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Microsoft Office 365 Backup Best Practices- Complete Guide to Follow in 2023

Published By Deepa Pandey
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 31st, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading
Category Office 365

Summary: This write-up consists of all the necessary checks to perform before stepping into the actual backup procedure. Read this comprehensive article till the end to get to know about the complete Microsoft Office 365 backup best practices.

Nowadays, all types of businesses keep their respective organizational data with utmost priority and security. Since data plays a vital role in businesses, protecting that data becomes of paramount importance.

Microsoft Office 365 aka Exchange Online being the most used business productivity suite, has entirely changed the way businesses handle their data and business operations. By providing a wide range of cloud applications and services such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and more.

Since all the business data gets stored in the cloud and eventually in the Microsoft data center, it results in huge databases. However, Microsoft does not offer any direct way to back up these data locally. Hence, it becomes necessary to implement a comprehensive backup strategy. 

Let’s have a detailed look, to get to know the reasons behind it.

Why Office 365 Backup Best Practices Are Required?

Although, Microsoft takes comprehensive measures to ensure the security and reliability of its platform. Moreover, it also makes sure to provide continuous service for its productivity suite. However, there is still the possibility of data loss due to n number of reasons such as – accidental deletion, malicious attacks, hardware failures, or outages. 

Here are some of the noteworthy reasons behind this:

  • Data Protection and Business Continuity

Being one of the most popular business productivity suite providers, Office 365, aka Microsoft 365, provides robust infrastructure and redundancy. However, it still can not protect your data against human errors, malicious activities, or application outages. Only regular backups ensure that critical data is protected. Additionally, it reduces the risk of permanent data loss and contributes to better business continuity.

  • Migration and Hybrid Scenarios

In the business world, migration is quite often due to reasons like mergers and acquisitions, etc. Which requires organizations to undergo data migrations. Hence, it becomes crucial to have a backup of critical data. It simplifies the migration process and provides a safety net in case of any issues during the transition.

  • Accidental Deletion and Retention Policies

In regular business operations, there are situations when users often delete important data either intentionally or unintentionally. Moreover, this data is removed from the Recycle Bin only after it is found necessary. Therefore, with proper backup solutions, organizations can easily recover deleted data after the retention period, thereby minimizing the impact of unintentional data loss.

  • Protection Against Cyber Threats

Cyber Security threats such as ransomware and malware attacks can encrypt or delete valuable organizational data. Which can lead to significant business disruption and financial loss. With a comprehensive backup strategy, businesses can ensure that data can be recovered from a clean backup point, thereby minimizing the impact of such attacks and preventing the need to pay ransom.

  • Compliance and Legal Requirements

Businesses have to comply with various legal and regulatory obligations. Which further compels them to retain certain types of data for a specific period of time. Office 365 backup best practices can help businesses meet these compliance requirements by protecting data in a secure and easily accessible way.

  • Independent Data Control

Relying solely on Microsoft’s native data center for retention and recovery options is not sufficient for many businesses. Implementing Office 365 backup best practices gives them complete control over their data. Which also allows them to tailor the backup and recovery processes to their specific needs.

Hence, implementing a comprehensive backup strategy and practices is crucial to safeguarding your valuable Office 365 data. 

Now, let’s explore the best practices for Office 365 backup in 2023.

#1 Strategy Building is One of the Best Practices for Office 365 Backup

The first reliable practice that users must follow is – they must build a proper plan for their entire operation 3 days prior to the actual beginning of the procedure. A perfect plan is the foundation of your task. If your plan is strong & made while keeping all the risks & challenges into consideration, then you can easily execute the operation. Moreover, a strategy helps us to be prepared in advance for the upcoming scenarios that most users experience. Here, various steps must be taken like calculating the exact amount of data to save, preparing source & destination, etc.

#2 Frequent Backups of your Office 365 Account

This is one of the most simple yet effective Office 365 backup best practices. Nobody knows when they’ll lose their data. Hence, it is necessary to take a backup of your crucial files at frequent intervals. This ensures the businesses that they have their data secured & they won’t lose much if anything happens. If your Office 365 usage is extensive, then it is recommended to take the backup once a day. Otherwise, saving your files once in two weeks or a month is enough. 

