Your files are important and the ability to recover them in case of an issue is essential. Recently Microsoft has provided the ability to restore your entire OneDrive to a point in time. There has been the ability to restore single files if they have been deleted via your Recycle Bin but this does not cover things like corruption or changes in the file. Files Restore in OneDrive within Office 365 changes this.
The key things to know about OneDrive Files Restore are...
Whatever point in time you restore from it will restore ALL changes selected.
This mean that you cannot select a single file or only a collection of files to be restored. Based on whatever point in time you select it will bring back all changes, renames, deletions, corruptions, etc.
You can restore to any point in the last 30 days
This shouldn't be a deal as with the point above that when you restore it will restore everything. Hopefully you will notice a point in time before the 30 days if you want to restore everything.
The restore is not an administrator process, it is done by you
If you are an administrator and someone has asked you to restore someone's OneDrive you could grant yourself permissions to the user's OneDrive site or you could pass along the Microsoft documentation
for guidance. This also means that it would be a great idea to send out information to your users to make them aware that this capability is available.
If you want to undo your restore, you can just restore it again
If you accidently restored to a wrong point or if you didn't mean to restore so far you can revert your changes. You can do this by simply going back into Files Restore and picking a point in the past.
Files Restore uses version history
Version history in OneDrive is on by default but technically could be changed by a user. If a user does change this or if this is done at an administrative level then Files Restore will not work planned.
If files are deleted from the site collection recycle bin they cannot be restored
Files are automatically removed well after 30 days so automatic deletion should not be an issue. A user would need to manually go into their site collection recycle bin
to delete things.
If files can't be restored, a log file will be generated
Depending on the type of corruption that occurs it may be a challenge to restore everything. If this does occur a folder will be created at the root of your OneDrive called RestoreLog.
Files Restore is not available in the classic experience or on-premises
If you're OneDrive is still utilizing the classic UI then you will not have the option in the gear menu to restore your files. You need to ensure the modern UI is being utilized. Also this is an Office 365 only solution and not available within SharePoint Server on-premises.
Now what does this look like…
- Login to Office 365 and access your OneDrive
- Click on the gear in the top right and select "Restore your OneDrive"
- Select your timeframe and remember this can go up to 30 days
- Once you pick a time you can review the activities that will be restored. There is a handy slider that you can also use to pick a date or to review activities. As you can see below it is showing new files and renames.
- Click restore and you will be prompted with a date and time of when you files will be restored back from
- You will then see that your OneDrive restore is in process. You can continue to work while it is being restored.
- You will still see it being restored in the tool bar while you are working.