Free Methods to Office 365 Backup

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam | Updated On - November 10, 2022 |

Read time 12 minutes

Cloud technology has gone mainstream in the last decade, with the industry leaders like Amazon, Microsoft, Google have invested heavily in cloud platforms. Office 365 is the most influential cloud service and has hundreds of millions of users globally. It is the main source of revenue for Microsoft. It includes all business-related software like Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, and MS Office Suite, including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, etc.

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Although the Office 365 cloud is reliable and owns many robust security features, many users are still concerned about data security. Server outages, hacking attempts, uptime issues, etc., can make Office 365 data inaccessible for some time or forever. That is why users believe in backup Office 365 data.

And for backups, it is a well-tested software that has become prevalent among Office 365 users. It is a perfect platform to secure Office 365 mailboxes.

The software has a simple interface with a small screen size and a direct flow of steps. Since its release, KernelApps have updated it regularly to meet the user requirements. The software backs up the Office 365 user data as per the needs of its users.

Why is Backup of Office 365 Necessary?

Cloud productivity services like Office 365 provide flexible storage where the user can select a plan based on the requirement. Each user gets a default size for the mailbox that the administrator can reduce for some users. When the user creates some user-defined folders, then they also get a storage limit.

Due to the large storage space available in Office 365, the users do not feel the need to back up their data. But, data protection and security have always been of greater importance. With more and more threats arising day by day, data security is more challenging even for cloud users.

Microsoft follows the foolproof model, where it focuses on physical security and availability of its data centers. Also, it identifies and authenticates the identity of the user before giving access to the cloud services. But, it does not mean that Microsoft owns the data. It is responsible for the overall infrastructure and its accessibility. The organizations that purchase the subscription also need to share the data security responsibility. So, they need to back up the data regularly.

Here are the reasons why businesses should take backup of Office 365 regularly.

  1. It saves from accidental deletion
    Despite strong tactics used by Microsoft for the protection of Office 365 data, it is not immune to human errors. Even when there are lesser chances of data mismanagement, there can be some accidental deletion. The deletion occurs when a user deletes a message rather than saving it. The business will want to reduce such accidental deletions so that it doesn’t lead to data loss.

    Microsoft 365 does not provide a dependable retention policy for the deleted messages. The default retention period is 14 days, and the administrator can stretch up to 30 days. This period is not enough because it does not give a satisfactory time to recognize that an important deletion has happened. If you have not taken a backup of Office 365 data, then after the expiration of 30 days of the retention period, the data will be gone forever.

    Accidental deletions cause up to 70% losses for an organization, and the risks are real. A backup will make the chances of data loss to almost nil.

  2. It helps in account retention
    Once an employee resigns from the organization, then his/her mailbox becomes redundant. But, it is going to be costlier for the business to maintain such redundant mailboxes because the Office 365 subscription price is based on the number of users. So, it will be expensive to maintain the mailbox of the employee in the long term for the sake of data. But you never know that when you will require the information saved in the user mailbox.

    Naturally, the organizations will not like to pay for some redundant mailbox, and a backup will be cheaper than an active subscription. The backup will ensure that emails are protected and available whenever the business needs them. The software creates an accessible, usable, and restorable backup of an employee mailbox after the employee has resigned from the organization, and the account can now be deleted.

  3. It reduces the chances of data loss due to internal threats
    Generally, business owners consider internal threats quite minimal and rare. But, when the employees are not trained properly with the data security aspects, their data is vulnerable.

    If some data gets lost due to actions by employees, then there will be serious trouble for the organization. In the absence of a backup file, there is no technique to recover such data. The only method to protect your data from internal threats is to use efficient backup software.

  4. It protects against the external threats
    External threats are more dangerous than internal threats. Internal threats are rare, but external threats loom large at your professional data. There are hackers who are working 24*7 to gain entry into the business network and steal the data. The malware, spyware, ransomware, and such threats can corrupt the data.

    Due to the ongoing trend of remote working, the intensity of external threats has increased substantially. If you take a regular backup, you can restore the most recent version of the deleted data. You can choose the latest backup and restore it in Office 365 mailbox.

  5. It helps to meet legal and compliance requirements
    A business cannot get rid of its old or unused data easily. There are multiple litigations and compliance requirements that a business needs to meet, like some legal audits. Office 365 has some native litigation hold services and e-Discovery search features, but they work only in the enterprise-level Office 365 plans.

    To follow the legal and industry compliances, the businesses have two options. The first one is to upgrade the Office 365 subscription plan to an expensive enterprise version, and the other one is to take a regular backup using professional software that is more cost-effective.

  6. It allows you to provide better support for your clients
    There are some service providers who purchase the office 365 subscription for their clients and help them in professional email communication. When the clients face a problem, then they contact the service provider and ask for data protection. If the clients have lost their data, then they will contact the service providers.
    If you have taken the backup, you can easily solve such an issue by restoring the backup file and providing quick access.

Native Method to Take Free Backup of Office 365

The Office 365 administrators with Business or Enterprise subscription can export the mailboxes to a PST file using the Content Search in eDiscovery Manager. Content Search is useful in searching the mailboxes and public folders from Exchange Online. Then, you can export the mailboxes to a PST file.

  1. Login to Exchange Admin Center and click the Admin option there.
  2. If your account is not a member of eDiscovery Manager, then you can edit the Role Group and add your mailbox.
  3. In the Content Search, you can click Add (+) button and create a new search for the mailboxes. You should add such mailboxes that you want to export in PST. Then, you can click the Start Export option to start the process.
  4. Once the export process is complete, you can click Download exported results.

