How to restore backups

CodeTwo Backup uses restore jobs to restore selected data from Storage to a chosen target location. This article describes how to filter content to restore, create new and manage existing restore jobs. Additionally, you will also learn here how to monitor restore jobs' operation.

This article comprises the following sections:

Filtering items to restore

To choose data to restore, go to the Backups view in the Administration Panel. This view presents all data backed up in Storage in a handy backup viewer. The backup viewer comprises several sections that let you (Fig. 1.):

  • Switch between different Storages mounted to the program,
  • Manually look through the backed up items,
  • Find items saved in Storage using selected search criteria,
  • Switch between different versions of items saved in Storage,
  • Preview each item saved in Storage including attachments.
Backup - backup tab
Fig. 1. Looking through Storage in search for items.

To find the items you want to restore, select Storage first. As you can have multiple Storages mounted to the program that keep the backed up data, this selection is crucial for finding your items.

To choose Storage, expand the drop-down menu and pick one from the list (Fig. 2.). Its content will display in the pane below.

Backup - choosing storage
Fig. 2. Choosing Storage.

Tip

If your Storage seems not be listed, check if it is mounted to the program. On the other hand, if you have a Storage saved in any other location or device, you can also easily mount it to the program. Learn more

The Backups view presents all source mailboxes data saved in a chosen Storage.

Info

If you enabled Storage password protection, you will be only able to view backups after providing a password to the chosen Storage. If you do not provide the password to Storage, you will only see the names of mailboxes which contents were saved to a particular Storage.

After expanding mailboxes, each of them shows a folder list that mirrors the original structure of folders found in these mailboxes. Once you click a folder, its items display in the right-hand side pane. After selecting a particular item, in turn, its preview will show in the right pane from the items' list (Fig. 3.). This solution lets you manually search for items to pick the ones you want to restore.

Backup - browse mailbox
Fig. 3. Manually looking through Storage.

Moreover, you can use the search box located above to quickly find desired mailbox (Fig. 4). Please keep in mind, that using this field automatically resets upper filter.

Backup - mailbox search
Fig. 4. Searching for particular mailbox.

The backup viewer lets you also automatically search through source items saved in Storage using filters (Fig. 5.).

Backup - search in mailbox
Fig. 5. Searching for items using filters.

Important

Filters can be used to search for items included in one selected mailbox only.

Filters include multiple search criteria and significantly improve the process of finding the desired items. Items can be searched for using either text values or additional criteria:

Text values criteria Additional criteria

Body - items' body contains the specified value.

Attachments - items with at least one or no attachments.

Common fields - items' Subject and Body fields contain the specified value.

Created on - items created within the specified time frames (month / day / year).

Sender - items' Sender's email address or display name contains the specified value. This criterion also refers to Organizer's field.

Modified on - items modified within the specified time frames (month / day / year).

Subject - items' subject contains the specified value.

Received on - items received within the specified time frames (month / day / year).

Recipients - items' Recipient email address or display name in To, Cc, Bcc fields contains the specified value. This criterion also refers to recipients of Meeting Requests.

Sent on - items sent within the specified time frames (month / day / year).

Size - items size is within the specified values (in KB or MB).

Info

Filter cannot be used to search for text values in attachments.

While using text values to search for items in Storage, there are rules you need to follow to get the desired results:

