Do I Need to Backup Office 365 Email? Everything You Need to Know

Most of the users just like you don’t feel the need to backup your Office 365 emails. This is because they rely on their service provider- Microsoft to do it for them. 

But sadly, that’s not the case. Microsoft does not take responsibility for any of your data that is lost because of any reasons other than administrative failures.

So, the answer to your question will be yes, you need to backup your Office 365 emails. There are various other reasons as well which mandates the users to have a backup of the Office 365 files on which their organization depends so heavily. 


Some of them are:

1. Sudden Disruptions and Outages in the Services of Microsoft.

Even after being one of the largest technology corporations, Microsoft can also be a victim of power outages and service disruptions. This can be because of the failure of hardware or software. This problem can lead to downtime or cause data loss. For your information, data loss can cost millions of dollars to the users. Considering the worst-case scenario if the servers are heavily affected by the disruption, you may never be able to get your data back. In cases like these, having a backup helps the most. 

2. If the Office 365 account is deleted, it will lead to the deletion of all the data on that account.

There are different scenarios when the users choose to delete their Office 365 accounts.

  • When an employee departs, this will save money on licensing.
  • To move data to a different account or data management suite.
  • Because of the expiration of licensing services.
  • As a result of careless and unintentional account deletion.
  • If there is a malicious (intentional) account cancellation.

No matter what the reason behind it was, this will delete the account and the data in it forever.

This would have been avoided if the user had a backup of their Office 365 account and their data stored somewhere else. Even Microsoft recommends its users regularly back up their data.

3. The Abilities of Manual Office 365 Backup and Recovery Tools are Minimal

You can retrieve deleted objects in Office 365, however, its capabilities will be very limited.

In case of data that have been deleted for a very long time or purged data, damaged mailboxes. Also, objects lost due to cyberattacks, or improper migrations, in such cases Microsoft would not assist you in restoring the data.

Problems with the manual recovery system:

  1. Recovery has a time restriction. The retention period for Office 365 is relatively short. By default, things are stored for up to 30 days (14 days by default). Furthermore, the objects that were purged would be lost.
  2. There is no point-in-time recovery. Assume your email has become corrupted and the version history has been disabled. Your data is permanently gone because there is no way to choose the “clean” version and recover it. This is only feasible if you have a backup of your Office 365 mailbox.
  3. The recovery process is very complex. Office 365, in contrast to professional backup software, is not a one-click solution. For example, Office 365 recovery through In-Place eDiscovery & Hold includes several criteria and processes that are both time-consuming and ineffective.
  4. Office 365 does not adhere to the recommended best practices for users. To create a safe backup for your data follow the 3-2-1 rule. According to it, three backups should be saved on two media, including at least one off-site copy.

Microsoft, on the other hand, keeps cloud backup data in the same cloud as the original data. This renders your data’s security insufficient.

4. If any data in Office 365 are deleted permanently, they cannot be recovered unless it is with a backup.

Data erased can be either soft-deleted (temporary) or hard-deleted (permanent). In the first scenario, the data can be recovered even without a backup, but this is not possible for the second case.

In the following situations, if the data is deleted permanently they can never be recovered:

1. When it has been removed (or soft-deleted) for more than 30 days and has not been recovered;

2. When the user account connected with this data has been permanently erased;

3. When the data is manually removed from the Recoverable Items folder.

There is one exception to this rule. If the hard-deleted files were previously kept under the retention policy, you may be able to get them back through eDiscovery. However, this method is rarely useful in restoring data. This is because: 

a) eDiscovery is not intended to restore information but rather to retain it as evidence in a legal case.

b) eDiscovery is only available for Office 365 E3 subscriptions or higher, which cost $20>/month per user, whereas professional backup costs $6/month per user

5. Office 365 cannot safeguard your data against all potential security risks.

There are a number of external security risks to your data. Some of them are ransomware, malicious applications, brute-force attacks, account hijacking, data theft etc.

Office 365 provides a variety of handy tools to assist its users to increase the security of their data. Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center is one such solution. It is a resource centre with compliance score systems for IT managers. You may then configure security settings such as phishing protection, basic data loss prevention, access and threat management, and more.

How to Backup Your Office 365 Emails?

Now, that you have understood why you should back up your Office 365 emails and their importance. Let’s also discuss a tool using which you can do that. 

To backup your most important Office 365 emails, you can use the expert-suggested Office 365 Cloud Backup & Restore Tool.

 This application will help you conveniently save all your data like emails, calendars, contacts, and documents from multiple Office 365 accounts. 

It even keeps the meta properties and data integrity intact after the backup process is over. Use the ‘Date-Filter option’, to save only the data that falls within the specified time range.

Last Words

In this article, we have understood in detail why we should backup our Office 365 emails. Thus, going through it you will find the reasons and understand the importance of backing up your Office 365 emails. Along with that, an automated tool is also discussed which can help you in saving your data. 

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