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How to Archive SharePoint? 4 Options described here…

Stay compliant with data regulatory laws with step-wise videos to archive Sharepoint Online using Version Control, OneDrive, Retention Policy, and Archive Library.
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Do you have users storing documents in a library that exceeds the 5000 threshold view limit? Do governance policies mandate archiving? In this blog, we will detail five ways to archive SharePoint (Online) Sites and Documents – using OneDrive, via Version Control, by creating a new Archive library or by using a retention policy. 

This blog is a part of our series on native Microsoft (Office) 365 SharePoint Online Backup and Restore options – in Part 1, we detailed how to create a SharePoint (Online) Retention Policy. Here we walkthrough four ways to archive SharePoint Online Data:

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Archive SharePoint Using OneDrive

If you delete a file on a SharePoint document library, the file is automatically removed from the OneDrive on your computer. To avoid that, set up archiving files on your computer.

Go to the document library and click “Sync” on the toolbar

archive sharepoint sites using onedrive

Select “Always allow to open links…” and then click “Open Microsoft OneDrive”

archive sharepoint sites using onedrive

All files from the document library will be synchronized to your PC and available on the native file explorer.

archive sharepoint sites using onedrive

By default, only files that you open are saved on your PC. If you need to archive all files, make these changes to the OneDrive settings.

  • In OneDrive“Settings

archive sharepoint sites using onedrive

  • Uncheck “Save space and download files as you use them” and then confirm by clicking “OK”

archive sharepoint sites using onedrive

SharePoint Auto-archiving with Version Control

Every time a file is saved, SharePoint can store the file as a version of the source document. You will then be able to restore any previous version in case of document deletion. 

To turn on versioning go to the document library settings 

archive sharepoint sites using version control

Click on “Versioning settings” under  the “General settings” section

archive sharepoint sites using version control

Select either “Create major versions” or “Create major and minor (draft) versions” and click OK

archive sharepoint sites using version control

When you wish to restore a version go to the document library, select a document, click on the three dots, and select “Version history”

archive sharepoint sites using version control

Move the cursor over the version to be restored and click on the small triangle to call a popup menu. 

archive sharepoint sites using version control

You can either preview the version or restore it

archive sharepoint sites using version control

Archive SharePoint using Retention Policy

Create an “Archive” site and create a retention policy that applies to the content of the SharePoint Archive site. Follow these instructions to setup a SharePoint retention policy via the Compliance Center and how to set up a SharePoint retention policy using PowerShell (videos below)

Via the Compliance Center

Using PowerShell

Archive SharePoint using an Archive Library

Another option to archive SharePoint data is to move data to another library. Create a new library or directory with the name “Archive” and a “Status” label. Add documents that you wish to archive to this library in the same site via the browser. Note: it could cause the document link to change. You can further automate it by creating a workflow in SharePoint Designer that automatically moves documents with a Status as “Archive” to the Archive library that you created.

Limitations of Native SharePoint Archive Options

Native SharePoint options have limitations such as only a maximum of 20,000 – 30,000 files per document library can be synchronized by OneDrive. There are URL size limitations, for example, a 400 character limit to the document library name, folders, and file name. However, native archiving also has critical limitations such as increasing storage costs (or license costs to match the increase in storage size), and the inability to restore data indefinitely.

The Best Way to Archive SharePoint?

Instead, consider using a third-party backup that allows you to backup your data from Day 1, facilitates quick and easy recovery, and ensures regulatory compliance. CloudAlly Backup for SharePoint securely stores all your SharePoint data on Amazon AWS storage (zero storage costs for you) and provides one-click restore of your data in minutes. Start a free trial now (5 min setup, no credit card required)

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