Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data: As Part of a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh 
Published On February 16th, 2024
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading

Summary: “Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data? “ Curious to know the answer to this query? Recently, we have been getting these queries frequently. Hence, in this article, we are going to cover this topic in detail. Go through this write-up and you will learn why you should back up your cloud data effectively. 

Just because Microsoft 365 solutions are available over the cloud, it never implies that your complete data is backed up by Microsoft. The complete O365 solutions including Office 365, Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, etc. are hosted by Microsoft, but it doesn’t replace your duty to maintain the local backup of your data.

If the Question is, Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data?

The short answer is yes, Microsoft does backup Office 365 data. Microsoft operates a geo-redundant backup system that replicates data across multiple data centers in different geographic locations. This backup system is designed to protect against data loss due to a variety of issues, including natural disasters, hardware failures, and cyberattacks.

Microsoft’s backup system provides protection for the core components of Office 365, including email, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, and Teams. This means that if Microsoft experiences a data loss event, it can restore the lost data from its backup systems.

However, it’s important to note that Microsoft’s backup system is not intended to be a comprehensive backup solution for Office 365 data. Microsoft’s backup system is designed to protect against catastrophic data loss events, but it may not be able to restore individual items or files that are accidentally deleted or corrupted by users.

Let’s have a thorough look at the service level agreements accepted and agreed by Microsoft and their clients for Office 365 services that address any availability of your data and not recoverability. This clearly states Microsoft doesn’t take the guarantee to back up and protect your data, and it is eventually your own duty.

Microsoft does not backup Office 365

So, it is pretty clear that you are responsible for protecting your organization’s data.

Now the main question is – “Do I Need to Back Up Office 365 Data?”

The shortest and safest answer is YES! By hosting the infrastructure of Office 365, Microsoft provides a collaborative, dynamic workplace for its customers. Even though best-of-the-industry security measures privacy settings and compliance policies are put in place to increase cloud productivity data loss and data security are still major concerns during business migrations to the cloud.

5 Quick Steps to Tackle – Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data?

  • Step 1. Download, Install & Launch Tool on PC.
  • Step 2. Select Office 365 & Outlook as Platform.
  • Step 3. Enable Required Workload & Apply Filter.
  • Step 4. Login with Admin Credentials & Validate.
  • Step 5. Select Destination Location & Start Backup.

Retention Policy As A Response to Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data 

You might not have many options for restoring your data in the event of a disaster and it’s a sad truth. Moreover, Geographically distributed Database Availability Groups are the primary mechanism displayed by Microsoft to protect Office 365-based Exchange Servers. They also provide regular backups of Office 365 servers. To know more about Microsoft’s retention policy, refer to the blog – Microsoft Office 365 Backup Retention Policy

But, why is that?

This backup process for Office 365 performed by Microsoft is supposed to be used for their internal management only when any ruinous events like natural calamity occur that lead to the wiping out of large volumes of data from cloud storage.

Also Read: Top 5 Smart Ways to Secure Office 365 OWA Email

Understand the Common Data Loss Scenarios in Microsoft 365

To understand the limitations of relying solely on Microsoft’s built-in features, it’s essential to consider common data loss scenarios:

  • User Data Deletion – Accidental, intentional, or unintentional user data deletion can occur, at any time. And most of the time Microsoft’s retention policies can not always be enough to recover lost data.
  • Security Threats – Malware, ransomware, and many other cyberattacks can lead to data corruption or deletion within or outside the organization. Which requires additional recovery methods.
  • Data Corruption – Data can become corrupted due to various reasons, and Microsoft’s retention policies can not always guarantee a clean recovery.
  • Legal and Compliance Requirements – Some organizations need to retain data for compliance or legal purposes for an extended period. Microsoft’s retention policies can not meet these specific requirements.

What Backup Options Are Available for Office 365 Users?

While Microsoft’s backup system provides some level of protection for Office 365 data, it’s always a good idea to have an additional backup plan in place. There are several backup options available for Office 365 users, including:

SysTools Office 365 Backup Tool ensures that complete data in your Office 365 suite can be backed up and restored with a matter of simple clicks. The data in the cloud such as Outlook emails, OneDrive documents, etc. are stored separately and are considered as separate data only.

