How to backup OneDrive for Business [Restore & Recover]

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
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  • Organizations keep some of their most important data in OneDrive for Business. The built-in data protection capabilities are often insufficient.
  • Third-party backup services provide additional layers of protection against ransomware attacks, accidental deletions, and configuration errors.
  • Also, take a closer look at the best business planning software to improve your business ideas.
  • You can find more useful tricks like the ones detailed below in this Web Cloud Storage Hub.
How to backup OneDrive

OneDrive for Business is a cloud based file sync and sharing solution. It is used by more than 200 million business users and it brings together important collaboration and data editing capabilities that can be accessed from anywhere.

The work from home accelerated the transition towards cloud-based file storage solutions and the adoption of OneDrive for Business continues to grow fast.

In spite of that, there are times when a malware infection on a random laptop leads to an unfortunate event.

With the files placed in a shared OneDrive for Business folder, your entire team risks losing important data. That’s not the case if you properly backup OneDrive for Business.

You’ll be able to recover your data quickly, so don’t hesitate to learn more about this procedure. Rest assured that it’s ideal when facing accidental deletions too.

How to backup OneDrive for Business files and data?

1. How to backup OneDrive for Business?

backup OneDrive for Business

You can leverage the standard backup capabilities embedded in OneDrive for Business. These tools include versioning as well as post-deletion retention.

Microsoft 365 administrators can configure user OneDrives to retain up to 50,000 last versions of all items stored on the OneDrives. A version is created every time a file is changed or re-uploaded to OneDrive.

This provides effective protection against user mistakes and accidental overwrites.

The main drawback of the built-in versioning capabilities is the lack of control (versions can be intentionally deleted by the users).

The versions also consume Microsoft 365 storage quota, and the theoretical 50,000 versions limit translates can be very expensive.

One other built-in OneDrive backup and recovery option is the post-deletion retention. Every time a file is deleted from OneDrive, it is moved to the first-stage trash bin.

It stays there for 93 days, and during this time Microsoft 365 administrators and users can recover the data.

If the data is manually deleted from the first-stage trash bin, it stays in the second-stage trash bin for additional 30 days. Only Microsoft 365 administrators can recover data from the second-stage trash bin.

Because of the limited retention period (93 days), the built-in post-deletion retention is useless when the data loss events are discovered with a significant delay.

2. Can I use third-party tools to back up OneDrive?

Afi.ai

To overcome the limitations of the standard OneDrive for Business recovery capabilities many organizations use third-party backup tools. One example of such a solution is Afi.ai, though there are more than 50 vendors offering cloud-based and on-premise OneDrive backup options.

Most backup solutions provide unlimited data retention, flexible storage locations in Europe, Australia, Canada, and the US. Afi also provides a backup option with connected customer/partner-owned S3 cloud storage accounts.  

Unlike similar backup solutions, the Afi AI engine is resistant to SaaS APIs faults that could lead to failures. Backups are scheduled at a later point and re-tried to comply with protection SLA policies.

When selecting a certain OneDrive backup vendor, pay attention and test the most critical backup and restore capabilities, including offline data export, online backup search, and preview, as well as the ability to recover OneDrive user sharing permissions.

3. Do I need to backup OneDrive for Business?

In case of asking yourself if taking a backup of your data is a must, remember that OneDrive for Business gives each member of your team a place to store documents, the opportunity to collaborate with others, and access data on the go.

There are quite a few unfortunate scenarios that could interrupt this workflow and put essential data in danger.

5 reasons why you need to backup OneDrive for Business:

  • System crashes – in the event of losing your data due to system crashes, restoring it isn’t an option without a previous backup
  • SaaS outage and shutdown – in case of an outage, data could become unavailable and cause delays that could be easily avoided
  • All sorts of virus types – when malware/ransomware infects a local machine, it could be synced immediately and spread to all OneDrive data on the cloud
  • Human errors that lead to accidental deletions – in such a case, recovering that data would be impossible without a backup
  • Time-consuming attempts of recovery – with no backup at your disposal, recovering and restoring lost data consumes time and it’s incomplete

That’s why taking care of this task is mandatory. As you’ve seen above already, it isn’t even complicated to have a reliable backup at your convenience when using the right tool.

4. Does Microsoft backup OneDrive for Business?

In spite of including individual and shared work files from all devices, Microsoft OneDrive for Business has this major flaw.

There is no OneDrive backup, as you can access everything in the cloud. Microsoft is not responsible for any data loss due to malicious activities or negligence.

It’s clear that you cannot risk compromising your data. This article explores how to backup OneDrive for Business files and data, so don’t hesitate to do that as well.

As expected, the reason for taking backups of your business data is to be able to easily recover the permanently deleted files from OneDrive with their original folder structure.

Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments area below your experience with the Afi.ai third-party backup application.