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SharePoint Online is a powerful collaboration tool, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its share of challenges. A significant one for administrators is recovering mistakenly- or maliciously-deleted data. Recovery by native options is time-bound. Here we detail ways to recover deleted data in SharePoint Online?
What this article is about:
- How SharePoint Online Stores Data
- Recovering Data from SharePoint Online
- First-Stage Recycle Bin
- Second-Stage Recycle Bin
- Use CloudAlly to Backup and Restore SharePoint Online
How SharePoint Online Stores Data
When a user uploads data to SharePoint Online, that file is disassembled and stored in tables across databases in an application code. Essentially, the program stores data as an abstracted code that is encrypted and broken down to be stored in various places in the datacenter.
This sophisticated storage process is the reason why administrators cannot change the SharePoint Online’s restoration parameters.
Recovering Data from The SharePoint Recycle Bin
If one of your employees needs to recover content they deleted in SharePoint Online, they only have a little over three months to do it. If they don’t realize that they’d deleted something necessary within 93 days, the data will be lost, unless you’ve backed up SharePoint online with a third-party app.
If a user deletes a site collection, they are also deleting the data within that hierarchy, including:
- Site configuration settings
- Security information
- Lists and list data
- Document libraries
- Sub-sites, contents, and user information
However, if a user mistakenly makes a deletion, that data is not lost. Instead, it can be recovered from SharePoint Online’s Recycle Bin (known as the first-stage Recycle Bin), as long as the user realizes they have deleted necessary data within the storage timeframe. All deleted items are stored in the Recycle Bin, and they’ll stay there for those 93 days unless someone empties it.
When data is hard deleted, though, the encryption keys for all of these chunks are completely purged from the platform. The blocks that stored these chunks are deleted, as well. Essentially, there is no data left to retrieve.
Restore Deleted Data From The First-Stage Recycle Bin
In their own SharePoint Online platforms, users can restore the data that they’ve mistakenly deleted. Restoration possibilities include files, versions of files, libraries, list items, or lists; they will be restored to their original location. Further, users can’t restore just a list item or file if they restore an entire list or library.
However, note that a file won’t be available in the Recycle Bin if the library in which it was included is permanently deleted; SharePoint Online will purge the entire library without keeping files or versions of files after 93 days.
Restore Deleted SharePoint Data
- Click on Recycle Bin in the Quick Launch bar
- In the bin, click to the left of the items that you want restored
- Click Restore
Note: if one of your employees can’t find a recently-deleted file, they must contact you. Only administrators can access and restore deleted files from the second-stage recycle bin.
Restore Deleted SharePoint Sites
Admins can now restore entire deleted sites using the SharePoint admin center.
- Sign into your SharePoint Online admin portal as either a global admin or SharePoint admin
- Select SharePoint under the Admin centers on the left-hand side of the page
- Click Sites and then click on Deleted sites. Note: you may encounter the older version of the SharePoint admin center, and if so, select Open it now to open the new admin center.
- Sort and filter sites using the same methods you use on the Active sites page or you can sort and filter by Time deleted
- Click on the site you want to restore; note that you can only restore one site at the time or the Restore button won’t appear
- Click Restore
Note: If you’re restoring group resources that belong to an Office 365 group, your site restoration will restore both the group and its resources. However, SharePoint Online only keeps group resources for 30 days, though it will retain the site for 93 days. If all of the group resources have been deleted but the site remains, you may want to permanently delete it by using the PowerShell command Remove-SPODeletedSite.
Restore Deleted Data From The Second-Stage or Site Collection Recycle Bin
Even if a user empties the Recycle