Also Read: Know the Best Way to Migrate from Office 365 to G Suite

#3 Make 3 Copies of your Backed Up Data Files – The 3-2-1 Rule

The 3-2-1 rule is followed by businesses worldwide, but there’s no compulsion. It means that businesses must save their data in three different places. The first one is simply the original copy of the production server where the data is produced. The second copy should be in network-attached storage [NAS]. Last but not least, keep the third copy on physical storage offsite for the third layer of protection from potential threats.

#4 Office 365 Backup Best Practices Configuring Retention Settings

Do not forget to set the retention settings of your Office 365 account. It defines the period of time until Microsoft keeps your data before deleting it permanently. For instance, you have data in your bin folder, so by default, Microsoft keeps that data for 93 days before deleting it permanently from its server. Users must be aware of the fact that Microsoft can delete your data if the total amount of files present in your bin folder exceeds 50% of your storage quota.

#5 Crucial Security Measures 

You are saving these files due to security reasons, However, there can be a huge mess if even their backup files are not saved. So, Office 365 backup best practices include securing your backed-up files to avoid getting affected by any potential risks. That is why experts recommend that users should not keep their backups on cloud servers. For example, if you’re using Office 365, then never keep your backup file on OneDrive. Keep that data on physical storage & that is too far from the actual site.

#6 Enable Versioning

Versioning is widely used and is the most prominent feature offered by Microsoft. It allows you to keep the previous versions of your files and databases, irrespective of deleting and editing. However, before enabling the native versioning option you should keep in mind that it uses the primary storage of respective user accounts. If this is essential for your organization then you can invest in additional storage space to keep multiple versions.

#7 Selection of a Reliable Tool & Strategy

Best Practices for Office 365 backup include the selection of a safe & reliable tool along with a similar approach. As we know that manual methods are complex, users must understand that selecting an automated tool is beneficial. Such tools can counter the limitations present in the manual method & can even keep the data integrity intact for users’ satisfaction. However, users must ensure that they are opting for a safe & customer-trusted utility.

Use The Most Trusted Automated Tool to Solve User Queries

As we know best practices for Microsoft 365 backup always include the selection of an automated tool. Users can simply get the expected results by selecting this advanced & dedicated tool for this operation.  Download the tool & follow the steps below.

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Creating a Local Copy of Office 365 Data as Office 365 Backup Best Practices

Step 1. Choose Office 365 as the source and Outlook as the Destination from the main screen.

Step 2. Select the required mailbox categories, i.e. email, contact, calendar, etc., from the workload selection.


Step 3. Use your O365 admin account credentials, i.e. Admin Email & Application ID to log in to the software and hit the validate button to validate the required permissions.


Step 4. In this step, locate a destination path and location to save the resultant PST files on your computer.


Step 5. Now choose the required user mailboxes from the list and hit the start backup button.


Also Read: Learn How to Backup Data From Locked Android Phone

#8 Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) 

While dealing with Office 365 permissions, it becomes crucial to Implement RBAC to control access to backup cloud data. It is best practice to restrict access to only authorized personnel to minimize the risk of data breaches. Eventually, it removes all the possibilities of data deletion, either intentionally or unintentionally, by humans.

#9 Multi-Location Backups 

One of the most important Office 365 best practices is to store backup copies in multiple locations, including local drives or the cloud. This feature helps protect data from physical catastrophes or local blackouts. Additionally, it also creates data redundancy, which helps organizations ensure they always have access to organizational data. 

#10 Training and Awareness  

One of the most underrated Office 365 backup best practices is to train your employees about data backup checklists. Make them aware of the importance of data protection in business scenarios. Regularly communicate backup policies and procedures to reinforce their understanding.


We’ve successfully discussed Office 365 backup best practices, to execute a smooth backup operation. In addition to this, we focused on the need to know these practices & listed a reliable solution. Using the above-mentioned software, you can easily create PST files of backup data without any hassle. 

This article can be a great help for you if you’re planning to execute this operation anytime in the near future for your business or personal purposes. Just keep in mind the practices & opt for the best backup tool for running an error-free backup operation.

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