Performing a granular-level restore for Microsoft SharePoint Online

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Within Microsoft SharePoint Online, you can restore granular-level items for a single user, such as individual folders or files. You can also restore granular-level items for a Microsoft 365 group site and OneNote notebooks. Site roles and permissions are protected automatically as part of a restore or backup.

By default, only the most recent backup is available for restore. You can update your backup settings to maintain a specified number of backed-up versions of individual files. If you have more versions of a file than you have specified for backup, only the number of versions that you have specified is available for restore.

The table indicates the restore options that are supported for granular-level items.

Type of item Restore to the same site Restore to another site Export data

Single/multiple items

Yes

Yes

No

Single/multiple files

Yes

Yes

No

Single site

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multiple sites

Yes

Yes

No

Communication sites

No

No

No

Single/multiple subsites

Yes

Yes

Yes

Single/multiple folders

Yes

Yes

Yes

Single/multiple lists

Yes

Yes

Yes

Content

Yes

Yes

Yes

OneNote single/multiple notebooks

Yes

Yes

No

OneNote single/multiple section groups

Yes

Yes

No

OneNote single/multiple sections

Yes

Yes

No

OneNote pages

NOTE: Pages within a section restore at the section level.

No

No

No

Steps
  1. From the Dashboard, click the number above PROTECTED in the SharePoint box.

  2. Click the site for which you need to perform the granular-level restore.

  3. Select the category that you need to restore.

    If you want to restore specific individual items inside a category, click the content category and then select the individual items.
  4. To restore from the most recent backup, click Restore. To restore a previous version of the item, click Show versions, and select the version that you want to restore and then click Restore.

  5. Select a restore option:

    • Restore to the same site
      If you restore to the same site, by default, a restore folder with the current date and time stamp is created in the original file location containing the backup copy.

      If you select Restore only roles, Overwrite with merge, or Replace the existing content, the only restore option is Restore to the same site.

      If you select Restore to the same site

      Restore only roles

      all types of items

      Overwrite with merge

      all items except site level

      Replace with existing content

      item level only

      If you select Restore Only Roles, only the roles and permissions restore.
      Image shows granular-level restore window with restore only roles option selected

      If you select the Overwrite with merge option, no restore folder is created. If the version of the backup file and the current file match, the backup is restored to the original location. Any new content in the destination is ignored and unaffected. For example, if the backup contains File1 version5 and the destination contains File1 version 6, a restore with the Overwrite with Merge option selected fails.

      If you select the Replace the existing content option, the current version of the data is completely replaced with the backup copy.

    • Restore to another site

      If you restore to another site, you must enter the destination site in the search field. You can type a portion of the site in the search field to initiate an automatic search for matching sites.

    • Export Data

      If you export data, you need to download it. Go to Reporting on the left menu. Find your export data job. Click on Total Folders. Then click Export Data Download Link. A zip file downloads. Open the zip file to extract the data.

      If you select the Export Data restore option, the provided link is valid for seven days and is pre-authenticated.
  6. Click Confirm.

    A message is displayed indicating that the restore job was created.

  7. Click View the job progress to monitor the progress of the restore.