Learn How to Backup OneDrive for Business Via an Expert Tutorial

How to Backup OneDrive for Business and Secure Your Data

Published By Siddharth Sharma
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 11th, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading
Category General

Summary: In this guide, we teach users how to backup OneDrive for business data on their devices. Moreover, we provide clear-cut explanations of the manual methods and the reasons to avoid them. Apart from that, the steps to use a sure-shot backup utility are also present. In the end, we cover the best practices to keep your official organizational data safe and secure.

OneDrive for Business is the professional and more robust counterpart of the OneDrive cloud storage we all know and love. Being a part of the Microsoft 365 system, this storage is used by businesses all over the world to keep their data at arm’s length. The omnipresent availability of OneDrive is what makes it a top contender for storing critical data. However, even with all the security features, Microsoft itself doesn’t claim a 100% guarantee of data safety. Black Swan events like hacking, natural disasters, etc can happen without warning. 

One way to mitigate the damage caused by such events is to keep a local backup of all the critical data. Nevertheless, creating a backup is easier said than done. That’s why we prepared this guide to help all users, regardless of their technical expertise. So before we delve into the methods themselves, let’s go through some scenarios that highlight the need for an in-house data backup.

Why and When to Backup OneDrive for Business

A prerequisite to knowing how to backup OneDrive for business is to understand its importance. Therefore, here we discuss some of the most common user queries and their answers. These questions are asked by subscribers of Microsft 365 about OneDrive for Business. 

“Why should I bother backing up my OneDrive for Business files? Isn’t it already protected?”

  • Backing up adds an extra layer of protection against accidental deletions, data corruption, and cyber threats.

“Can I get my accidentally trashed project report back from OneDrive?”

  • Yes, with proper backups in place, you can easily recover accidentally deleted files.

“How can I undo unwanted alterations in OneDrive for Business?”

  • Regular backups allow you to revert to earlier versions and preserve your original work.

“What happens to our files in OneDrive if we fall victim to ransomware?”

  • OneDrive business backup solutions provide a safety net to restore your data to a point before the ransomware attack.

“If a hacker gets into my OneDrive for Business account, can backups save us?”

  • Yes, backups enable you to recover your data even after a security breach.

“How can I ensure our original work is safe when collaborating on shared documents?”

  • Backups protect your original data, helping you recover from unintended changes.

“Can backups keep us operational during service outages or server problems?”

  • Backups ensure continued access to your data, even during service disruptions.

“What’s the best approach for creating a backup plan for OneDrive for Business data?”

  • A solid backup strategy involves regular, automated backups to safeguard your data.

“Is there a way to recover permanently deleted files from OneDrive?”

  • No, but having backups can rescue permanently deleted files.

How to Take Backup of OneDrive for Business Manually?

One way in which users can get all their files on a local machine is by directly downloading them. The steps for the procedure are described below.

Step 1. Login to your Microsoft 365 account and open OneDrive for Business.

Step 2. Select all the files that are required. A shortcut for applying bulk selection is to first hold down the shift key and then hit the first and last file on the list. For a more selective choice, users have no other option but to download them one by one.

Select Data

Step 3. Once the download is complete, users get a *.zip file with all their contents. To get the real data, they must extract the contents of the file.

Press Download

Step 4. Open the Zip file using WinRAR or any other extracting software and save it to a local folder.

Open Zip Extractor

Step 5. Once the extraction is complete, the users will have an exact copy of the OneDrive files on their system.

Extracted Files

This process might sound simple, but it has some hidden points of failure. Users can learn more about the limitations of the manual download in the next section.

Drawbacks of Creating a OneDrive for Business Backup by Downloading Files

If users choose this method as a OneDrive business backup solution, they must keep a few things in mind.

  • First and foremost, the process is time-consuming even with a bulk selection shortcut. Moreover, in case a company-wide backup is required, admins still have to log in to each profile individually and perform the backup one by one.
  • The repeated compression and extraction of delicate files increases the probability of data corruption as a whole. This adds another reason why users should refrain from downloading as an answer to how to take backup of OneDrive for business.
  • Users have to manually sort out the extracted files to their destination; this reduces employee productivity and adds unnecessary costs to the company.

