According to Microsoft, more than 250,000 organizations depend on Office 365 SharePoint for their business communications.

When an important data is lost  from SharePoint, it affects your business continuity.

What is SharePoint backup?

SharePoint backup takes a copy of your SharePoint data including documents, folders – including shared folders – photos, videos, etc. and stores them in a secure location say, cloud storage. This will become handy to restore your important data whenever there is a loss.

Is Office 365 SharePoint Backup Necessary?

Why should you use SysCloud to backup SharePoint sites

Does Microsoft Backup SharePoint Data?

You would be surprised to know that Microsoft Office 365 has only limited features in terms of backup solutions. In its terms of use, Microsoft clearly states that it is not responsible for any data loss due to user negligence or malicious activities.

Microsoft Terms and ConditionsAs a result, it is your sole responsibility to take regular backups of your SharePoint data.

Can You Backup SharePoint Data?

Yes. Below are the ways in which you can backup your SharePoint data.

Section 1 – How to Backup SharePoint Using Office 365 Apps?

As mentioned, Microsoft hardly has any features that are specifically designed to backup your SharePoint data. However, some features can function as a backup tool in a limited manner. These are:

  • Option 1 – Backup Office 365 SharePoint Using OneDrive Sync Client
  • Option 2 – Backup Office 365 SharePoint Using eDiscovery

Option 1.1 – How to Backup Office 365 SharePoint Using OneDrive Sync Client?

OneDrive is available as an application for download on windows desktop.

Once installed, you can synchronize the files on OneDrive cloud to your desktop, and ensure that these files are available offline.

Here is how you can backup SharePoint data using OneDrive sync client,

  • Step 1: Login to SharePoint and open the Site which needs to be synced with OneDrive Desktop application.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the module ‘Documents’.
  • Step 3: Click on ‘Sync’ to download the documents to the OneDrive folder on your Desktop.  This will prompt you to open the OneDrive folder for confirmation.
  • Step 4: Click on ‘Open Microsoft OneDrive’. 

Note: In order to perform this action, you should install Microsoft OneDrive desktop application on your device. Click here to download it.

You can view the files in the synced folder on your desktop.

Option 1.2 – How to Backup Office 365 SharePoint Using eDiscovery Feature?

eDiscovery tool helps in retaining critical business data for a long period of time. This helps in searching and locating data that could be used as a potential evidence during a legal procedure.

Note: Only those who have subscribed to Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have access to the eDiscovery tool.

This tool comprises of four modules:

Case: A way to organize data and restrict the held data to a certain set of users.

Hold: Protects important data from user modifications or deletions.

Search: Lets the administrator search for specific email among the held data.

Export: Exports discovered data as a pst file.

‘Case’ and ‘Hold’ options are used to backup your SharePoint data while ‘Search’ and ‘Export’ options are used to search and export the data held by the user.

Here is how you can backup SharePoint data using eDiscovery feature,

  • Step 1: Log in to Microsoft 365 admin center.
  • Step 2: Navigate to  ‘Admin centers>Security’.
  • Step 3: You will be redirected to the  Admin Center’ page for ‘Security and Compliance’. Navigate to ‘eDiscovery’ and select ‘eDiscovery’ option from the drop-down menu.  
  • Step 4: Next, click on the button ‘Create a case’ to hold the user data.
  • Step 5: Enter the Case name and Description. Click ‘Save’.
  • Step 6: Next, click on the ‘Open’ button, to go to the case created.

This will redirect you to a new tab with settings specific to the case selected.

The next step is to create a Hold.

How to create a Hold in eDiscovery?

  • Step 1: In the redirected page, navigate to ‘Hold’ in the Toolbar and click on ‘Create’.
  • Step 2: Enter the ‘Hold’ name and description and click on ‘Next’.
  • Step 3: Click on ‘Choose sites’ option.
  • Step 4: In the next window, select the site that needs to be added and click on the button ‘Choose>Done’.This will take you back to the ‘Create a New Hold’ page.
  • Step 5: Click on ‘Next’.
  • Step 6: Click on ‘Add Conditions’ options to filter data according to date, sender name, size, subject, and so on. Click on ‘Next’.
  • Step 7: Review your hold settings and click on the button ‘Create this hold’ to complete the process.

Limitations of Using OneDrive Sync Client and eDiscovery as a Backup Solution

OneDrive Sync Client

  • Since the process of taking the backup is manual, creating consistent, regular backups will become a challenge.
  • To manage your storage space, you will be forced to delete older files that are of less importance at the moment.
  • If the end user forgets to take a backup, any new data could be lost forever.

eDiscovery Tool

  • The eDiscovery tool is generally used to identify and retrieve archived organizational data.
  • Even though you can create a hold and search for data in the Sites, the eDiscovery tool is not a backup solution.
  • To manage your storage space, you will be forced to delete older files that are of less importance at the moment.

Section 2 – How to backup Office 365 SharePoint Using Third-Party Tools?

Third-party applications like, SysCloud offers a fully automated cloud to cloud backup and restore service. SysCloud use industry standard cloud storage solutions with military grade security.

With SysCloud, IT administrators can backup and restore data in just a few clicks. Moreover, administrators can define retention rules that allow you to back up data for an unlimited period.

How to Backup Office 365 SharePoint Using SysCloud?

If you are looking for a more easier backup solution for SharePoint, third-party tools like SysCloud could be highly useful.

Here is how an admin can backup SharePoint Sites,

  • Step 1: Login to SysCloud’s backup application using Office 365 global admin credentials.
  • Step 2: Navigate to ‘Backup>Archives and Restore’. 
  • Step 3: Choose ‘SharePoint and Team Sites’ and choose the user accounts whose data you want to back up.
  • Step 4: Select ‘Actions’ and click ‘Start Backup’. 
  • Step 5: You will get a pop-up-form asking for confirmation. Select ‘Yes’.

Now, you will have a second copy of your SharePoint contents safely stored in the AWS cloud and can be recovered instantly whenever needed

By using third-party applications like SysCloud, you can have a hassle-free backup of your SharePoint sites.

How to Recover Deleted SharePoint Files in Microsoft Office 365?

This article explores in-depth about the different ways in which you can backup Office 365 SharePoint data. But backup is just one part in securing your business data.

At the end of the day, the reason we backed up was so that we could recover permanently deleted SharePoint data whenever we need.

Learn how to do this in our article ‘How to Recover Deleted SharePoint Files in Microsoft Office 365?

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