Microsoft 365 Backup Preview


Microsoft 365 Backup is an in-place backup solution of Microsoft. For the Microsoft 365 Backup, there is no additional software or 3rd party tool needed. Microsoft is brining a long needed feature to M365, which customers around the world yearned for almost a decade. The Microsoft 365 Backup is still in preview since January 2024. The general rollout of the feature starts in April 2024. With M365 Backup you can only back up Exchange, OneDrive and SharePoint at the moment.”Backup for other Microsoft 365 sources, such as Teams chat and other Microsoft 365 services, and granular file-level recovery are part of our post-GA roadmap.” ( Microsoft, 11.2023) M365 Backup complies with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Key architectural components:

  • Backup data never leaves the Microsoft 365 data trust boundary or the geographic locations of your tenant data residency.
  • The backups are immutable unless expressly deleted by the admin.
  • OneDrive, SharePoint, and Exchange have multiple physically redundant copies of the data.
  • Microsoft is working with backup partners to expand the features of their backup solution. In the future, you should be able to use, pay and manage M365 Backup via a 3rd party backup software directly offer an API. But you can use the same underlying features in the Microsoft UI. Backup vendors may add some workflows or enhanced experiences to their software.

For more information, see Overview of Microsoft 365 Backup (Preview) – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn


At the moment, you need a PAYGO subscription. A subscription billed via a CSP does not work at the moment. The preview list price is $0.15/GB/month.

NOTE: For example, if your source data is 1 GB and you back-it-up, you will be charged for that GB. Your recycle bin will be backed up as well. If you now delete data from your source (originally 1 GB and currently 0.5 GB), you still will be charged for 1 GB. The original source data will be retained for one year. After one year, if there were no changes, you will be billed only for the 0.5 GB.


To set up M365 Backup, you have to be global admin or SharePoint admin and have Owner permissions on the subscription and resource group. I would recommend creating a dedicated resource group to monitor your expenses.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, select Setup, and then Files and content section.
  2. In the Files and content section, select Use content AI with Microsoft Syntex.
  3. On the Microsoft Syntex page, select Configure billing to walk through the setup process.

NOTE: After you have initially configured the billing section, you are still able to change it later.

Afterwards you have to enable M365 Backup by clicking on the same page on Manage Microsoft Syntex -> Backup Preview -> Activate

In the previous selected resoruce group a Microsoft Syntex Documentprocessor gets created. This resource is hidden does not contain any data of the backups.


The configuration of the Backup for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange is straight-forward. You have the default backup policies. You can activate, scope and deactivate them. More modifications are not available at the moment.

To activate the policies you have to navigate to Microsoft admin center -> Settings -> Microsoft 365 Backup -> OneDrive/SharePoint/Exchange -> Set up policy

In the configuration wizard, you have different options to scope the backup targets. You can choose users/sites manually or via URL (sites) or via CSV upload.

After activating the backup policy, it takes on average up to 60 minutes to process and another 60 minutes to create publish restore points.

Here are the default backup policy setting:

Frequency and period of backup
Every 10 minutes for 1 year

Frequency and period of backup
Items changed in the last 14 days – Every 15 minutes for 1 year
Items changed post 14 days to 1 year – Weekly for 1 year

Frequency and period of backup
Items changed in the last 14 days – Every 15 minutes for 1 year
Items changed post 14 days to 1 year – Weekly for 1 year

Fore more information, see Create backup policies to protect your data


The Restore of backups are as easy as the configuration of the backup policies. The procedure of restoring backups are very good described step by step by Microsoft. Restore data in Microsoft 365 Backup (Preview) – Microsoft Syntex | Microsoft Learn

Item-level as well as full restores for Mailboxes and SharePoint sites (without files) are available and work as expected.


Microsoft 365 Backup is still learning to walk. The lack of features, the lack of control where the data is stored, and the inability to change the backup policies on specific needs are some negative aspects of the feature. In my opinion, those key features, have to change until the solution goes into general availability. I’d like to mention the positive aspects too of M365 Backup. The in-place restores and restores in a different location of SharePoint sites and Exchange mailboxes, work fast and somewhat reliable.

Source: Microsoft 365 Backup and Microsoft 365 Backup Storage at Ignite 2023 – Microsoft Community Hub, Overview of Microsoft 365 Backup (Preview)

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