Are you using OneDrive and not thought about keeping a backup your business data?

The truth is, Microsoft Office 365 has advanced security features to safeguard your data, but not much in terms of a backup solution! Microsoft is not responsible for data loss due to accidental deletions, ransomware or malicious activity.

What will you do then?

Backing up your OneDrive data is the only solution. 

In this article, we will explain all the possible ways in which you can back up your OneDrive data.

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Introduction to OneDrive

Microsoft launched OneDrive in the year 2007 – for both personal and business users – to store data in the cloud.

By October 2016, Office 365 – that includes Outlook – had over 120 Million active business users.

But, is your data in OneDrive completely safe?

Microsoft offers its customers high security and almost no scheduled downtime. That doesn’t mean it is not immune to disruptions!

Reasons to Back up OneDrive

Despite the high-availability, redundant systems that Microsoft has built, OneDrive is not a hundred percent safe. There is always a chance of human error that no machine can predict.

Every company should be prepared for unpredictable data loss incidents. According to recent reports, 70% of small firms shut down within a year due to data loss incidents.

These are the two main reasons why you should back up your OneDrive.

1. Human Error and Malicious Intent

According to Uptime Institute, 70% of data loss incidents are caused due to human error.

It’s common for employees to make mistakes, but some mistakes can have dire consequences. A careless click or accidental deletion can wipe out all your critical data, putting your business at risk.

Apart from unintentional mistakes, there are possibilities of someone with a malicious intent purposefully deleting your business data.

2. Malware Attacks

Microsoft is known for its strict and efficient security policies. You need not worry about malware attacks on your OneDrive.

But, the sync feature provided by OneDrive lets you sync your OneDrive desktop client with the online provider. In case your desktop is affected by any malware or virus, this will, in turn, affect your cloud data as they are synced.

In such situations, keeping a backup of your data is your only solution.

If you are still not convinced, we have something that will change your mind.

Microsoft does not take any responsibility for your data!

According to the Microsoft Service Agreement, they are not liable for any data loss that you may incur. 

Microsoft service availability

They advise users to take regular backup of their data using third-party applications and services.

Well, that should explain the importance of backing up your OneDrive.

How to Backup Your OneDrive?

We have already established that Microsoft is remarkably good at data availability. This could have been the reason why they overlooked backup options for their customers. There is no inbuilt feature in OneDrive that lets you take a backup of your data. 

So, can OneDrive be backed up?

OneDrive users have only two options to back up their data; they can either manually download the data and store it in a hardware or use a third-party application.

Take Manual Backup

Follow these steps to manually download your OneDrive files to your desktop:

  • Log in to your OneDrive account.
  • Select the files that you want to back up.
  • Click on the vertical ellipsis next to the selected file and select the “Download” option – for downloading a single file – from the drop-down menu.
  • To download more than one file, select all the required files and click on the “Download” button on the top of the screen as shown below.

OneDrive download

  • Your files will be downloaded as a .zip file.

OneDrive zip file

Once the download is complete, you can extract the zip files to view it. The documents stored in shared folders can also be downloaded in the same way.

Note: This method can be used by both personal and business Office 365 users.


1. You should download your data at frequent intervals to keep your backup up to date.

2. If a file is lost in between two backup processes, it cannot be restored.

3. In order to manage your storage space, you will be forced to delete older files that are of less importance at the moment.

4. This is not a feasible method for a business organization as every employee is responsible to take regular backup of their OneDrive data.

Note: This is a convenient method only for personal users and maybe for small businesses but not for enterprises.

OneDrive Backup Using SysCloud

SysCloud is an easy and reliable OneDrive backup solution. Users can back up their data in a few easy steps.

Using SysCloud you can:

1. Restore backed up data even if the user’s account is permanently deleted.

2. Directly restore data back to its previous location in OneDrive with all sharing permissions and folder structure still intact.

3. Restore data to another user’s account.

4. Permit employees to take backup and restore their own files to facilitate faster recovery.

5. Receive regular reports on the status of your backup, restore, and usage reports.

Steps to back up using SysCloud:

  • Log in to SysCloud’s application using your Microsoft/Office 365 admin credentials.
  • Navigate to “Backup” in the menu bar and select the “Start Backup” option from the drop-down menu.

