Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How does CodeTwo Backup work?
The program is a desktop application that connects with your Office 365 tenant via Exchange Web Services (EWS) and with SharePoint Online via SharePoint API. CodeTwo Backup reads the contents of users' mailboxes, public folders, as well as SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business sites and creates their copy that you can keep on local drives or in the cloud storage (if the program is installed on a cloud-hosted virtual machine). In order to connect to the source server, the person configuring the program must be a global admin in the given Office 365 tenant. If the admin account has MFA enabled, you need to use the app password instead of the regular Office 365 password when establishing the connection.
The administrator sets up backup jobs by configuring criteria in the program. There is an option to specify what data should be backed up once the backup job is launched, and where the backup copies of mailboxes should be stored.
The program can perform a one-time backup job or backup data in cycles. During the first cycle, a complete backup copy is created. It means that all items meeting the criteria defined in the job configuration are saved to the specified storage. During subsequent backup cycles, incremental backup copies are created. During the incremental backups, the program scans mailboxes in search of changes in items or newly arrived items and backs them up upon detection.
The administrator can choose to restore entire mailboxes, selected folders or single items. When restoring SharePoint data, the administrator has options to select entire site collections and team sites or individual sites, libraries, folders and items. The program also allows restoring Office 365 users’ personal sites in OneDrive for Business service and individual documents. Data can be restored to the original location, or a different folder/mailbox/site or even another Office 365 tenant.
- Is there a free trial version available? What are the limitations?
Yes, there is a trial version available.
The program can be used for testing purposes for 30 days. During that period you can run fully functional backup jobs. The only limitation of the trial version is that, while restoring data, you will be able to restore only 5 items per folder. There is also an option to trial the restore feature without the 5-items-per-folder limit. You can contact CodeTwo Customer Service to get a special temporary license key that allows you to restore unlimited items per folder for a few mailboxes.
Unless you activate the program with a license key, all backup and restore jobs will be switched off after the trial period ends.
- Where do I install it?
- Do you provide storage for backup copies?
The program’s main purpose is to give you the ability to create offline backup copies of users’ Office 365 mailboxes. Therefore, it is designed as a desktop application that saves data to local storages/hard drives. This storage model reflects the widespread legal requirement concerning data archiving, backup and recovery, according to which archived/backed up data can’t be stored by a 3rd party cloud service.
- Can I backup mailboxes to a cloud storage?
No, at least not directly from an on-premises environment.
The current version of CodeTwo Backup only lets you create storages locally. However, you can still keep your backup storage in the cloud by installing the program on a cloud-hosted virtual machine (e.g. Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine).
We are also considering adding support for 3rd party cloud services in future releases. If you require such a feature, please contact us to submit your feature request.
- Can I in any way integrate CodeTwo Backup with Microsoft Azure cloud services?
Yes, you can. For example, CodeTwo Backup can be installed directly on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine to keep your backed-up data in the cloud or to run backup jobs remotely. Additionally, you can use Azure Managed Disk as a storage space for your data backups. Such managed disks can be detached, if not used, or moved across other virtual machines in your resource group. Integrating CodeTwo Backup with Azure provides you with even more storage and security options for your backed-up data.
- What are the storage size requirements?
The storage size requirements are determined by the amount of data that you need to backup. The program itself doesn’t impose any storage size limits. Used and free space can be easily verified at any time in the CodeTwo Backup user’s interface.
- How is the program licensed? What’s the price?
The license for the program is sold in an annual subscription model. One license is taken per each backed up mailbox, each 2 GB of public folders data on the source server or each 10 GB of SharePoint/OneDrive for Business data on the source server. The license has to be renewed after one year. You can’t pay for the subscription monthly. Learn more on the pricing page.
If you don’t renew your subscription, you won’t be able to run backup jobs anymore. However, you will still be able to restore data already saved in your storages.
- Can I reassign a license of a user who left the company?
Yes, you can.
