SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2978883 - Auto Data Purge in Preview Instances to Purge Attachments & Person/Non-Person Related Audit Data


While trying to download/view an attachment in a Preview instance the following error is seen:

     The document you are trying to access has been removed from the system.

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SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite


  • With release b2105, customers can find the Auto Data Purge tab in both Production and Preview instances under the Data Retention Management page to Purge Attachments and Person/Non-Person related audit data. 
  • As per system design, customers have the ability to opt-in/out of feature using Auto Data Purge Tab by checking the available options and maintaining days as Retention Period for auto purging of data.
  • To avoid any impact on current application page logic file details such as file name, file type and extension will remain the same and only attachment content and file size will be updated in attach_content table as blank.
  • Please check the impacts of Auto Data Purge and Retention Periods section of the Admin Guide for different types of data in the instance.

Note: The policy will be enforced only in Preview Instances after getting customer consent via option to opt-out/in polices under Auto data Purge Tab in Data Retention Management.


To find the root cause of error "The document you are trying to access has been removed from the system", check feature if opt-in/out and retention period maintained under Data Retention Management > Auto Data Purge tab. 

To opt-in/out of Auto Data Purge policy:

  1. Go to Admin Center > Data Retention Management 
  2. Choose the Auto Data Purge tab as below
  3. Opt-in/out of Auto Purge policy for Purging Attachments and Person/Non-Person related audit data maintaining retention period in days for each
  4. Save

What's New in 2H 2021?

As part of the 2H 2021 release, we have updated the default configuration of Auto Data Purge in Test and Development instances.

More information on the default configurations depending on the tenant types can be found in this section of the admin guide.

In production, test, development, and sales demo instances, all data types aren't selected to be purged by default.

In preview instances, default configurations are different for data types:

  • Documents are selected by default. You can configure the retention period or choose not to purge this data type.
  • Audit Data Containing Personally Identifiable Information isn't selected by default.
  • Audit Data Without Personally Identifiable Information is selected to be purged. You can't make your own configuration of this data type.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: If you uncheck the 3rd option in Data Retention  Management > Auto Data Purge > “Attachment (minimum retention period:  (0) days)”  - will the attachments always be stored in the system?

A: Yes, if the customer unchecks the option, then nothing will be purged by the auto data purge. But the base storage limit per instance which is set in Document Management still applies.

Q: What is the max number of days they can set as the retention period?

A: Currently there is no limit for the max number of days, however it will be implemented as 1800 days in b2105 release.

Q: In the help guide, there is a "Retention Period" in days for a number of different modules and tools. Which takes precedent, the number of days set in the help guide or the number manually entered in Data Retention Management?

A: Mandatory retention periods are set by module teams to grantee that the system runs smoothly. The actual retention period implemented in the purge process is the longer one between the custom retention period you configured and mandatory retention periods listed in the help guide.

Q: How is the tool able to identify which data to purge? What date is being used as reference for attachments, non-person and person related data?

A: For attachments, this is based on the document creation date. For Audits, some of the tables are based on creation date, some of the tables are based on last modified date.

Q: Will auto data purged attachments be still visible under "Manage Documents" page?

A: Yes, they will appear in Manage Documents page, however,  as the attachments are replaced by dummy attachments, the document size also changes. Lastly, when "purged" attachments are downloaded by administrator, from Manage Documents, they will see the following note below.

"Attachment files are replaced by a file named removed when they exceed the set retention periods. The file contains a reminder: "The document that you’re trying to access has been removed from the system."

Q: Will auto data purged attachments be still visible on the module page where it was uploaded?

A: Yes. Links to purged attachments will still be visible in module pages where it was uploaded, however, when downloaded by admins, they will see the message below.

"Attachment files are replaced by a file named removed when they exceed the set retention periods. The file contains a reminder: "The document that you’re trying to access has been removed from the system."

Q: How can administrators identify when the last purge was done?

A: Under "Auto Data Purge" tab will show details on when the last purge was completed.

Q: I am using 3rd party storage solutions (Box or OpenText). Will I be affected by the auto purge of attachments?

A: No. This is only applicable for customers utilizing SuccessFactors document storage - "Manage Documents" page from Admin center.

See Also

  • KB article 2971340 - Second Half Release 2020 - Platform Release Information FAQ
  • KB article 2518360 - The Manage Documents Feature in SuccessFactors


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