You can get an export key that you can use to download the results and save the PST file.

Backup Using the Free Kernel Office 365 Backup and Restore Software

The native Office 365 Backup solution of exporting the Office 365 mailbox to PST is suitable for the expensive Business and Enterprise editions only. And the backup is easy with a small size of data. When your mailbox reaches its 50 GB limit, this direct export process will take many hours to complete.

The tool can reduce this complex and error-prone process to export Office 365 to PST. You can choose an unlimited number of mailboxes, apply the filters and save it at a user-defined location.

What Does It Backup?

  • Emails
    It backs up emails from all the folders of the mailbox meant for saving the emails like Inbox, Outbox, Junk, Deleted Items, Sent Items, etc.
  • Attachments
    All the attachments, irrespective of their types of sizes, are searchable and are available for backup.
  • Contacts
    Contacts will be saved with their complete properties like name, address, number, email ID, etc.
  • All mailbox items
    There are several mailbox items like appointments, events, meetings, venue, categories, etc.
  • Hierarchy
    The default hierarchy of folders (including the user-defined) and their structure will be saved in the backup file and protected.


  • The software will help Office 365 users in reducing the large mailboxes into smaller and manageable files. You can move the unnecessary emails to the PST file. Business communication through emails will greatly benefit from it.
  • Microsoft assures about the physical availability of its servers, but the data centers can face some disaster and become unresponsive. The software will help you in planning your disaster management solutions.
  • To overcome the limitation of the retention policies, the software will save the essential data for you.
  • The software can easily work without Outlook to create new PST files.
  • It supports all the plans and subscriptions of Office 365. The PST file can be used in the Outlook application of all the versions.
  • Multiple filter options are integrated with the software to stop unwanted data from backup. Filtering options are based on folders, dates, and item types. You can also avoid empty and deleted folders.
  • A special option on the filter page can save the whole mailbox in a different folder if you mention the name. This option is useful when you want to access whole data separately.

Features of The Automated Tool

  • Direct Backup of Office 365 mailbox
    A normal user can directly migrate his/her Office 365 mailbox to PST without the requirement of any Administrative privileges. Similarly, the administrator can migrate an unlimited number of mailboxes to separate PST files with the same as the mailboxes. There is no limitation in size or number of mailboxes for backup.
  • Backup Archive, Shared, and Public Folder
    If you have enabled archive, shared, and public folders, you can also take their backup. The software will show you the correct folders you had created in the mailbox and save them in PST files. The filters will trim down the unnecessary files.
  • Automated backup using CSV file
    The Office 365/ Microsoft 365 Backup software automates the process with the use of a CSV file. By adding all the information of mailboxes in a CSV file, you can use it in the tool. There is an inbuilt CSV file that the user can download and input the mailbox details.

    The CSV file will help the software authenticate all the mailboxes in bulk and be included directly for the backup. Later, the software will show all the mailboxes that you have selected (and there, you can remove some mailboxes, if needed).

  • Run multiple backup instances
    The software can run multiple instances of backup processes. Both the processes will run separately to perform the backup faster.
  • Backup data into several formats
    PST is one of the several formats that are available for saving your mailbox data. The other formats are MSG, HTML, MHTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EML. If you want to access your data in a different application other than Outlook, then you can use these formats.

How Does The Tool Work?

KernelApps tool has a simple and direct user interface that shows the quick options to start the backup process.

The Login page shows the fields to add Office 365 Server name, Mailbox ID, and the Password. There is an option to assign the impersonation rights to the account. The user can add single or multiple mailboxes as per convenience.

After connecting with the mailboxes, the software helps you in selecting among primary mailboxes, archive mailbox, and public folder. The software will save only the selected folders.

The filter page is crucial for the whole process because it can select or skip data minutely. You can deselect multiple folders, use date filter, item type filter, exclude deleted folder, exclude an empty folder, save all hierarchy into a new folder, and set operation timeout for large emails. At last, you can skip the already migrated items.

The available file formats for the imminent backup are PST, MSG, MHTML, HTML, DOC, DOCX, PDF, and EML. Then you can save the whole file in the desired location by providing the full path.

Frequently Asked Questions about Office 365 Backup

Q- Does the software have a different methodology for different Office 365 plans?

A- The software has a single and direct method for taking a backup of all Office 365 plans.

Q- How many mailboxes can the administrator add to the CSV file?

A- There is no limit for adding mailboxes using a CSV file.

Q- Will there be a requirement for account login once the user has used the CSV file?

A- No, the CSV file has the fields for account credentials, and once the file is added to the software, there is no requirement for account login.

Q- If the user has assigned the impersonation rights already to the account, does he need to use the same feature on the login page?

A- No, once the impersonation rights are with the account, it does not require assigning it again.

Q- Can I provide a new name to the PST file while backing up?

A- The PST file will have the same as the mailbox, so there is no need to provide a new name.

Q- How to backup Office 365 mailboxes?

A- 1. Open the KernelApps tool.
2. Click on the Backup button.
3. Click the Add button and add single/multiple accounts.
4. Choose the migration type – Mailbox, Archive Mailbox or Public Folder.
5. Apply filters to perform selective migration.
6. Click I’m OK, Start Migration.
7. Once the migration is complete, save the migration summary.