  1. For Sender and Recipients criteria, the program recognizes letters, digits, spaces, asterisks and other special characters as the proper text values. On the other hand, for Body, Common fields, and Subject criteria, you can only use letters, digits, spaces and asterisks.
  2. The text values must contain at least three characters. If you decide to use an asterisk, it will also work only with at least three characters. Exception: 'the' and 'and' cannot be searched for using the text values criteria.
  3. You can enter multiple text values into one selected criteria separated by space. In such a case, the program searches for items that include either of the specified values. For example, if you enter separately 'exchange' and 'outlook' in a single criteria, then the program finds all items that include either the value 'exchange' or 'outlook'.
  4. If you specify multiple separate criteria, then the program searches for those items that include all values specified in these criteria. For example, you specify separate criteria that include: Body - 'Exchange', Subject - 'Server', Sender - 'administrator@company.com'. As a result, the program finds only items that include all values: 'Exchange' in the body, 'Server' in the subject and 'administrator@company.com' in the from field.
  5. Filter finds only the exact text values entered in the chosen criteria. For example, if you enter 'math', the program will not find texts that contain this value ('mathematics', 'maths').
  6. You can use an asterisk (*) in front of and / or after a text value to find derivatives of the entered text value. For example, if you enter *math* in the selected criteria, then the program finds values such as 'aftermath', 'mathematics'.
  7. Entered values are case-insensitive so entering them with small or capital letters does not make any difference in the search results.
  8. You cannot use regular expressions to search for text values in items.

You can customize filters via dedicated buttons that let you Add search criteria from the drop-down list or remove them from the filter using X next to the selected criteria. You can also erase search results via the Clear button. After choosing your search criteria, click Search, and the list of items complying your requirements will show in the pane below (Fig. 6.).

Backup - filtering options
Fig. 6. Filtering options.

As each item kept in Storage can be saved in different versions representing its stages of life in a source mailbox (created, modified, deleted), the backup viewer lets you switch between these versions and check differences to pick the most accurate items' version to restore.

To switch between the versions, highlight the chosen item first, expand the version's drop-down list and make your choice (Fig. 7.). The particular item version's preview will show below the version picker.

Backup - versions
Fig. 7. Looking through different versions of items.

Creating restore jobs

To start the restore job wizard, you first need to select what you want to restore using the backup viewer. You can make your selection in three ways:

  • Restore one mailbox containing all folders and items,
  • Restore one folder containing sub-folders and all items,
  • Restore one item or multiple items from a specific point of time.

Important

While restoring mailbox or folder you are able to restore the last version of a particular item. However, if you have deleted your item, its last version shows up as deleted. Consequently, the job is not going to restore it at all. If you need to restore last existing version, simply select desired item(s) and use the Restore items button, so you will be able to configure the Restore options page properly.

You can start the restore job wizard for each of the restoring options listed above in two ways:

  • Right-click an item in the preview pane - the restore options depend on your selection between mailbox, folder or item(s) (Fig. 8.), e.g. if you right-click an item, you will be only able to initiate the restore job wizard for this item.
Backup - restore context menu
Fig. 8. Starting the job wizard via context menu.
  • Choose the corresponding button on the Backups view ribbon - the restore options depend on your previous selection between mailbox, folder or item(s). However, the deeper into the mailbox you go, the bigger choice of restore options you get, e.g. if you select an item from a mailbox, then you will be able to choose between restoring mailbox, folder and item(s) (Fig. 9.). If, however, you select a mailbox from the list, dedicated buttons for restoring folder or item(s) will be grayed-out (Fig. 10.).
Backup - restore ribbon
Fig. 9. Restoring an item via buttons in the ribbon.
Backup - restore mailbox
Fig. 10. Restoring a mailbox via button in the ribbon.

Note that the content of backups saved in a particular Storage does not refresh automatically in the backup viewer after the following backup cycles. If any mailboxes, folders or items seem to be missing from the list, use the Refresh button to reload the most recently saved items to Storage in the backup viewer (Fig. 11.).

Backup - refresh
Fig. 11. Refreshing backup content.

The restore job wizard includes five steps in which you can (Fig. 12.):

Backup - restore items job
Fig. 12. The restore job wizard opened.

The first step of the wizard lets you enter the restore job's name (Fig. 12.). By default, the job's name is filled automatically based on the following pattern: Restore items from folder [source mailbox email address] \ [folder type]. However, if you want to change the name, feel free to do so. It may be useful, e.g. while you are creating a restore job of the same folder in the future.

In the source data step, you will find details concerning the previously selected data to restore (Fig. 13.). This step is used for verification purposes only, and you cannot edit any of the data shown.

