Filtering and previewing items to be restored

This article will help you navigate the Backups tab, where you can preview the contents of each storage and choose items that you want to restore. Follow the links below for additional information:

Selecting a storage

You can have multiple storages in the program. To be able to search and navigate through the backed-up data, you first need to select a specific storage from the Storage drop-down menu (Fig. 1.).

Backup restore selecting storage
Fig. 1. Selecting a storage on the Backups tab.

If the storage is not listed, check on the Storages tab if it was added to the program. If not, add it by using the Add existing button. Learn more

Although you can keep both Exchange and SharePoint data in the same storage, you can only display either one type of data at a time. Use the View drop-down menu to select the type of data that you want to see (Fig. 2.).

Backup restore selecting data type
Fig. 2. Selecting data type for viewing.

Previewing items and items' versions

Once you choose a storage you want to view (and/or restore), its contents will be displayed in the central part of the Backups tab, in the following cards:

  • Storage content, where you can browse through all the mailboxes, public folders, or SharePoint sites backed up in the selected storage (Fig. 3a).
  • Items, which will be shown when you select any folder (including list or library in case of SharePoint data) in the Storage content card. This card shows all individual items (files) in the selected folder (Fig. 3b). 
  • OneNote sections, shown instead of the Items card if you select OneNote notebook or section group.
  • Details / Item details, which shows general information about the selected mailbox, public folder or SharePoint site, as well as details regarding selected items (files) (Fig. 3c).

Backup restore Backups tab cards
Fig. 3. The Storage content (a), Items (b) and Item details (c) cards on the Backups tab.


If you have enabled the password protection for a storage, you need to provide a password to view the backed-up data. Otherwise, you will only see the names of mailboxes in the Exchange view, or the names and/or URLs of SharePoint sites in the SharePoint view.

Contents shown on these cards are slightly different depending on the chosen view:

Previewing Exchange data

The Storage content card shows all mailboxes and public folders backed up in the selected storage. The icon next to the mailbox name represents the type of a mailbox:

Backup - user mailbox icon – user mailbox (This icon is also used for mailboxes with an Exchange Online license assigned.)

Backup - archive mailbox icon – archive mailbox

Backup - Office 365 group mailbox icon – Office 365 group mailbox

Backup - site mailbox icon – SharePoint site mailbox

Backup - public folders mailbox icon – Public Folders mailbox

Backup - another mailbox type icon – another mailbox type (This icon is used for shared, room, equipment or system mailboxes, without Exchange Online license.)

Backup - unknown mailbox icon – unknown mailbox (This icon is shown only if the data in the storage has been backed up with a previous version of the program. The icon will be updated after the next backup cycle.)

Expanding the root folder of a mailbox will display a folder tree that mirrors the original folder structure of a mailbox (Fig. 4.). 

Backup restore mailbox folder structure
Fig. 4. The typical folder structure of a backed-up mailbox.

By clicking any folder (Inbox, Calendar, Sent Items, etc.), its items (files) will be listed on the Items card. Click any item to see its details or preview it on the Item details card (Fig. 5.). 

Backup restore email preview
Fig. 5. Previewing a backed-up email.

Depending on how you've configured your Backup job, there may be different versions of the same item backed up in the storage. This allows you to track changes made to each item in its source mailbox. During its lifecycle, an item can be created, modified and deleted. All these changes are reflected in the storage. You can access previous versions of the item by selecting them from the Backed up server version drop-down menu (Fig. 6.). Choose a version and its preview will be displayed in the pane below.

Backup restore server version selection
Fig. 6. Selecting a specific version of the item from the storage.

If there are any attachments in the backed-up emails, you can also access them from the Details card. You can either open them directly in the program or save them on your local drive by right-clicking any attachments and selecting Open or Save As (Fig. 7.).

Backup restore attachment preview
Fig. 7. Opening attachments from the backed-up emails.

Additionally, you can right-click any folder or item to restore it to its original location, or to another Exchange server. Learn more 

Previewing SharePoint data

If you select SharePoint in the View drop-down menu (see Fig. 2. above), the Storage content card will show a list of all site collections, team sites, and OneDrive for Business sites backed up to the storage. Expanding the root site will display libraries, lists, folders, etc. of that site (Fig. 8.). Click one of the folders to view a list of all the items stored in that folder. Furthermore, clicking any item on the Items card will open the Item details card that shows more detailed information about the selected item.

Backup restore SharePoint data preview
Fig. 8. Browsing through the backed-up SharePoint data.


