how to use onedrive restore feature poster

OneDrive for Business Restore vs. Recycle Features

Microsoft rolled out the anticipated OneDrive For Business Restore feature in January, 2018. It’s described as a self-service recovery feature that allows everyone (admins and end users), the ability to go back and restore file(s) up to 30 days in time. We’re going to look at the Restore feature and compare it to the Recycle Bin feature.

OneDrive Restore Feature

This feature is in OneDrive For Business, not the consumer version of OneDrive. To get to it, you’ll need to be logged in on-line and then click the gear button over to the right and Settings will open. Then roll down to OneDrive Restore.

ODFB settings button
ODFB Settings

A new page will open where you’ll see Restore your OneDrive. This is where you get to look over all the files that have been changed over the last 30 days. Notice the select a date drop down. You can select Yesterday, a week ago, 3 weeks ago, Custom Date.

Below that, there’s a handy slider bar where you can quickly find a specific date.

Note that if you select a week ago, all documents from a week ago will be restored. You are not able to pick and choose from within a date range. That’s what the custom date range is for.

OneDrive For Business Restore screenshot
OneDrive For Business Restore

When you choose a large or small date range, you’ll see a filled in radio button next to the file(s) that are going to be restored. After the file(s) are highlighted with the buttons, then you’ll see the files will be ready to restore by clicking on the ‘Restore’ button next to the select a date area. Click and your files will be restored to what they were before the last change.

select file for OneDrive restore

The huge benefit of OneDrive Restore is that you can quickly restore large numbers of files all at once. If you’ve ever had your files ravaged by malware/viruses, you know how great this is. I had a client this happened to and all their SharePoint and ODFB files were encrypted. We had to wait nearly 2 weeks for Microsoft to restore them.

OneDrive Restore only works in OneDrive, not SharePoint. I’ve not seen that it will be extended to SharePoint sites at this point.

Here’s the Microsoft Announcement about OneDrive for Business Restore feature.

OneDrive Previous Versions Feature

The previous version feature has been available for both SharePoint & OneDrive for Business for a while now. If you want to go back go a previous version you can go to your OneDrive For Business click the 3 dots beside the name of the document, click on ‘Previous Version’ and it’ll show how many versions you have. Then you can choose which one to restore, if you wish. There are also these instructions from Microsoft.

Video of OneDrive Restore & Recycle Bin Features

In this 3-minute video, I show you both the Restore and the Recycle Bin features in OneDrive for Business.


OneDrive Recycle Bin Feature

The Recycle Bin is where your trashed/unwanted documents are stored. If you can’t find a document, go here first and look for it!

Any user has access to their own Recycle Bin, The default is 93 days for a document to stay in the recycle bin. Then it goes to the Second Stage Recycle Bin where only the Admin has access to it. The 2nd Stage Recycle bin contents remain for 180 days. These time periods can be changed by the Administrator.

Difference Between Restore and Recycle in OneDrive for Business

You’ve probably figured it out by now, but here we go..

  • Restore is mainly for restoring groups of files that were affected by malware. They wouldn’t be in the Recycle Bin because the malware didn’t put them in the trash.
  • The Recycle Bin is where your deleted files go. Each user can restore their own files, but not others. Admins can restore anyone’s files. Admins have access to a 2nd stage recycle bin where older files and even entire SharePoint Sites can be restored.

Have you ever had an event where you’ve needed to restore a group of files? Get familiar and take a look at your OneDrive Restore feature.



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