How to use the new Files Restore feature in OneDrive

The OneDrive team at Microsoft announced a new useful feature for the OneDrive for Business as well as OneDrive Personal users. This feature is called as Files Restore. Sometimes when we are handling a large capacity cloud storage, there are chances that we may mess up with the files. Or when working in a large company and sharing a large cloud storage with a large group of people, a file may get modified or tampered with the knowledge or consent of the other teammates. In scenarios like this, the new Files Restore feature comes into action and helps you identify and restore files as they were earlier.

However, the only limitation faced by this is that it can restore files to any point in the last 30 days only. This means if your quarterly budget is modified and you don’t check it for a long long time, you might not find the older version anyhow unless you have a backup.

This feature is coming along and under the features of Data Loss Prevention (DLP), eDiscovery, Service level encryption with customer-owned keys (this is currently in preview and might contain bugs. But will be coming very soon for the public.), and data retention controls with consistent management across Office 365 which we discussed in our earlier article titled – How to move files between Office 365, SharePoint and OneDrive .

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive straight into how to use this feature.

Files Restore feature in OneDrive

First, to use this feature, you need to have a OneDrive for Business subscription that comes with the Office 365 subscription. Log in to your account portal here to get started. (UPDATE: This feature is now available for OneDrive personal users as well)

Now, navigate and click on to the little gear icon on the top right corner of the webpage. Upon clicking it, you will see a sidebar sliding in from the right side.

In that sidebar, find and click on the Restore OneDrive button.

Files Restore feature in OneDrive for Business

This will redirect you to a page showing a histogram showing the activities undertaken on that file for the last 30 days. It would look like this:

Now, you can slide the slider given to any point in order to restore the file. This makes it really easy and handy at the same time.

Below the slider, you see and activity log on which user made what type of modifications with date and time. This keeps a track of modifications by the users even if they corrected a spelling and saved a file. So, in case of modifying the data in the file with false values, the administrator would know who and when did it.

Now, as the user has selected the date range, the user needs to hit the Restore button in a prompt in order to restore the file to a previous state.

Voila! It just works.

More information

What we observed with this feature is that the complicated process of file tracking is now made far simpler and faster. By playing with a UI a bit and a few clicks, the user can restore their desired file to an earlier state. This really eliminates all the complicated fuss that admins had to face earlier.

This feature is slowly rolling out to more and more users starting today. If you are not seeing it now, don’t panic you will get it over the coming weeks in the future.

If you have any queries or doubts regarding this functionality, then make sure that you check out the official documentation by Microsoft here.

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Ayush has been a Windows enthusiast since the day he got his first PC with Windows 98SE. He is an active Windows Insider since Day 1 and is now a Windows Insider MVP. He has been testing pre-release services on his Windows 10 PC, Lumia, and Android devices.

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