sheets

  • Google Slides

  • Google Forms

  • Google Drawings

  • Non-Google files if you have them uploaded to drive (i.e., pdf, jpeg, word)

  • Hangout Meet calls that are recorded

  • Jamboard (Google’s whiteboard) that are stored on the Drive

  • Files that you download but do not upload your Drive.

Hangouts Chat

Chats are archived in Google Vault

If you have 1:1 or group chat only “on the record” chats are archived. Google Workspace Administrators can switch the chat setting to history always on

Hangout Meet

Google Meet meetings are recorded and saved in the Drive, so they are archived


Critical Terms in Google Vault

There are keywords to remember when working in Google Vault. These are the main words that make Google Vault function.

Matter : When an investigation is created, a matter is where everything is organized about that case.

Hold : Holds will always override any retention rules. Holds are placed when it has already been deemed as relevant to a case.


Who Can See Information in Google Vault And How To Customize That

In Google Vault, you can create organizational units based on what users do or need to be a part of. Setting up organizational units allows you to set up different levels for each part or person in your organization. 

Even in doing this, some functions will be company-wide and not be able to separate. In this table, Tenant is everyone and cannot be separated by organization units.


What it does


Manage Retention

Create, update and delete retention rules

Google Workspace Tenant


View logs, hold reports and hold in matters

Google Workspace Tenant

Retention Policies

View all retention policies

Google Workspace Tenant


View all matters

Google Workspace Tenant

Manage Matters

Create, close, modify remove or restore

Google Workspace Tenant or Organizational Unit

Manage Holds

Creat, remove or view holds

Google Workspace Tenant or Organizational Unit

Manage Searches

Perform searches and view output data

Google Workspace Tenant or Organizational Unit

Manage Exports

View and download or delete exports

Google Workspace Tenant or Organizational Unit


What Is The Cost Of Google Vault?

So now you are wondering what this costs extra. There are different Google Workspace packages, some of them include Google Vault, and some do not.


Below is an outline of how Google Vault’s pricing works with Google Workspace packages:

Google Workspace Package

Cost of Google Workspace Package

Is Google Vault Included

Google Workspace Business Starter



Google Workspace Business Standard



Google Workspace Business plus





Is Google Vault something you should have or make use of? Yes, you can set up your own retention rules based on your industry rules or preferences for your comfort zone. 

Google Vault will ultimately help you if you are ever faced with an investigation that involves any kind of impropriety without having to look too far. You also don’t want ever to take the chance that an employee would delete some information that may be needed by someone in the event of an investigation.

Final thoughts are in this day in age when everyone is suing everyone. No matter if it is a founded suit or not, every piece of backup that you can have while you are running a business is a piece of mind. Google Vault is more of the unseen attorney, legal or human resources department in your back pocket that you did not even know was there.



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