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How to Restore Exchange Online Data

How do I restore Exchange Online data?

To restore lost data in Exchange, log in to your Backups for Microsoft 365 account and click the Exchange tab.

Search

If you have multiple mailboxes connected to your account, you can use the search field to find the mailbox you want to search.

To search a mailbox, click the User to open that user's mailbox in the folder-view.

Mailbox Folder View

From the Folder View, you can either enter text into the search field or browse through the folders to find what you need to restore.

Search to Find

Enter keywords from the header of the email or the name of the folder you are looking for. Rewind Backups searches the subject line of emails, file and folder names, contact names, and more. However, to ensure privacy, it does not search the body of emails or files.

Currently, the Rewind Backups UI has a search result limit of 500 items. Workarounds for this include the use of browsing to narrow the search within a specific folder or Smart Search.

Smart Search allows you to narrow a search using the following Smart Search tags. Note: Smart Search tags should be written in the language of the user, e.g. 件名 [Subject Keyword].

  • To:[Recipient Name]
  • From:[Sender Name]
  • Subject:[Subject Keyword]  

Rewind Backups also supports a variety of Advanced Search capabilities, including Elasticsearch, Wildcards, and RegEx. Note: For a RegEx search, enter "RegEx:" before the query. For more information, see Advanced Search.

If multiple items appear in your search, you can sort the items by Sent by, Subject, and Date.

Browse to find

You can also click any folder or subfolder to browse its contents, sort the items by Sent by, Subject, and Date, and filter by Date.

  • To sort, click the column heading you want to sort by.
  • To filter by date, click the filter icon and select an option.

As you drill into folders, your path is tracked at the top of the screen. If you want to navigate back, simply click on the path to open a menu, and select the folder you want to return to.

Restore

Overview

Rewind Backups offers the following flexibility in performing restores:

 
Data Individual Bulk/Multiple Point-in-time Cross-mailbox
Full Mailbox  
Email    
Folders    
Contacts    
Calendars      
Tasks      
Notes      
Journals      

Individual Item Restore

To restore individual folders or items, select them and click Restore.

When needing to restore more than 200 individual items, it is best practice to perform a bulk restore (e.g. full mailbox, folder, list, etc.).

While the restore is initiated with a single click and Rewind Backups makes every effort to restore the content as quickly as possible, the time required to complete the restoration is based on a variety of external factors, including:

  • The overall size of the data set being restored.
  • Microsoft Office 365 throttling.
  • Microsoft Azure throttling.
  • The overall availability of Office 365.

While waiting for a restore to complete, you can view the status of the restore by hovering over the progress indicator next to the mailbox being restored.

Full Restore

Rewind Backups also supports bulk restore of Full Mailboxes and Calendars, as well as all Contacts, Tasks, Notes, or Journals. On the homepage of the Exchange tab, click the ellipsis (...) to the right of any mailbox, and select what you want to restore.

Note for Shared Mailboxes

Currently, the only full restore that appears on the homepage of the Exchange tab for a Shared Mailbox is Restore Full Mailbox. However, within any mailbox type, you can perform a full restore of Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and Journals, by selecting the folder in the folder-view. 

Note for Restore Full Calendar

Rewind Backups treats each calendar series as an individual entity and does not overwrite data when performing a restore. Therefore, if a meeting series exists, Rewind Backups will not perform a restore on that series, and single recurring items (e.g. exceptions) will not be restored with a Full Calendar Restore. If a single recurring item needs to be restored, a point-in-time restore must be performed on the full mailbox using a date prior to the deletion of the recurring item.

If you select Restore Full Mailbox, you will have the following restore options:

  • Point-in-Time Restore: Currently, you can perform a Soft Restore which is similar to existing restore functionality whereby missing items are added back if they existed as of the selected date and time. In the future, more restore options will be added to this menu.
  • Full Mailbox Restore: Restores all items that have ever been backed up for that mailbox to the selected mailbox destination. 
  • Cross-mailbox restore: You can restore the data to a different mailbox by contacting our Support Team.

When a full restore is done with Rewind Backups, it is merged with existing content. In other words, the data is de-duplicated before it is inserted into the mailbox. Rewind Backups does not overwrite or delete data at any time.

While the restore is initiated with a single click and Rewind Backups makes every effort to restore the content as quickly as possible, the time required to complete the restoration is based on a variety of external factors, including:

  • The overall size of the data set being restored.
  • Microsoft Office 365 throttling.
  • Microsoft Azure throttling.
  • The overall availability of Office 365.

While waiting for a restore to complete,, you can view the status of the restore by hovering over the progress indicator next to the mailbox being restored.

Restore Individual Contacts

You can restore contacts individually or in bulk from the folder view of the mailbox.

  1. Click the Contacts folder.
  2. Select the contacts you want to restore.
  3. Click Restore.

Restoring a file when a folder has been deleted

If you need to restore a file whose folder has been deleted, Rewind Backups will re-create the folder architecture and restore the file in that recreated folder architecture. However, if someone has deleted the site collection, the Global Admin will need to recreate the site collection manually before the file can be restored. 

Restoring mailbox data after a user leaves and their Office 365 subscription is deleted

Rewind Backups will not delete the backup of the mailbox, and the content will be retained for the duration of the retention period (as indicated in the Settings section of an Office 365 Backup subscription). If the Office 365 license has been removed (thus deleting the mailbox from Office 365), this will trigger an alert titled: Backup [mailbox] not found. To address this alert, you will need to disable the backup for the mailbox. Once the mailbox is disabled, you will no longer be charged for the mailbox and the alert will not pop up again.

In order to maintain the integrity of the mailbox, while removing the need to have it licensed, Microsoft’s best practice is to convert the mailbox to a Shared Mailbox first, and then remove the license. By doing this, instead of simply removing the license and deleting the mailbox, no mailboxes will need to be created if the customer wants to restore the data. The backups can still be turned off for that mailbox, resulting in no further charges.

Note: Disabling the backup of a mailbox will not delete the backed up data. Search and restore is available while the subscription is active.