Adding preservation hold settings using Modern Authentication

The Preservation Hold Settings page is used to add, edit, or remove preservation hold data sources from legal hold projects with Microsoft 365 data sources. Preservation hold settings temporarily grant collection admin permissions to the specified account user to determine custodian SharePoint site access privileges during target discovery.

Note: If this is set to No, it is possible that not all relevant SharePoint sites will be returned during the Target Discover process.

Preservation in place functionality uses Modern Authentication (certificate based), which allows for multi-factor authentication (MFA) and is known to be more secure than providing Username and Password.

A legal hold admin will need to run through a one-time setup to connect Microsoft 365 to Relativity (see Prerequisites below).

This page contains the following information:

Background information

Our previous preservation in place functionality in the Legal Hold application used Basic Authentication (Username and Password) for authenticating with Microsoft Purview eDiscovery Standard.

Due to Microsoft’s deprecation of Basic Authentication in many places of O365, we are updating our authentication approach to use the Modern Authentication method, which is certificate-based authentication (CBA). For more information on Microsoft’s deprecation of Basic Authentication, please refer to Microsoft's documentation.

Modern Authentication allows for multi-factor authentication to be enabled, which previously needed to be disabled for Basic Authentication. In general, Modern Authentication is known to be more secure than providing Username and Password.

Note: Until May 31, 2023, Relativity will provide the option for both Basic and Modern Authentication while users are transitioning to Modern Authentication. After May 31, 2023, only Modern Authentication will be supported. Be sure to toggle on Modern Authentication before May 31, 2023, when Basic Authentication will no longer be supported in RelativityOne Legal Hold.

Use the steps in this section to toggle on Modern Authentication in the Preservation Hold Settings object in your Relativity Workspace.


Enable the Preservation Hold Settings security permission in order to create a Preservation Hold Setting. For more information on security permissions, see Legal Hold Application Permissions.


If you are intending to use preserve in place, a Microsoft 365 account that has eDiscovery Manager, SharePoint admin, and Compliance admin permissions will need to be created. For more information, see Creating a Microsoft 365 admin account below.

Creating a Microsoft 365 admin account

To connect Relativity Legal Hold to your Microsoft 365 tenant, create a dedicated, non-personal Microsoft 365 service account. Multi-factor authentication is supported with Modern Authentication as well.

Also, during the setup of the service account in Microsoft 365, assign the eDiscovery Manager, SharePoint admin and Compliance admin roles to the service account. These roles are required for Microsoft Outlook, OneDrive, and SharePoint, and allow Relativity Legal Hold to initiate preservation requests.

If the admin account cannot be granted SharePoint Admin privileges in Microsoft 365 for security reasons, you can utilize the Entity OneDrive URL feature to facilitate OneDrive preservations. You are still unable to preserve SharePoint site URLs since SharePoint Admin privileges are required by Microsoft.

Adding preservation hold settings

To create a preservation hold for a custodian, the preservation hold settings will need to be added first. This is a one-time setup to create data sources for a preservation hold. Complete the process by following the steps below.

Step 1: Setup in Microsoft

Follow steps 1 through 5 in Microsoft's documentation for setting up app-only authentication in Azure AD: Set up app-only authentication. These steps include:

  1. Registering the application in Azure AD.
  2. Assigning API permissions to the application.
  3. Generating a self-signed certificate.

Note: You can also use a purchased or generated certificate from your organization.

  1. Attaching the certificate to the Azure AD application.
  2. Assigning Azure AD roles of Compliance Administrator and Exchange Administrator to the application.

You will use the information created in this step for the next few steps below.

Step 2: Run PowerShell Script to create a Service Principal

Now that you’ve setup an app in Azure AD in Step 1 above, you need to create a Service Principal that is associated with the app. To do this, you will need to run the following PowerShell script:

## Authenticate with Microsoft (including providing answer for MFA)
$AppId = "Application-ID-FROM-AZURE-AD"
$appName = "AppNAME-FROM-Azure-AD"
$spDisplayName = "your_sp_displayname"

# access token is passed to Connect-AzureAD
# the user logging, will require admin permissions. 
$AADApp = Get-AzureADServicePrincipal -SearchString $appName

# create service principal in scc
New-ServicePrincipal -AppId $AADApp.AppId -ServiceId $AADApp.ObjectId -DisplayName $spDisplayName
$SP = Get-ServicePrincipal -Identity $spDisplayName
disconnect-exchangeonline -Confirm:$false

Replace these values with your information:

  • $AppId—replace "Application-ID-FROM-AZURE-AD" with the Application ID that was created in Step 1: Setup in Microsoft.
  • $appName—replace "AppNAME-FROM-Azure-AD" with the Application Name that was created in Step 1: Setup in Microsoft.
  • $spDisplayName—replace "your_sp_displayname" with a display name for your service principal. This can be any name that you want to use to identify the service principal, for example RLH_PIP_ServicePrincipal.

Step 3: Preservation Hold Settings Configuration

  1. Navigate to the Preservation Hold Settings tab within Hold Admin.

  2. Click the New Preservation Hold Settings button.

  3. Fill out these fields as follows:

    • Name—enter the name to identify the data source.
    • Domain Name—enter the Microsoft 365 Tenant name. The domain name is located between @ and For example, the domain in is relativity.
    • URL—this read-only URL is the connection to Microsoft 365 Protection Services utilized by Relativity Legal Hold.
    • Account User—leave this field blank. It is not used with Modern Authentication.
    • Account Password—leave this field blank. It is not used with Modern Authentication.
    • Resolve SharePoint Site Permissions—select Yes to temporarily grant the required permissions to the Account User in order to obtain the list of custodians that have access to a given site during the target discovery process.

      Note: If this option is not enabled, it is possible that not all targets will be returned during the discovery process. The Account User must have all required permissions to read the site properties. For more information, see Microsoft's documentation.

  4. For the Modern Authentication section, do the following:

    • Use Modern Authentication—select Yes.

    • Application ID—enter the Application ID that you created in Step 1: Setup in Microsoft.

    • Organization—enter the fully qualified domain name of your Microsoft tenant (organization), including the "" portion. For example,

    • Certificate—Attach the self-signed certificate that you created in Step 1: Setup in Microsoft.

    • Certificate Password—enter the password that protects the private key of the certificate that you created in Step 1: Setup in Microsoft.

  5. Click Save.

Step 4: Validate Preservation Hold Settings

After saving the Preservation Hold Settings, you have the option to validate that the setup succeeded.

Click the Validate Settings button under the Settings bar on the right side to validate that Modern Authentication is configured correctly. This will create and then delete a sample preservation case in Microsoft Purview.

Validate Settings button highlighted on Preservation Hold Settings

If the validation worked correctly, the Validation Status field will display “Validated.” If it did not, the Validation Error field will contain the error message and you will need to correct the error.

Once the validation is successful, you are ready to set up Preservation Holds using the Legal Hold Wizard. See Preservation hold.

Deleting a preservation hold setting

To delete a preservation hold setting, delete all projects using the setting first. To learn how to delete projects, see Deleting a project. Once the projects have been deleted, navigate to the Preservation Hold Setting and click the Delete button. This action deletes the preservation hold setting from Relativity Legal Hold.

Note: Due to background processes, the preservation hold setting may not be immediately deleted.