Microsoft’s OneDrive could soon help defend against file deletion disasters or ransomware

Microsoft OneDrive

It looks like Microsoft is planning to give OneDrive a nifty new feature – hopefully for all users – which allows for restoring files in the cloud service back to any point in the past, potentially helping to combat nastiness such as ransomware.

According to a presentation and subsequent tweet from Stephen Rose, senior product marketing manager for the OneDrive team, the 'Files Restore' feature will allow you to roll your OneDrive storage account back to any point you want, and it should be arriving in the next couple of weeks.

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If this happens, it would be a major revamp of the existing ability to restore deleted files in OneDrive, which is currently limited to 30-days for most users (or a maximum of three months for those signed into work accounts, depending on admin settings).

It means that if users lose data perhaps by mistakenly having deleted something, or indeed as noted by Rose, via the ravages of ransomware, OneDrive could be a potential avenue of rescue, with file recall theoretically extending back indefinitely.

Although note that at this point, it’s not clear if the feature will be enabled for all OneDrive users, or just those subscribed to OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft OneDrive

Data disasters

Some folks may be slightly alarmed at some of the privacy ramifications here, as it prompts the question: if files can always be restored, is nothing ever permanently deleted from the OneDrive servers?

Some may fret about that prospect, but most folks will doubtless welcome the capability as another handy safety net to guard against data disasters.

Microsoft is certainly working on making OneDrive a more tempting cloud storage proposition, and towards the end of last year, finally brought placeholders back for Windows 10 users (a capability that had previously been present in Windows 8, but disappeared with the launch of the new OS).

Via MS Power User

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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).