As per their terms of service, Microsoft is not responsible for backing up your OneDrive data. Don’t take our word for it; here is an extract from their Services Agreement (Section 6.b).
|WE STRIVE TO KEEP THE SERVICES UP AND RUNNING; HOWEVER, ALL ONLINE SERVICES SUFFER OCCASIONAL DISRUPTIONS AND OUTAGES, AND MICROSOFT IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DISRUPTION OR LOSS YOU MAY SUFFER AS A RESULT. IN THE EVENT OF AN OUTAGE, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETRIEVE YOUR CONTENT OR DATA THAT YOU’VE STORED. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU REGULARLY BACKUP YOUR CONTENT AND DATA THAT YOU STORE ON THE SERVICES OR STORE USING THIRD-PARTY APPS AND SERVICES.|
In this blog post, we explore different options available to back up OneDrive, along with compelling reasons to have a backup process in place for OneDrive.
How to Back up OneDrive for Business
|Manual Method||Using Microsoft 365 Apps||Using Third-Party Tools|
|OneDrive Sync Client||SysCloud|
|By Office 365 Account Owner||
To backup OneDrive for Business manually, click here.
|To backup OneDrive for Business using sync client, click here.||Ask administrator to schedule an automated OneDrive for Business backup using SysCloud application; click here to view the steps|
Ask user to backup OneDrive for Business manually – click here.
|Ask user to backup OneDrive for Business using sync Client-click here.
||Schedule an automated backup for OneDrive for Business files using SysCloud – click here|
Don't have time to read the whole article? Download the PDF
How to Back up OneDrive for Business Manually
- Step 1: Log in to your Microsoft 365 account and go to OneDrive. Select the files you need to back up. You can also select all the files by clicking on the toggle selection for all items.
- Step 2: Select Download by right-clicking the mouse or by clicking on the three dots beside the filename.
Limitations of Backing up OneDrive Manually
- Time consuming, since all actions are manual
- Since it’s completely manual, there is a high possibility that you might forget to download new or updated files.
- Backup will be lost if something happens to the computer/external drive
- In case of a data loss incident, restoring files is going to be a tedious process, since you have to manually upload all the files to the OneDrive.
- Sharing permissions are not retained.
How to Back up OneDrive for Businesss Using Microsoft 365 Apps
The OneDrive Sync Client application can be used to:
- Download OneDrive data to a local machine
- Upload files on the local machine to OneDrive
The application is used to transfer files easily between the cloud and a local machine, but it can also be used as a backup for creating a copy of your data.
How to Set up OneDrive Sync Client
- Step 1: Click on the Cloud icon on your desktop and sign in with your Microsoft 365 credentials.
- Step 2: Select Next to accept the default folder location for your OneDrive files. If you want to change the folder location, select Change location – this is the best time to make this change.
- Step 3: Click on NEXT until you finish the steps, and click on the Open my OneDrive folder option.
- Step 4: Once your files are synced, click on the OneDrive icon in your taskbar and click on the Settings option.
- Step 5 From the available options in the Settings tab, choose when you want the data to be synced.
- Step 6: Choose the folders for syncing with the local machine in the Account tab.
All the selected OneDrive folders will be available on the desktop. However, the files will be in sync with OneDrive, and therefore, any deletion in OneDrive will be reflected in the desktop, erasing the backed up data.
To create a backup, copy all the downloaded files to another folder on the desktop or to an external hard drive.
Though the Desktop Sync Client can be used as a backup, relying on it completely could be risky, as local machines are prone to crashes or malware attacks.
Limitations of Using OneDrive Sync Client as a Backup Solution
- Infrequent Backups: Since the process of taking the backup is manual, creating consistent, regular backups will become a challenge.
- Limited Storage: To manage your storage space, you will be forced to delete older files that are of less importance at the moment.
- Possibility of Data Loss: If a file is lost between two backup processes, it cannot be restored.
- Responsibility on End User: This approach is applicable only if individual users take responsibility for backing up their data. An administrator cannot manage backup for individual users.
How to Back up OneDrive for Business Using Third-Party Tools
Unlike OneDrive Backup and Sync Client which is not designed for backup and restore, third-party cloud backup applications serve this purpose better.
Why Should You Use Cloud Backup Software for OneDrive Backup?
Using an online cloud backup application to secure your OneDrive business data comes with its own set of advantages:
How to Back up OneDrive for Business Using SysCloud
- Step 1: Log in to SysCloud application using your Microsoft 365 admin credentials.
- Step 2: Navigate to Backup in the menu bar and select the Start Backup option from the drop-down menu.
- Step 3: Next, specify if you want to back up the entire domain or only some users or teams and click on NEXT.
- Step 4: Locate the respective domain and click on Add Users & Teams.
- Step 5: Select the users you want to back up and click on CONFIRM.
- Step 6: Click on NEXT to select the apps that need to be backed up.
- Step 7: Choose the Drive option and click on START BACKUP to back up the OneDrive data of the selected users.
Once the backup is set, SysCloud will automatically back up the selected accounts every day. You can see the backup progress in the Archives and Restore page.
