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How to Restore SharePoint Online Data

How do I restore SharePoint Online data?

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


If there is a large number of SharePoint Site Collections within your account, you can use the search field to find the Site Collection you want to search. Once you find the Site Collection, click it to open in the folder-view.

If you want to restore the full Site Collection, see SharePoint Full Site Collection Restore.

If you want to restore data to a Modern Team Site or Communication Site, go to Restoring Office 365 Groups Data.

For more information on restoring data to a Modern Team Site that was converted from a Classic Team Site, see Restoring data to a Modern Team Site that was converted from a Classic Team Site.

Folder View of Account

On the folder view of the account, you can either enter text in the search field or browse through the folders.

Search to Find

To ensure privacy, Rewind Backups does not index the content of files or lists.

In Rewind Backups for SharePoint, you can search for files by file name, and can sort the results by:

  • File name
  • File type
  • Location
  • Modified date
  • Modified by

In Rewind Backups for SharePoint, you can search for sites, subsites, and lists as follows:

  • Classic Team Sites by name (Note: Backup and restore of Modern Team Sites is included in Office 365 Groups)
  • Subsites by name
  • The following lists by Name or Location, and items within each list by Name, Location, Created by, and Last modified by:
    • Document Library
    • Picture Library
    • Tasks
    • Announcements
    • Contacts
    • Links
  • The following list types have exceptions.
    • Events (Calendar List) can only be restored as a full calendar. Individual items cannot be searched or restored.
    • Generic List items can be searched by the Title field and location.

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

Rewind Backups supports a variety of Smart Search queries. To narrow your search to subsites or a specific list type, you can enter the following Smart Search terms.

  • subsite:[subsite name] (e.g. subsite:marketing)
  • folder:[folder name]
  • file:[file name]
  • announcement:[announcement name]
  • contact:[contact last name]

Advanced Search

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 date modified, data type, and size.

Browse to Find

Click any data type to browse its contents. Within each, you can sort the items by date modified, file type, and size. To sort, click the column heading.

As you drill into each data type, 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.


Individual Item Restore

To restore individual items, select them and click Restore.

Note: You can restore multiple items, including different item types (e.g. subsites, lists, folders, and files) with a single click.

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.) or perform multiple batches of under 200 individual restores. Currently, extremely large batches of individual restores (e.g. over 200) may not complete.

Every SharePoint restoration is a “new item” restore because Rewind Backups does not overwrite existing items. This means that if the item being restored already exists, Rewind Backups will add the restored item back to the site collection with its name appended with a number in parentheses. On the other hand, if the item no longer exists, Rewind Backups will add the item without appending the name of the file.

Bulk Restore

If you want to restore the full Site Collection, see SharePoint Full Site Collection Restore.

Rewind Backups also supports the restoration of an entire SharePoint Subsite or List.

When a bulk 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 account. Rewind Backups does not overwrite or delete data at any time. Therefore, if a file needs to be restored into a folder in which an existing file has the same name, it must be restored as part of an individual restore. 

Restoring a subsite will restore all the missing items below the subsite. A merge restore will restore the items with the latest version of each file. To restore previous versions, follow the steps below.

Previous Version Restore

By default, Rewind Backups will restore the most recent version of a file. However, if versioning is enabled you can restore previous versions. To do so, click the ellipsis (...) under Actions, and click Version History to open a window in which you can select the version you want to restore.

Restore Process Timeline

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.