How to "Backup" Emails and Files in Office 365 for FREE


You don’t need a 3rd party backup of your emails and files in Office 365 cloud services – you just need to know how to use retention policies in Office 365. There are no backups to configure or manage in office 365 to protect your files and emails – you use retention policies to protect files and emails that are deleted. Creating a simple and highly effective “backup” to protect your files and emails FOREVER takes 2 MINUTES! There are no backup jobs to configure and monitor – that part of your life is OVER! You can sit back, relax and let Microsoft handle that part while you know all deleted emails and files as well as previous versions of those emails and files are always protected. I go further to explain the next step from a “Forever” retention policy to a simple data governance policy to ensure the security and confidentiality of your emails and files to protect your company, your clients and your employees.



  1. One of the policy settings is 'Retain or delete the content based on' and you have a choice of 'when it was created' or 'when it was modified' what seems to be missing is 'when it was deleted' or am I missing the difference between retention and backup?

  2. I want to get a backup of my users email accounts and the backed up items should be accessible only by the admins. Is this the possible workaround?

  3. Great videos! Quick question regarding backups and retention. Isn't one of the key purposes of a backup plan that you move the data from one location/provider to a 3rd party? Using a provider like Veeam provides an alternative 3rd party backup for O365/SharePoint data in the even Microsoft has catastrophic event. Why is this not recommended?

  4. I am currently looking at a 3rd party backup solution for O365. Everything I have read and seen says Retention is great tool for ensuring the availability of files, but Backup's don't just allow you to recover from files that are accidently deleted. They protect against corruption and malicious attacks, such as ransomware. Microsoft's own article on published Nov 2019 states – Versioning helps to protect SharePoint Online lists and SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business libraries from some, but not all, of these types of ransomware attacks. Versioning is enabled by default in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online. Since versioning is enabled in SharePoint Online site lists, you can look at earlier versions and recover them, if necessary.

  5. My school email account is full. I would like to copy (or transfer) all my emails to my laptop so I can free up space in my school account. Is this the best method for doing this?

  6. We are migrating to o365 at the moment. I set up a retention policy base on your video. However while in a call with Microsoft support, I raised the question on how would we keep all emails in the system even when a user deletes and purges the deleted emails. I was told that litigation hold is the only way then retrieve them via ediscovery even when a user tries to remove emails from the system completely. However your video states retention does basically the same thing. Also looking at the MS retention policy page, one of the bullet states, Retaining content so that it can't be permanently deleted before the end of the retention period. So what am I missing?

  7. Am I correct in thinking that retention policies don't cover email folders i.e. the mail items are retained, but you can't specifically recover a subfolder of a user's mailbox as it was at a certain date. I mean, it's less common than needing to find a specific email that a user remembers sending to or receiving from someone, but I have had users come to me with questions like, "I had a Bell Gas folder in my clients subfolder some time last year and it's gone. Can you get it back?" How would that work using retention policies, or am I still better off using a 3rd party product like Veeam.

  8. Another great video Wayne. If a company came to you and said that they replaced all of their file servers with Sharepoint Online – but as a hedge against a global outage of Microsoft Cloud infrastructure worldwide they wanted to perform a daily backup of all their data in Sharepoint Online to another non-Microsoft cloud provider – what would you advise ?

  9. Your videos are amazing and super easy to understand. We are a NYC based MSP, and find your videos so much easier to follow than some of the MS ones. You get right to the meat of things. Keep it up, and continued success!!

  10. HiThanks for the video. I have a question in how to use the data retained by the retention policy to restore a deleted email ?


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