How to Recover Permanently Deleted OneDrive Files
Backup is just the first step in securing your business data. The ability to recover permanently deleted OneDrive files is critical for Microsoft 365 administrators. Read our in-depth article How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files from OneDrive for Business
Why You Should Back up OneDrive for Business
|Data Loss from Ransomware Attacks||Bitdefender’s Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 announced a seven-fold spike in the number of ransomware attacks in 2020 when compared to 2019. In the event of a ransomware attack, OneDrive users who do not have an off-site backup could lose critical data.|
|User Errors||According to Data Center Knowledge, 70 percent of data loss incidents are caused by accidental deletions. These can occur when employees in your organization:
(a) accidentally delete important files while trying to free up storage space
(b) end up removing the original version of a file while trying to get rid of duplicates
Such errors are hard to prevent and it would be impossible to restore the data past the default retention period.
|OneDrive Sync Feature||Due to OneDrive sync feature, if a malware infects a local machine – unless the sync is turned off – it could be synced immediately, locking all the OneDrive data on the cloud|
|Internal Threats||Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum explains that the massive shift to a work from home model (as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) may cause employees to become disgruntled or resentful due to lowered remuneration, reduced promotion opportunities and uncertainty about the future.
A disgruntled employee could permanently delete critical business data.
|SaaS Outage and Shutdown||If Microsoft suffers an outage, data could become temporarily unavailable, disrupting business continuity. Backing up your OneDrive data can help you access them even if OneDrive is not available.|
|Limitations of Native Retention Settings||The native retention settings offered by Microsoft do not serve as an effective data recovery option. This is because the deleted files are:
(a) only retained for 93 days from the time you delete them, beyond which they are permanently lost.
(b) stored along with your live account data. In the event of a ransomware attack, all your Microsoft 365 data is compromised, including the retention copies.
Having an independent backup of your data stored off-site is an effective bulwark against such data loss incidents.
|Legal Compliance and Litigation Purposes||Most companies are required to comply with several state and federal regulations. A backup strategy can help in supporting compliance requirements.|
OneDrive for Business Retention Policy
Frequently Asked Questions on OneDrive Backup
Q: Can you use OneDrive as a backup solution?
A: Yes, You can use OneDrive as a backup solution. Here is how you can do it:
1. Select the cloud icon in the Windows notification area.
- Select Help & Settings -> Settings.
- Navigate to Backup -> Manage backup.
- Select the folders that you want to back up. Click Start backup.
However, using OneDrive as a backup solution may not be ideal due to the following reasons:
- It is not an admin-managed solution. The administrator cannot manage backup for individual users.
- If the files on your PC are infected with ransomware, it can potentially infect all the OneDrive data on the cloud as well due to the OneDrive sync feature.
- If Microsoft suffers an outage, OneDrive data could become temporarily unavailable, disrupting business continuity.
Q: Does Microsoft back up OneDrive?
A: No, Microsoft doesn’t back up your OneDrive data. It is clearly stated in their terms of service that they are not responsible for any data loss due to negligence or malicious activities, and they recommend backing up your Microsoft 365 data including OneDrive files and folders using third-party apps.
Q: Is OneDrive secure?
A: Yes, OneDrive for Business is secure. OneDrive files are protected both in transit and at rest. Data in transit is protected using Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. Data at rest is encrypted with unique AES256 keys. These unique keys are encrypted with a set of master keys that are stored in the Azure Key Vault. Learn more about how OneDrive safeguards your data in the cloud.
Q: Are OneDrive files stored locally?
A: OneDrive files are stored in the Azure cloud. You can download them and store them locally on your desktop or any other storage device. You can also enable the OneDrive sync feature to access your OneDrive files offline.
Q: Can anyone see my OneDrive files?
A: All your files in OneDrive are private unless you decide to share them with others. You can choose whom to share your files with by using the Share option. If you share your OneDrive files with someone and give them edit access, the person will be able to share it with others.
Q: How do I download files from OneDrive to my computer?
A: You can manually download files from OneDrive to your computer. Learn how to do this. The files will be downloaded as a .zip file.
Q: What is the storage limit for OneDrive for Business?
For most subscription plans, the default storage space for each user’s OneDrive is 1 TB. Depending on your plan and the number of licensed users, you can increase this storage up to 5 TB. For more information, see the OneDrive service description.
Try Syscloud's Backup Solution
Table Of Contents
- How to Back up OneDrive for Business
- How to Back up OneDrive for Business Manually
- Limitations of Backing up OneDrive Manually
- How to Back up OneDrive for Business Using Microsoft 365 Apps
- How to Set up OneDrive Sync Client
- Limitations of Using OneDrive Sync Client as a Backup Solution
- How to Back up OneDrive for Business Using Third-Party Tools
- Why Should You Use Cloud Backup Software for OneDrive Backup?
- How to Back up OneDrive Using SysCloud
- How to Recover Permanently Deleted OneDrive Files
- Why You Should Back up OneDrive for Business
- Frequently Asked Questions on OneDrive Backup