Office 365 Backup and Restore: Best Methods

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  • Updated on January 15th, 2020

Does Office 365 backup your data? Who is accountable for your data? We discuss everything you need to know about Office 365 Backup and Restore so, make sure to read till the end.

Data is vital for any person or enterprise. Yet Backup is the most neglected aspect as there are several misconceptions about it.

Office 365 provides indispensable tools, services, privacy, and security, but a comprehensive backup isn’t one of them. According to a survey of 1000 IT pros, 81 % of them experienced data loss in Office 365 due to a simple user error or a security threat.

Why Backup Office 365?

A Backup is an independent copy of data that one can restore if the current services are lost or unavailable.

Microsoft isn’t responsible for the full safety of your data. Their protection is part of a shared-responsibility plan.

If you accidentally delete something and need it later, it only stays in the Deleted Items(Trash Box) for a short period. Therefore, users are solely responsible for their data.Backup Office 365

Manual ways to Backup Office 365

We have two in-house methods to perform the Backup using MS Outlook.

By using the eDiscovery PST Export Tool

  1. Log-in to your Office 365 application. Go-to Office 365 Admin Center, now select Security and Compliance Center. Select the permissions and edit the eDiscovery Manager role group. Check for the presence of Export role if not present, add it by the plus button.
  2. After that, go to, Search & Investigation option. Select the add(+) button and generate a new Content Search Wizard. Enter a suitable Name and click Next.
  3. Now choose the Search everywhere option and select Mark Exchange to export data from all mailboxes. To choose specific mailboxes, use the Custom location selection option.
  4. In this step, select the filters like email metadata, time range, and message type. Select Search, and in the next window, click on Start Export.
  5. After that, from the Content Search dialogue box, download the export results by choosing Download export results. It generates an export key. Save it anywhere.
  6. Now in the eDiscovery PST export tool, paste the Export key. Choose the folder where you want to save your file.
  7. At last, Export starts after you click start.

Office 365 Email Backup using the Outlook Application

For this method, all Office 365 mailboxes must have full control permissions on the mailboxes you wish to export.
Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Outlook App. Go to File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export.
  2. In the Import and Export wizard, choose Export to a file and click Next.
  3. Choose the option of Outlook Data File(.pst) in the wizard and click on NEXT.
  4. Select the Folders/Items to move and click on Next for the Export to begin.

Drawbacks of Manual Backup

Although there are manual solutions available for Backup, none of them is a complete go-to solution.
Here are a few limitations of manual techniques.

  1. No options are available to export selective mailboxes.
  2. It takes time to finish and is complex to manoeuvre.
  3. Configuration of mailboxes necessary.
  4. They offer No data security or Data Integrity.
  5. Not Compatible with all office plans.

One can observe that these techniques won’t be practical for a big company having many employees and years worth of data. When security is necessary and data integrity has to be maintained thereafter. So for an easy and hassle-free complete Office 365 Backup, we use a third-party tool.

How to Backup and Restore Office 365 automatically

This tool offers a quick, fast, complete and secure one spot solution for Backing and Restoring all your Office 365 data however you need it.

For Backup

  1. Open the tool and select the Office 365 Backup option. Click on Proceed.Office 365 backup 1
  2. Provide the login credentials of the Office 365 account and login.Office 365 backup 2
  3. Choose the files and folders to export and give the saving location.Office 365 backup 3
  4. Now apply date range if needed.Office 365 backup 4
  5. Soon the saving process starts and finishes soon.Office 365 backup 5
  6. After the completion of the process, save the information of the process to the CSV file for future reference.Office 365 backup 6

For Restore

  1. Open the application and select the Restore option. Click on Proceed.Office 365 restore 1
  2. Enter the credentials of Office 365 and Log-in.Office 365 restore 2
  3. Select the Backup file and the Destination mailbox to import it.Office 365 restore 3
  4. Pick the items to Import and provide the date range if necessary. Click on the Next Button.Office 365 restore 4
  5. At last, save the process data in CSV format.Office 365 restore 5

Benefits of using Third-Party Backup and Restore tool

  1. Save Email data on the local machine as a backup.
  2. Choose Mailboxes to include in the Backup.
  3. Also Preserve Emails, Attachments, Contacts, Journal and Tasks.
  4. Save in multiple formats like PST, EML, MBOX, PDF, MHTML and MSG.
  5. Restore to different Email clients like Gmail, Thunderbird, Zimbra, and Yahoo.
  6. Also compatible with Windows and Mac.
  7. Comes with an easy to use GUI.

Summing Up

In this article, we’ve discussed Does Office 365 Backup your Data, Microsoft’s Policies regarding your Office Data, available methods to backup Office manually, the drawbacks of manual techniques.

Later we use Office 365 Backup and Restore Tool and saw its advantages over manual solutions. It’s convenient to invest in a third-party tool for all your Backup needs.

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