To perform a separate backup of all these categories is an almost impossible mission.

So, the effective method to back up all of them is to deploy a backup service that performs beyond what Microsoft offers in terms of Office backup and restore.

SysTools provides email backup & archiving solutions for Office 365 customized as per client requirements. This tool comes with the guarantee of complete data backup from Office 365, let it be Outlook emails, contacts, and calendars information.

A few feature highlights of this end-user self-service are:

  • Users can save IT time and lower the help desk costing
  • Find and restore  lost files and folders and other content from email, calendar, etc without any technical expertise required

Backup Options are available in the above tool

Use Software Steps to Answer – Does Microsoft Backup Office 365 Data?

Step 1. Run the software and go to the ‘Setup’ section. Choose ‘Office 365’ as the source and ‘Outlook’ as the destination. Here the emails will be saved in the PST file format.

Step 2. Scroll down and under the ‘Workload Selection’, click on ‘Email’, ‘Contact’, and ‘Calendar’ according to your requirements.

Step 3. You can use the ‘Date Filter’ to download selective emails from the desired date range.

Step 4. Next, go to the ‘Source’ tab, and provide the ‘Admin Email’, and the ‘Application ID’.

Step 5. Perform a source permission verification by clicking the Validate button. After the required permissions turn green, press the Next button.

Step 6. Next, go to the ‘Destination’ tab and choose the ‘Backup folder path’.

Step 7. Perform the destination permission verification by clicking on the Validate button.

After the permissions turn green, hit the Next button.

Step 8. Next, click on ‘fetch users’ to list the source users. Then, select the users whose data you want to download.

Step 9. Finally, Verify the necessary permissions and click on Start Backup to download all items from Office 365.

Note: If you do not backup Microsoft Cloud data you are at high risk of data loss. Your business can have massive losses and downtime.

Features and Benefits of Using the Software 

  • Allows users to backup Office 365 emails including attachments. It also enables the backup of calendars and contacts stored in Office 365. Which facilitates easy and quick data recovery in case of accidental deletion, corruption, or other data loss scenarios.
  • Supports the backup of OneDrive data, including files and folders. Which enables a centralized and granular backup.
  • Offers incremental backup options to save time and storage space by only backing up changes since the last backup.
  • Allows users to apply date filters to selectively backup data within a specified date range.
  • Preserve the original folder structure during the backup process. Which enables users to maintain the integrity and security of data.

For the Simple Reason That

Microsoft does backup Office 365 data through their geo-redundant backup system. However, this backup system is not intended to be a comprehensive backup solution for individual user data. Moreover, there is no provision to recover accidental or intentional (malicious attack) deleted or corrupted data. The short life span of a recycle bin and the item-level recovery options make it really tough to perform the point-in-time recovery of your valuable data.

Also, being the storage service provider, OneDrive is prone to many errors and threats including ransomware attacks. CryptoLocker invasion has raised a serious threat to various cloud service providers thus Microsoft also.

So, it is always advised :

To get a proper backup plan handy Office 365 users should consider implementing additional backup options. SysTools can serve your needs better, so, contact [email protected] today for more information about your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions –

Q1. Does Microsoft backup Office 365 data in the local system?

No, Office 365 has no facility to keep a backup copy of O365 on a local drive. Hence, Microsoft itself suggests its users back up their data using reliable third-party software.

Q2. Does my Office 365 Tenant need backup?

A backup file is required to prevent you from a data loss situation. It works as an aid to the situation when you lose your crucial data in any cyber attacks and accidental deletion. 

Q3. Which is the best software for Office 365 backup?

Try the above-mentioned tool which costs only $ 5/user and provides a restore feature too.


By Mohit Jha

Meet Mohit, an accomplished professional serving as an Assistant Digital Marketing Manager and content strategist. As a content strategist, Mohit combines creativity and strategy to craft compelling narratives that captivate audiences and align with brand objectives. With a dual expertise in digital marketing and content strategy, Mohit is your trusted partner in achieving digital excellence.