The Most Common Ways Data is Lost in Office 365

Himanshu Goyal
Himanshu Goyal | Updated On - November 04, 2022 |

Read time 5 minutes

Microsoft 365 is the most business-friendly product that Microsoft has ever launched. It has attracted millions of businesses and given a substantial benefit to Microsoft. As it is a cloud-based service, so there is great flexibility to manage the large-sized data. Many users do not like to take Office 365 backup and continue to increase the load. But several fault lines can target your data and makes you lose it. Today, we will talk about the common ways that can cause you to lose your Office 365 data and what you can do to save your data.

  1. Deleting data by accident

    It’s possible that we accidentally delete something from our Office 365, and it happens with most of us. In fact, most of the data loss on the cloud platform happens due to accidentally deleting the items. This can happen in all Office 365 applications, including SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Exchange Online.

    Common scenarios where you can lose a lot of data are:

    • Deleting files and folders from OneDrive
    • Removing slides or other items from PowerPoint or unintentionally removing the data from Excel Spreadsheet cells

    Well, we cannot stop accidents from happening because they’re unintentional. But there could be following reasons behind the accident deletion, such as:

    • You are clicking on a wrong email, item, or file and then delete something that was not supposed to
    • When you intend to remove something that you don’t require anymore, but later realize it was necessary

    Though Office 365 does provide some options to recover the lost data, including emails, they are foolproof. For example, if you accidentally delete data from SharePoint Online, it will be stored in the recycle bin only for 93 days. After that, it will be permanently removed from there.

  2. Deleting data intentionally

    Another reason for Office 365 data deletion could be deleting it intentionally. But why would anyone do that?

    Let’s consider this example: you terminate any employee in your company who has access to Office 365 data. So, chances are there that employees might delete the folders they have access to with all the essential data in it.

    Not only the employees being terminated, but other employees who are about to leave your company soon can also delete Office 365 data intentionally. So, the Office 365 administrator should be informed when the employees are about to leave the organization. It will help you prevent the deletion of necessary data.

  3. Cybersecurity, hacker attacks, or malware

    No matter how strong Office 365 security is, the risk of cyberattacks will always exist there. A Microsoft data center has the chance of being hacked because a cloud environment is not always perfect.

    Some common examples of attacks that can interrupt Office 365 data include:

    • Phishing attack – These types of attacks trick you into putting essential information, logins, passwords, email addresses, which can later be used by attackers to remove your entire data.
    • Ransomware – When ransomware locks your system, Office 365 access can also be affected.
    • Malware – A malware can enter your system or Office 365 account via a lousy email attachment, and can compromise the data in Office 365

    These events can occur anytime on a user account and make their application suffer from data loss. If a hacker gets access to your Office 365 account, the app won’t be able to detect whether you’re using it, or the hacker is using it.

    To avoid such situations, you should train your staff about malware and cyberattack prevention, as well as implement a strict policy.

  4. Poor data migration

    If you’re migrating data from Exchange to Office 365 or any other email server, then there is a possibility that you lose tons of data in a short time. If the migration between two email platforms doesn’t go correctly, it leads to data loss. Also, there are chances that you might delete or overwrite the whole information while performing the migration.

    But, if you use reliable third-party software like Kernel Office 365 Migration tool for migrating data to Office 365, then these errors could be avoided.

  5. Neglecting the protection of applications

    Although the essential data files stored outside of Exchange Online is often protected by the vendors, Office 365 apps are often overlooked. Most individuals prefer saving their critical data in Office 365 applications rather than on network drives. But if they don’t back up those data on time, they may end up losing it. So, it is also necessary to consider the protection of Office 365 applications.

  6. Cancellation of user license

    When an employee who has access to Office 365 account leaves your organization, the Office 365 license for that user account can be canceled. And no one gives a second thought about the data that is stored in that account. So, when a license of any account expires, the data stored in it automatically becomes inaccessible.

Backup Office 365 with Automated Tool

Kernel Office 365 Backup is the best tool that can help you backup Office 365 mailboxes. It is included with advanced features like selective data backup, saving data in multiple file formats, etc. Also, it is quite smooth when it comes to the working process. So, if you’re struggling with how to backup your Office 365 mailboxes, then try this fantastic utility.


Storing data in Office 365 is safe, but it could be critical if some malware enters the system or any user deletes the data intentionally. So, it’s necessary to backup Office 365 data to keep your data safe. In this article, we mentioned the common scenarios that can make you lose your Office 365 data. Also, we have provided a solution to export Office 365 data to PST.