Backup - source data
Fig. 13. The Source data summary.

In the next step, you can choose the target server and define the target location for restoring items in that location. To select the server connection, expand the drop-down menu and pick it from the list (Fig. 14.).

Backup - restore location
Fig. 14. Choosing a server connection.

Info

You can use the same server the items in Storage were backed up from or a different server. You can also create a new server connection in the connection wizard and then choose it as the target server.

Once you choose the target server, you can decide on the location where the items will be restored. The choice is between the original location, another mailbox (Fig. 15.) or another folder (which may reside in another mailbox) (Fig. 16.).

Backup - restore another mailbox
Fig. 15. Choosing another mailbox location to restore items.
Backup - restore another folder
Fig. 16. Choosing another folder to restore items.

Note that the number of target locations for restoring items depends on your previous selection. If you decide to restore the whole mailbox, all three options will be available. However, if you select a folder or items, then you will be able to choose only original location or another folder.

To select the target location mark the corresponding radio button. In the case of another mailbox or folder, first mark the applicable radio button, click Browse and make your selection from the picker.

In the restore options step, you can define how the items with the same IDs that already exist in the target location should be restored. You can choose between (Fig. 17.):

  • Creating new duplicated items,
  • Do not restoring items,
  • Overwriting existing items.
Backup - restore options
Fig. 17. Options for resolving versions' conflicts.

To select a pattern in which the items versions' conflicts will be resolved, mark the corresponding radio button.

The restore options step lets you also choose which items' versions will be restored based on their modification dates. Therefore, you can decide to restore either the latest versions found in Storage or the versions from a specific time point based on date and time (Fig. 18.).

Important

By design, the program will not restore an item if its latest versions is stored as deleted. To override this behavior, you may select only particular items to restore and then simply use the Restore the latest existing version.

Backup - restore options difference
Fig. 18. Options for restoring items' versions are different for restore items and restore folder/mailbox job.

To define the versions' restoring pattern, mark their radio button. If you choose to restore items' version from a specific time point, you also need to define the time point in the field provided.

Note that if you select only one item to be restored, you will be able to pick its version in exactly the same way as while browsing through the existing versions (presented in Fig. 6. above) and choosing one via the drop-down menu (Fig. 19.). Doing so, the program will restore only the selected version. If, however, you are restoring multiple items, you need to specify their corresponding date and time in the calendar provided (Fig. 20.). In such a case, the program will restore all items' versions from the selected date and time onward (including that date).

Backup - restore individual
Fig. 19. Choosing individual items' versions.
Backup - restore multi items
Fig. 20. Choosing specific versions' time point.

The last step of the restore job wizard lets you verify your settings. This step shows all settings of the restore job (Fig. 21.). If you have defined the settings correctly, click Finish to trigger the process of restoring data.

Backup - restore summary
Fig. 21. The restore job summary.

By default, the job will not start automatically unless you confirm to activate it in the resulting dialog box (Fig. 22.).

Backup - Restore job start notification.
Fig. 22. Starting a new restore job via the notification.

On the other hand, you can also close the dialog box and initiate the job via the Jobs view by selecting it from the list and hitting the Start button either in the view's ribbon or by right-clicking your job (Fig. 23.).

Backup - start restore job
Fig. 23. Starting a new restore job via the Jobs tab.

Info

You can start, stop, edit or delete restore jobs at any point using dedicated buttons in the Jobs view.

Managing existing jobs

The program gives you full control over the existing jobs. You can not only start and stop them at any point but also edit jobs to adjust their settings using the Jobs view in the Administration Panel. Please read the Managing existing jobs article to learn more about managing jobs.

Monitoring existing jobs

The status of all jobs existing in the program can be analyzed using dedicated areas within the Administration Panel. Each of the areas provides sets of data found useful while, e.g. reviewing issues encountered while processing data or just checking the purpose of particular jobs. More information concerning jobs status review can be found in the Monitoring existing jobs article.

See also

Restoring data - this article describes the algorithm of restoring data.

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