Starting with version 1.6, CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 allows you to release a license from one mailbox and assign it to another one – the only condition is that you need to wait at least 30 days (from the moment you originally assigned that license) to be able to assign the license anew. When you want to release licenses from more than one mailbox, you need to select each mailbox manually.
As for public folders/SharePoint, the licenses are freed up automatically for all folders after clicking the Release license button (you can release licenses 30 days after they have been originally assigned). Once released, the licenses will be assigned again according to your backup job configuration. Learn more...
- My Office 365 subscription has grown bigger. How can I obtain extra licenses?
You can get additional licenses at any time using the order form. Select Additional licenses in the first step, and follow the onscreen instructions. Note that you will be asked to provide your current license key which you want to expand.
Adding licenses to your subscription does not change its expiration date. The price of additional licenses will be reduced by the cost of the used period of the first subscription.
- What is backed up by the program?
CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 backs up entire Exchange Online mailboxes, shared mailboxes, public folders, as well as SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business sites. All typical Exchange Online mailbox folder types and item types are supported. The program can also be used to create copies of Teams data that resides within SharePoint team sites and OneDrive sites. For more details on supported scenarios, see our user’s manual
In the current version, the program doesn’t support Skype for Business and Project Online backups. If you need these features, please contact us to submit your feature request.
- Does the program support Microsoft Project Online backups?
No, in the current version, the program doesn’t support Microsoft Project Online backups.
If you need this feature, please contact us to submit your feature request.
- Can I export mailbox data to PST files?
Yes, you can. To do this, you have to first use CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 to create a backup of the mailboxes you want to export to PST files. Then, use the Archive to PST option on the backup storage that was created in the previous step. This, in effect, will result in creating PST files for the respective mailboxes.
What's more, you can run the program to cyclically archive your backed up mailboxes to PST files. Thanks to the possibility of setting up an archive retention policy, you may decide how many recent PST archive files are to be kept on hard disks.
- Can I backup mailbox items within a certain time range?
- Are there any item size or speed limits imposed by the program?
The program uses EWS to connect to the source Office 365 tenant and to copy the mailbox contents. It also uses SharePoint API to connect to SharePoint Online. The speed of data transfer can be determined by many factors, independent from the application itself, e.g. network bandwidth, EWS performance.
What is more, the program doesn’t put any limits on the size of backed up items.
- What are the general requirements to use the program?
The general system requirements to use CodeTwo Backup can be found on the download page and in the User's Manual. The program can be installed on any Windows computer, starting from Windows 7. In order to be able to run any jobs in the program, the computer has to be connected to the Internet (broadband connection is recommended), and the account used to log in to the Office 365 tenant has to have global admin’s rights.
- Are Outlook rules backed up as well?
Outlook rules are stored on the mail client’s side. CodeTwo Backup backs up mailbox and public folders data only. If you need to back up Outlook rules as well, please contact us to submit your feature request.
- Can users work with their mailboxes during the backup process?
The backup process is totally invisible to users. The program doesn’t interfere with users' capability to access their mailboxes while they are being backed up.
- Can I backup mailboxes to a shared network drive/storage?
- Why do I need CodeTwo Backup for Office 365?
The program will help you create backup copies of an important mailbox and public folders data as well as SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business sites. Additionally, the fact that backup copies can be stored locally allows for unlimited offline access to data stored in those copies.
All backups are managed centrally, which means that you can create and manage backup and restore jobs from one workstation.
CodeTwo Backup for Office 365 is also helpful when you need to comply with the law and keep the mailbox data to make it available for legal actions. When it is necessary, you can search for certain items and, if they were deleted, recover them.
Thanks to that, you will also be ensured that no important emails or other types of data are damaged or lost forever – no matter whether it was deleted by accident or it was caused by malicious behavior, you will be able to retrieve every single item.
- Does the program support MFA?
Yes, the program supports Office 365 admin accounts with multi-factor authentication enabled. If that is the case, simply use the app password instead of your regular Office 365 credentials when connecting the application to the tenant.