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How to Backup OneDrive

Is your organization using OneDrive for Business and not taking a regular backup of the data? Microsoft Office 365 has advanced security features to safeguard your data, but it is limited in terms of a backup and restore solution, especially for OneDrive!

office 365 backup

What is OneDrive Backup?

OneDrive backup makes a copy of your data like documents, folders – including OneDrive shared folders – photos, videos, etc. and stores it securely in a separate location: cloud storage.

The backup also includes information on file sharing and file properties such as description and revision history. This backup can then be used to restore data back into OneDrive accounts in case of data loss.

Does Microsoft Backup OneDrive?

No. In its terms of service, Microsoft clearly states that it is not responsible for any data loss due to negligence or malicious activities.

Therefore, backing up your OneDrive data is the only solution and your sole responsibility!

Can You Backup OneDrive?

Yes, you can backup your OneDrive files. Below are the ways in which you can do so;

Why Should You Back up OneDrive for Business?

For any organization, small or large, data is the most important asset that could even stop a business in its tracks if lost or become unavailable.

There are many reasons for backing up data, namely:

Data Loss: If data is lost due to crashes or disasters, restoring would be impossible without a backup

User Error: If a user deleted data – by mistake or intentionally – recovering that data beyond default retention would be tough

Malware or Ransomware Attacks: 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

SaaS Outage and Shutdown: If Azure suffers an outage, data could become temporarily unavailable, causing delay or loss of day-to-day business

Limited Native Features: Even with in-built native features, the chances of recovering all the lost data is quite low due to retention period and end-user data deletion

Duplication of Efforts : Without a backup, recovering and restoring lost data could consume a lot of time and efforts

How to Back up OneDrive Files Using Office 365 Apps?

Microsoft Office 365 has OneDrive Sync Client application that facilitates the following actions for the user:

Download OneDrive data to local machine
Upload files on the local machine to OneDrive
This application was intended to transfer files easily between the cloud and a local machine, but it can also be used for creating a copy of your data as backup.

How to Install OneDrive Sync Client?

Step 1: Click on the Cloud icon on your desktop and sign in with your Office 365 credentials.

Step 2: Click on the arrow till you finish the steps, and click on the “Open my OneDrive folder” option.

Step 3: Once your files are synced, click on the cloud icon on your desktop and click on the “Settings” option.

Step 4: From the available options, choose when you want the data to be synced and stopped.

Step 5: Click on the “Choose folders” option under the “Account” tab to choose the folders for syncing to the desktop.

Now, all the selected OneDrive folders will be available on the desktop.

However, the files will be in sync with OneDrive – 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 a folder on the desktop or to another device like hard drive.

Even though the Desktop Sync Client can be used as a backup, relying completely on it could be risky, as local machines are prone to suffer 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.

Chances of High Data Loss: If a file is lost between two backup processes, it cannot be restored.

Responsibility on End User: If the end user forgets to take a backup, any new data could be lost forever.

How to Back up OneDrive Files Using Third-Party Tools?

OneDrive Desktop Sync Client facilitates users to access their OneDrive data in case of outages.

However, the sync client was not intended to serve as a backup solution.

In comparison, third-party cloud applications – that are custom-made for the purpose of backup and restore – are a reliable option for creating and maintaining a backup of your OneDrive data.