If the number of items is 0, as indicated by the number inside the round brackets next to the folder's name, the Items card will be empty.

OneNote notebooks are special types of folders in SharePoint Online. Once you back them up, they can be easily identified on the Storage content card by the OneNote icon next to them (Fig. 9.). Selecting a OneNote notebook or section group opens the OneNote sections card that works similarly as the Items card, mentioned above.

Browsing through backed-up OneNote data in CodeTwo Backup
Fig. 9. Browsing through the backed-up OneNote notebook sections.

You can preview files in your backed-up SharePoint libraries by clicking the link with the filename on the Item details card (Fig. 10.).

Backup restore SharePoint preview file
Fig. 10. Previewing a backed-up SharePoint item.

When versioning is turned on in SharePoint, you can use the SharePoint versions link to open a window from where you can access (open or save on your local drive) all the versions of that file as they existed on the server (Fig. 11.).

Backup restore SharePoint server version selection
Fig. 11. Accessing all available SharePoint version of the selected item.

If, however, versioning is disabled, you can still preview other versions of the item that were backed up by the program during the previous backup cycles. To do so, click the Backed up server version drop-down menu and select the desired item version (Fig. 12.).

Backup restore backed-up server version selection
Fig. 12. Selecting a specific version of the item from the storage.

SharePoint list items, on the other hand, may have some files attached that you can also preview on the Item details card. You can either open them directly in the program or save them on your local drive by right-clicking any attachments and selecting Open or Save As (Fig. 13.).

Backup restore list attachment preview
Fig. 13. Opening an attachment from a list item.

Additionally, you can right-click any folder (site collection, list, library, etc.) or item to restore it to its original location, or to another SharePoint server. Learn more 

Filtering backed-up items

On the Backups tab, you can either filter:

  • entire mailboxes, public folders or SharePoint sites by using the search box on the Storage content card (Fig. 14a), or
  • individual items within a mailbox, site collection, etc. by using specific filters (Fig. 14b).

Backup restore filtering options
Fig. 14. The search box (a) and filters (b) used to find specific objects in the storage.

Filtering object by using the search box

Enter your search phrase in the search box and press Enter. The Storage content card will only show those objects that match your search phrase (Fig. 15.). Learn more about using text values in filters

Backup SharePoint restore Search box
Fig. 15. Using the search box to filter specific objects.

Click X to clear the filter. 

Using filters to find individual items

Filters are available just below the top menu of the Backups tab. To filter (find) individual items, select an object on the Storage content card first. Next, enter a search phrase or select the desired value in one or more filters (fields) and click Search (Fig. 16.). Folders that hold items which match your search criteria will be shown in bold

Backup restore search option
Fig. 16. Filtering specific items from the selected mailbox (Exchange view).


Note that the search will return results only for the selected object (mailbox, site collection, etc.), not for the entire storage. 

You can customize filters via dedicated buttons. To add a new filter, click the Add filter button and select a filter (Fig. 17.). Keep in mind that the available filters are different for Exchange and SharePoint view. To remove a filter, use the X button on the right side of the filter (if you want to delete values from all filters instead of removing filters themselves, click the Clear button). 

Backup restore adding filters
Fig. 17. Adding new filters.


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

When you use text values in filters, you need to follow these rules:

  1. In the case of the Sender and Recipients filters, the program recognizes letters, digits, spaces, asterisks (*), and other special characters as proper text values. The Body, Common fields and Subject filters recognize only 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 used as text values in filters.
  3. You can type multiple text values (separated by spaces) in one filter. In such a case, the program searches for items that include either of the specified values. For example, if you type separately exchange and outlook in a filter, the program will find all items that contain either the value exchange or outlook.
  4. If you specify multiple filters, the program searches only for items that include all values specified in these filters at the same time. For example, you set the following filters with text values: Body: Exchange, Subject: Server, Sender: [email protected]. As a result, the program will find only items that include all of these values: Exchange in the item's body, Server in the subject and [email protected] in the From field.
  5. A filter finds only the exact text value that you provide. For example, if you type math, the program will not find other phrases that contain this value, such as mathematics or maths. To find other phrases, use asterisks – see the next point.
  6. You can use an asterisk (*) in front of and/or after a text value to find derivatives of the provided value. For example, if you type *math* in the selected criteria, then the program will find values such as aftermath or mathematics.
  7. Entered values are case-insensitive - typing them in upper case (capital letters) or lower case (small letters) does not make any difference in the search results.
  8. You cannot use regular expressions in filters.

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