Microsoft Office 365 Teams backup and restoration

Unlike other Office 365 services such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business where the data of their respective services is stored in dedicated storage locations, Microsoft Teams data is stored across each of these storage spaces. Using RecoveryManager Plus, you can back up all Teams data stored in the various spaces and restore it individually to achieve Teams backup and restoration.

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Where is Teams data stored?

Teams can be used to perform one-to-one, group, and channel chats, and can also be used to give an organization private branch exchange (PBX) and telephony capabilities that are tightly integrated with the cloud experience. Depending on the type of communication, the data is stored in the following locations:

  • One-to-one chat
  • Group chats
  • Chat within a channel
  • Voicemail messages
  • Call detail records
  • Text messages in one-to-one chat: This data is stored in a hidden folder in the users’ mailboxes. Each member of the chat retains a copy within their mailboxes.
  • Files shared during the chat: Files shared during the one-to-one chat are stored in users’ OneDrive for Business accounts in a folder called Microsoft Teams Chat Files. The files are automatically shared with the other member in the chat. Unlike text chats, the other member does not get to store a copy of the files in their OneDrive for Business folder.

Whether you are chatting with members of your own company or people outside your company, file storage and permissions are configured in the same manner.

  • Text messages in group chats: Group chat data is stored in a hidden folder within the users’ mailboxes. Each member of the group chat retain their own copy.
  • Files shared during the chat: Files shared in group chats are stored in users’ OneDrive for Business accounts in a folder called Microsoft Teams Chat Files. These files are automatically shared with all members in the group chat. Unlike group text chats, not everyone gets to store a copy of the files in their own OneDrive for Business folders.

Whether you are chatting with members of your own company or people outside your company, the file storage and permissions are configured in the same manner.

When you create a Team, an Office 365 group with a group mailbox is created, along with a SharePoint Team site.

  • Text messages and files in a channel: All chat messages within the channel are stored in the group mailbox.
  • Files in that channel chat: All files shared in the channel are stored in a document library that is created within the SharePoint Online site. Each channel has a separate document library within the same SharePoint Online site. Files shared in the channels are automatically shared with every member in the channel.
  • Emails sent to channels: All emails sent to the channel’s email are stored in the Email messages folder within the channel's document library.

Voicemails, along with their transcriptions, are stored in the respective user’s mailbox.

A hidden folder within the user’s mailbox stores all details pertaining to each call and meeting. The following information is stored in this folder:

  • Meeting or call start time, end time, and duration
  • Meeting or call join and leave events for each participant
  • VoIP join and call events
  • PSTN join and dial-in events
  • Anonymous join events
  • Federated user join events
  • Guest user join events
  • Calls to voicemail
  • Missed or unanswered calls
  • Call transfers (represented as two separate calls)

How can you back up Microsoft Teams using

RecoveryManager Plus?

RecoveryManager Plus enables you to back up all parts of your Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business environment.

  • All folders in Exchange Online mailboxes, including all folders where one-to-one chat, group chat, voicemail, and call detail records are stored.
  • All folders in users’ OneDrive for Business sites, including Microsoft Teams Chat Files where all files shared in one-to-one chat and group chats are stored.
  • All Office 365 group mailboxes, including all chat messages
    sent across any channel.
  • All SharePoint Online sites, including all document libraries that store the files shared in channels, and email messages folders storing all emails sent to channels.

Microsoft does not provide a way to back up metadata related to Teams, and because of that, the chats and files can only be restored to the original location and will not be visible from Microsoft Teams. The only way Teams data can be restored is by manually adding the chats and files to Microsoft Teams.

For detailed instructions on how to extract the chats and files from RecoveryManager Plus' backups and importing it to Teams click here.

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