SysCloud start backup

  • Next, specify the required domain from “Select the Domain” option and select the account(s) you want to back up.
  • Click on the “+ Add” button to add the selected users to the backup list. 

Add list

  • Now, click on the “START BACKUP” option to back up an entire account or click on “SETTINGS” to customize it further. 

backup settings

  • In the following screen, switch on the “Drive” option.

Enable OneDrive

  • Click on “Start Backup”.
  • The next screen will give you the status of your backup/restore.
  • To see the progress of your backup, click on the “Archive & Restore” link.

Archive and restore link

Once the backup starts, our OneDrive backup software will automatically back up the selected accounts every day.

How to Restore Your Backed up Data to OneDrive?

Recently deleted files from OneDrive can be restored using its native restore features, whereas to restore permanently lost data, the only option is to use a third-party application that has already kept a backup of the files.

Restore Deleted Files Using Native Features

Onedrive has two stages in its recycle bin and a bonus restore feature for those subscribed to Office 365.

To retrieve accidentally-deleted files or folders in OneDrive, follow these steps.

1. Restore Files from Recycle Bin

The deleted files in OneDrive will be retained in the recycle bin for 30 days. After that, they will be automatically moved to the second-stage recycle bin.

  • Log in to your OneDrive account.
  • Navigate to the “Recycle bin”, on the left pane.
  • Select the files that have to be restored and click on the “Restore” button on the top of the screen.

Recycle bin restore

This will restore the files to its original location.

2. Restore Files from the Second-Stage Recycle Bin

The files deleted from the recycle bin will go to the second-stage recycle bin. These files will be retained for another 30 days here.

To restore files from this stage:

  • Navigate to the “Recycle bin”.
  • Click on the “Second-stage recycle bin” option.

second-stage recycle bin

  • Select the files that have to be restored and click on the “Restore” button at the top of the screen.

select files from the second-stage recycle bin

3. Restore Files Using the “Restore Your OneDrive” Feature

The files in the second-stage of recycle bin will be automatically deleted after 30 days. These files can still be restored within a month after its deletion from the second-stage recycle bin using the – bonus – “undo” option.

Once the files are deleted from this stage, they are permanently lost.

This feature is useful in situations like a server crash, accidental deletion, or any malicious activity.

To restore files deleted from the second-stage recycle bin:

  • Navigate to the Settings icon at the top right corner of your OneDrive homepage.
  • Select the “Restore your OneDrive” option from the drop-down menu.

restore your OneDrive

  • In the next page, select the desired time period.

select a date

  • Next, select the file that has to be restored and click on the “Restore” button at the top of the screen.

click on the restore button

Once you confirm the restoration, your files will be restored to its original location.

NOTE: This feature is available only for those subscribed to Office 365.

Restore Using SysCloud

Files backed up by SysCloud can be easily restored with a few clicks.

  • Log in to SysCloud’s application using your Microsoft/Office 365 admin credentials.
  • Navigate to “Backup” in the menu bar and select the “Archive & Restore” option from the drop-down menu.
  • Now, use the “Advanced search” option to find the required file or directly select it from the list.

SysCloud Drive restore

  • Click on the “Restore” button to restore the files.

select restore options

The deleted files will be restored back into its original location.

To know how to back up your Outlook data, check out our in-depth article on Outlook Backup Made Simple: The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide 2018.

Using OneDrive as a Backup Solution

Data stored in your smartphones and other electronic devices are always vulnerable to malware attacks and theft. In such situations, OneDrive becomes an online backup solution.

OneDrive allows you to sync your phone and computer to the cloud. You can also manually backup the important files and documents. This way your data could be backed up – automatically or manually – in the cloud.

Therefore, losing your phone or accidentally deleting your files from your computer/phone should be the least of your worries.

How to take backup using OneDrive?

