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Office 365 Backup & Recovery

Office 365 Backup & Recovery

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Q: (from Paul)

I’m looking for a document that goes into more detail than the Enterprise Service Description that talks about backup and/or disaster recovery for Office 365.



I used Bing to search for the phrase “Office 365 Backup” and found the following Technet resource:


Then one of the Office 365 technology support professionals (Todd Sweetser) provided additional information:

From the “Security and Service Continuity for Enterprises Service Description” doc:

  • Data backup: Data protection services help prevent the loss of SharePoint Online data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and retained for 14 days.

From the “Service Continuity Management” sections of the individual service descriptions:

Exchange Online:

  • Mailbox Backup
    Exchange Online mailboxes are replicated to multiple database copies, in geographically dispersed Microsoft data centers, to provide data restoration capability in the event of a messaging infrastructure failure. For large-scale failures, service continuity management is initiated.

Also note: Exchange Online has set an RPO and RTO for client messaging services in the event of a disaster:

  • Nearly instantaneous RPO: Microsoft protects your Exchange Online data and makes a nearly instantaneous copy of your data.
  • 1 hour RTO: Organizations will be able to resume service within 60 minutes after service disruption if a disaster incapacitates a hosting data center.

SharePoint Online:

  • Data Backup
    Data protection services are provided to prevent the loss of SharePoint Online data. Backups are performed every 12 hours and retained for 14 days. Note that this describes the data backup services as offered when SharePoint Online is generally available.  (Note same info from above)

Also note: SharePoint Online has set an RPO and RTO in the event of a disaster:

  • 1 hour RPO: Microsoft protects your SharePoint Online data and has a copy of that data that is equal to or less than 1 hour old.
  • 6 hour RTO: Organizations will be able to resume service within 6 hours after service disruption if a disaster incapacitates a hosting data center.

Great information! Thanks Todd!


SDeming Face  Steve Deming


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  • Can you please post info on how to backup office365 mailbox, Thanks

  • So much bullshit. Back-up is not something stored on the same machine or spread out to different live machines. Back-up is something stored away from the machine. Ever heard about GFS (Grandfather, Father, Son) principle. And what about when someone makes a fuckup with a sync of their smartphone. The data isn't "deleted", it's sync't over... so no back-up available then. And what if the Microsoft servers are all unavailable in case of a boicont against the US from lets say. The Netherlands. Companies are whise to demand real back-up sollutions. Offsite, stored on non life data stores. Pff... back-up is something Microsoft needs to learn about.

  • All links about backup mentioned above are not longer available. Backup is not available ?!

  • My mailbox was just corrupted on the server. Microsoft doesn't know why. When we asked them to backup from prior to the corruption they said they could not. They do not maintain backups only redundancy. So the corruption had spread across all the redundancy. They do not do backups!!!

  • not a single link works here any longer.

  • Activate daily backups for all selected users with office 365 domain. Backup for office 365 you gain all emails, daily automated backups and more. Read more about office 365 backup from here.

  • Office 365 activate daily backups for all selected users.Office 365 backup of your Email, Calendar, Contacts.

    CloudAlly provides unlimited archives retention and unlimited archive storage. At any time you can downland a snapshot of your data from any data in the past or restore it directly to your office 365 account.
    For more help check this:

  • What about doing a migration from O365 to a local Exchange server, and letting that run forever? It will automatically resync every day and we can do backups of the local server. Would that work?

  • I realize this is an old post but does anyone else find it to be crazy that there is no backup of exchange data? We've had instances where data just goes missing from users' online archives, they are not in recover deleted items. Microsoft strictly relying on replication doesn't offer any protection against corruption within the databases.

  • As with Mike, I first recognize this is an old post. But note the still current activity!

    Office 365 absolutely does not provide backups. NONE. They need to own up to that fact so new client know -- WE DO NOT BACK UP YOUR EMAIL. Then they should either provide a backup strategy, or point people to partners who can provide real backup.

    I too have had first-hand experience with the "oh we can't restore that" line from Microsoft. Shame on me for not finding out before-hand that they do not provide backups. The really irritating part is that the data was lost because of a bug in Outlook! So M$ erased our data, then M$ couldn't restore our data. Turned into M$$$$ with all of the time wasted and damage-control with our clients.

  • Hi Fred and Mike,
    CloudAlly also provides backups for exchange online . Check out our office 365 backups: http://www.cloudally.com/office-365-backup/

  • Can anyone confirm if Microsoft have an actual data backup policy? With retrieval timeframes? I note that the other in the cloud software we use has a rigorous backup policy!

  • Hi Shivon, This is a common misconception and source of confusion for many Office 365 customers. Microsoft has built in redundancy and backups in all of their data centers, just like Google, Salesforce, etc., but these backups are for internal data center recovery only, and not available to customers for restoring their data in the event of accidental or malicious data loss. Once data is automatically or manually purged from the recycle bin the data is lost forever.

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