Backup and Export Data Out of Office 365 – Expert Solution

Lots of things can disrupt service availability, such as hardware failure, human error etc. The user should create the backup of data to make sure that his/her data is always available even when unexpected events occur. On the other hand, backup is a means of data protection. Whenever users data is changed, deleted or corrupted, having their copies give an opportunity to restore lost data. There are many reasons why users want to export data out of Cloud systems like Office 365. With the help of this post, let us understand how a user create backup and export data out of Office 365? Before knowing the answer to this question, one should know why users wants to export Exchange Online Mailboxes locally?

Why is Exchange Online Backup Necessary?

  • Sometimes, a user deletes data intentionally or unintentionally. If the data is deleted permanently from exchange online, often there is no way to retrieve it, other than from a backup copy.
  • Data is also at the risk of getting lost when users face situations like Hardware malfunction or system crash. The only way to save data is creating a copy of Mailbox Office 365 locally.
  • Virus attacks and malicious software can also result in data loss. So, users must create a backup of their data on regular basis.

Needs to Export Data Out of Office 365

Sometimes, sensitive or unsuitable data moves to the Office 365 tenant administration portal, it needs to be exported and then removed. Data needs to be moved because of issues that arise due to data ownership. Moreover, individual users or teams need visibility on content they are storing this also comes under one main reason to export data out of Office 365.

Options Offered by Office 365 for Export and Backup

According to the Microsoft Office 365 privacy policy, the customer retains all the rights to his/her cloud data. So, a customer can download a copy of data at any time without any extra assistance from Microsoft. Some of the following options are:

Exporting Office 365 Mailboxes, SharePoint, Onedrive

  • Exchange Online data such as emails calendars, contacts and tasks. One can easily download this information via the import and export wizards within Exchange and Outlook. An automated solution like SysTools Office 365 Backup & Restore can be used to export PST from Office 365 Mailbox and can be saved locally.
  • SharePoint Online documents can be copied using web-based download tools, OneDrive desktop clients, and the SharePoint ‘Windows Explorer’ tool.
  • SharePoint Online list data can be exported as SharePoint list files or in Excel-based data formats.

Backing Up Office 365 Email Data

  • Exporting data out of Office 365 Mailbox is one thing, but backup is also an extremely important thing. Now, to export Exchange Online data use the export feature(eDiscovery Tool) or autmated solution that makes the task more easy to create an Outlook Data File(.pst). All the mailbox data such as emails, calendar, tasks etc. are present in this file. Moreover, this data can be imported into other compatible applications.
  • One more feature is offered by Office 365 to the user that is SharePoint Site Mailboxes. A SharePoint Site Mailbox is a main email and document sharing account that is accessed from within a SharePoint site. A team may select a common Mailbox to gather relevant team-level email conversations or collaborate using email messages. The team can also share important documents securely using the Mailbox.
  • It might extremely imply that a SharePoint Mailbox is a part of SharePoint Online itself. Especially, this data is stored in Exchange. So, a SharePoint backup would not access Mailbox data rather it will need to be tackled like any other Exchange data.
  • This a good instance of how data is still stored in Office 365, across SharePoint and Exchange in particular. When it comes to Mailboxes, data is stored in Exchange instead of storing the emails or documents in document libraries. This is not obvious to the end user, but it is important to understand when it comes to data export or backup.

Backing Up SharePoint Online Data

For backing up SharePoint data there are few options available. Use the option explained below for Office 365 sharepoint backup data stored in a list such as list tasks, calendars, announcements or custom list items.

    • Every list view can be exported to Excel. Just use Export to Excel option. The user must notice one thing that the current view is exported. Always make sure to create a view that contains all the columns you wish to export.
    • To copy and paste data into another application like Excel, Access or even a custom application, use ‘Datasheet’ option.

Now, for documents or forms in a document library, use the options given below:

  • To access any document library, use Windows Explorer. Use the Open in Explorer button. When the document library is opened in an Explorer Window, a user can handle it like a disk drive or directory and copy the files to another storage location.
  • When a user is using OneDrive for Business, then he/she can sync document libraries to local disk. After this, he/she can copy them from that location. A user should always make sure to mark the documents for offline use.
    Note: Upon terminating an Office 365 subscription, Microsoft gives 90 days to a user to export or backup data, before it deletes it altogether.

Note: Upon terminating an Office 365 subscription, Microsoft gives 90 days to a user to export or backup data, before it deletes it altogether.

Automated Solution to Backup and Export Data from Office 365

Most of the manual techniques are associated with limitations. These limitations can affect our valuable data in an unhealthy way. Thus, it is suggested to a user to go for an automated solution that is SysTools Office 365 Backup Solution. This utility archive and export PST from Office 365 mailboxes in a reliable and secure way. This software has many advanced features like filter options to perform a selective backup, maintains folder structure etc. It is a perfect solution to backup and export data from Office 365.


Many users want to backup and export data out of Office 365 as an extra security step. So, it is necessary to choose a reliable and secure method to perform this task. As for every user, data security comes first. Thus, one should perform every task related to data backup and export very carefully.


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