There are two ways to back up your hardware data to the cloud:

  1. Manual Backup
  2. OneDrive Sync Client                                                                          

Taking Manual Backup

  • Log in to your Microsoft OneDrive account.
  • Right click on the screen and create a new folder – to keep the backup.

add new folder

  • Create subfolders as per your need and copy paste the data from your hardware to the cloud respectively. 

select the folders

Now all your important data will be stored in the Cloud.

NOTE: The folders must be regularly updated to avoid loss of data.


How to Automatically Back up Using OneDrive Sync Client?

Syncing your hardware file to OneDrive will help you protect your files in case it is deleted or lost. To automatically sync your hardware files to the cloud, use the OneDrive Sync Client.

NOTE: OneDrive Sync Client will also store and Sync your OneDrive files on the desktop for accessing files in offline.

  • Download and Install OneDrive Sync Client.
  • Launch this on your desktop by logging in with your Microsoft account credentials.

set up OneDrive

  • Click on the cloud icon – white for personal accounts and blue for business accounts – on the taskbar.
  • Select the “More” option and click on “Settings” from the pop-up menu.


  • Next, navigate to the “Auto Save” tab on the page.
  • Click on the “Update folders” button to sync your whole desktop or selected folders to your Drive.
  • Enable the Sync option for photos, videos, and screenshots to OneDrive and clock on “OK”.

select the option photos and videos

Now, the files from your desktop will be automatically synced every time you start your client.

The Sync Client also acts as a two-way backup application by copying all your drive files to your desktop. The main aim of this option is to make drive files available offline.   

After signing in with your Microsoft credentials, the sync client will ask you to select folders that have to be stored in your desktop from OneDrive.

  • In the “Choose folders” page – that appears after signing in for the first time – check all the boxes so that all your OneDrive files will be available in your hardware.
  • Click “OK”.

choose folders

In case you did not check the boxes at the time of installing the sync client, follow these steps:

  • Click on the cloud icon – white for personal accounts and blue for business accounts – on the taskbar.
  • Select the “More” option and click on “Settings” from the pop-up menu.
  • Next, navigate to the “Account” tab on the page and click on “Choose folders” to save drive files on your desktop.

account page

CAUTION: Since it is a sync client, if you delete a file – originally available on OneDrive –  from your desktop, it will be automatically deleted from your OneDrive cloud. This will happen only if you physically delete the files and is not affected if your system crashes or if you uninstall the client.

How to Protect Files in Your Windows Phone?

Windows phones have to be logged in with a Microsoft account credential. This allows the phone to be in sync with OneDrive, allowing you to take an automatic cloud backup.

Follow these steps to back up important data and contacts from your phone to OneDrive.

  • Navigate to the “Settings” page and select the “Backup” option.
  • Next, click on “apps+settings” option.

apps + settings Lumia 8.01

  • Enable the “App backup” and “Settings backup” option to sync your phone with OneDrive.

enable apps + settings

How to backup or secure your photos?

To back up all your photos and videos on your phone to OneDrive, follow these steps:

  • Click on “Settings” → “Backup” →  “Photos + Videos”.

Lumia backup photos + videos

  • Next, enable the Backup option.

This will automatically back up your photos and videos to your OneDrive.

NOTE: The steps in this section are written with reference to Windows Phone 8.1 and the steps may vary slightly with the upgraded phones.

How to Back up a Third-Party Application on Your Phone?

Third-party applications like WhatsApp can also be backed up in OneDrive.

Before setting up a backup:

  1. You must have a Windows phone.
  2. Sign in to your OneDrive account from your phone.
  3. Check if there is enough space on your OneDrive as well an on your phone.


  • Open WhatsApp on your phone.
  • Click on the ellipsis (…)  button.
  • Navigate to “Settings”.  
  • Click on “chats and calls”.
  • Select “Backup” → “OneDrive”.
  • Select the account.
  • Next, choose “manual or automatic backup” option as per your convenience.  

The backed up files will be stored in a separate folder in OneDrive. This way, you can easily transfer existing data to a new mobile device.  


Get 1 TB Free OneDrive Backup Now!

Are you an IT Administrator evaluating a backup solution for your organization’s OneDrive or Office 365 apps? You can get started with SysCloud Office 365 backup solution for free!


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