Veeam Backup for O365 – Restoring OneNote Notebooks

The "dog ate my homework" excuse has been modernized.

Back in the old days, students would hand their notebooks in, teacher would review and correct it and return the book.

Classrooms have gone beyond the book and pen.  Students are now assigned Chromebooks, Surface and other devices. Digital learning!

If you’ve used OneNote before, you understand the strength and the potential to make learning and note taking easier. In fact, OneNote has a cool add-on that enables teachers to have a class space for their students.

So, how do you backup a class notebook?

With Veeam Backup for Office 365 (VBO), this is possible! I shall break this blog down in to:

  • Important information before you backup.
  • Creation of class notebook
  • Removal of student’s notebook
  • Process of backing up and restore
  • FAQ

Important Information before you backup:

  • When adding the organization on Veeam Backup for Office365, enable “SharePoint and OneDrive for Business”
  • Backup the TEACHER’S notebook located on OneDrive. This will consume a single user license and NOT consume a license for students.
    Please note, license is based on active user and not the volume of data backed up.
  • Ensure you are using the right version of VBO and the right explorers are installed.

Creation of the class notebook

If you are new to the class notebook and want to see how I created this, please refer to below steps. Please note, in this instance I created it as the teacher:

  1. Create a class notebook
  2. You want to give it a sensible name and add the relevant details (Students, other teachers, etc) on the wizard. If you are following the wizard, by default each student space should get the following tabs: Handouts, Class Notes, Homework and Quizzes. You can add more if you need and yes, they will all be backed up by Veeam 🙂 :
  3. So now we have a class notebook with a bunch of students added!

Removal of student’s notebook

This came through as a real life scenario. What happened was, the teacher modifies the notebook and that one tick box makes the difference.

But wait! Surely if I delete the student’s notebook, I could restore it by going to History>Notebook Recycle Bin. I have not been successful with this yet due to the process of how it gets deleted but if you, please let me know. I now present, the process:

  1. Click on “Add or Remove students”
  2. Pick your relevant notebook.
  3. Now when you click on the remove button, you get this little checkbox to “Delete student’s content”. Once this is enabled, the student’s space disappears. Not in the recycle bin either.
  4.  Once you complete this quick 4 step process, your student’s data (TestUser) is gone.

Process of backing up and restore

Below is the process I setup. Again, please make sure you have selected to backup Sharepoint and OneDrive services!!!

  1. On the job, select the right objects. Now in an ideal situation you would be backing up the teacher’s mail and other items all together. This walk through has been designed with minimum setup. The teacher’s Classbook was stored on their OneDrive.
  2. Prior to the previous step of removing the data, I ran a backup. Now to perform the restore. Use the OneDrive Explorer.
  3. To avoid spamming with images, I have compiled the below collage.

1. This is the explorer view, as you can see we are looking at the directory where the teacher’s notebook is located.
2. I have saved that backed up version on a separate folder. This is so I can open it on the OneNote client and then move/copy the student’s space that was deleted.
3. I opened this on the client but opened it with a different name.
4. Moved the deleted student’s space to the original notebook.


  • Can I just restore it from the recycle bin?
    – No. Not if you delete it in the proper manner as per above.
  • When backing up the notebook, will this utilize license counts for teacher + Students? So for example if I have 5 student spaces, do I need to account for 6 licenses?
    – No. It will only use the teacher’s active license in this instance.
  • What if I am using a newer version of OneNote than my backed up version?
    – From what I have seen with the add-on, it will still attempt to use the 2010 edition. I believe this is the way

Hope this helps!