Therefore, users can look into another manual method of saving OneDrive data without the hassle of zip file extraction.

Sync and Save OneDrive for Business Data in Real Time

Steps to create a direct link between the cloud and your device are:

Step 1. To start the answer of how to backup OneDrive for business log into the Microsoft 365 portal. Then open OneDrive for Business and select all the required files/folders. 

Step 2. Then, hit the gear icon at the top right corner. In the Settings menu that opens up, click on the Sync this Drive option.

Gear and Sync

Step 3. A popup appears that indicates that the syncing operation is being performed in the background. However, this will only start if you have a preexisting OneDrive app that is updated to the latest version.

Pop up

Step 4. Minimize the browser and go to the Setup OneDrive window, type in the email address, and hit the Sign in button.

Setup Onedrive

Step 5. On the next screen, you will be asked to enter your password. Do the same and proceed by hitting the Sign in button.

Enter Password

Step 6. After that, you get an option to allow your organization’s IT admin to control the installation of apps on the device. Enable it at your convenience and press OK.


Step 7. A new OneDrive partition with all the data will be present in the File Explorer itself.

Synced Files

Problems That Occur During a OneDrive Sync

Permission Issues: Sometimes users may lack the permissions required to set a sync between the OneDrive for Business account and a local PC. This is most often the case when users are attempting to establish a link to a personal device not registered as company property. 

Time-Consuming: Like the download method, the sync is also limited to one account at a time. Therefore, if administrators were looking for a quick answer to how to backup OneDrive for business en masse, they must find another way.

Infrastructure Dependent: Real-time syncing is only an option if you have a high bandwidth connection. Therefore, if users are going to a remote place where network connections are questionable, they should use an alternative backup mechanism.

Don’t worry, as we have a single solution that is here to end all backup woes.

How to Backup OneDrive for Business Professionally?

The only tool that has established its supremacy time and time again is the SysTools OneDrive Backup Software. Moreover, with its unique combination of a simplified UI and robust algorithms, any user can get a quick and error-free backup. The tool has become the favorite of all those who use it, as is evident from the countless user testimonies. Furthermore, it lives up to the strict industry standard, as a result of which it is recommended by experts across the domain. 

Download Now Purchase Now

Given below are a few simple steps to get used to the utility.

Step 1. Download and install the OneDrive business backup solution on your device. Open the tool and choose Office 365 as the source and Outlook as the destination.

enter source and destination users

Step 2. Scroll down to make the Workload selection, i.e. mark the box next to Documents, you also apply the date filter for a more specific backup.

Select Workload and apply Date Filter

Step 3. Complete the Validation for both the source (Office 365) and destination (Outlook) one by one.


Step 4. Fetch the users directly, import the CSV file, or download-edit-upload the template for direct end-to-end mapping.

User Mapping

Step 5. Preview the selections, set priority, make the validation, and hit the Start Backup button.

Start Migration

Unique Advantages of the Automated Utility

Users should opt for this OneDrive business backup solution for the following reasons:

  • Facilitates Document Export from OneDrive to Your Local Device
  • Save Multiple OneDrive Files and Folders Simultaneously
  • Apply Date Filters to Selectively Export Specific Files from OneDrive
  • Choose Your Preferred Storage Location for File Saving
  • Enable Concurrent Backup for Faster Processing
  • Monitor Real-Time Progress via the Dashboard Interface
  • Reattempt Backup for Any Skipped or Failed Items
  • Delta Backup: Safeguard Newly Received OneDrive Items
  • Maintains Folder Structure and Data Integrity After Backup
  • Compatible with Windows 10 (64-bit), Server 2012, and Server 2016

Also Read: Explanation for How to Take cPanel Email Backup Easily


In this write-up, we discussed the key elements to keep in mind while searching for how to backup OneDrive for business. Not only did we cover the basic manual method, but we also mentioned how professional software overcomes all of their difficulties. Therefore, in the end, we know for a fact that users who follow the best practices and use the automated utility are bound to get tremendous benefits over those who do not. So make the smart choice and enjoy an error-free and smooth method of saving critical OneDrive data.