Back up the Microsoft Dynamics 365 System


Applies To: Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016

To recover from any scenario, you must back up all needed information and store a copy off site. A backup plan should be created and rehearsed for all Microsoft Dynamics 365 components and services to make sure that, if a disk or other failure occurs, the maximum amount of data is recoverable.

In This Topic

Backup requirements summary

Selecting a backup technology and type

Backing up Windows Server

Backing up Active Directory

Backing up SQL Server, including Reporting Services

Backing up Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server

Backup requirements summary

Backup requirements vary according to the servers involved. The following table is a summary of what to back up for Microsoft Dynamics 365.


What to back up


Domain controller

Full System State


SQL Server







The OrganizationName_MSCRM and ReportServer databases should have full database backups and transaction log backups.

For databases that are rarely updated, such as msdb, you may select only full database backup.

Backups of the master and msdb databases aren’t required by Microsoft Dynamics 365 but should be part of an overall backup strategy.


Backup recommended if SharePoint integration is enabled.

If you have enabled SharePoint document management, we recommend that you back up the SharePoint databases. For more information, see the SharePoint documentation.

Exchange Server

Backup not required by Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Backup may be required for Exchange Server. For more information, see Backup, restore and disaster recovery.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server


(Default location: c:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb)

Windows registry:


The web.config file is required only if the file has been changed from the default settings.

Windows registry subkey.

Selecting a backup technology and type

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server includes Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) support that can be used in conjunction with System Center Data Protection Manager to centrally manage the backup and restore operations for Microsoft Dynamics 365. For more information, see Microsoft Dynamics 365 VSS writer service and Data Protection Manager.

Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2012 supports external and internal hard disks, optical media drives, removable media drives, and Hyper-V virtual machines for local storage. Additionally, Windows Server 2012 supports online backup by using Microsoft Azure Online Backup. More information: Azure Backup

To perform a scheduled backup, as a best practice, use an external hard disk that supports at least USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394.

In Windows Server 2012, you can perform three types of backup:

  • System state backup, which includes all the files that are required to recover Active Directory.

  • Critical-volumes backup, which includes all the volumes that contain system state files.

  • Full server backup, which includes all volumes on the server.

Backing up Windows Server

Windows Server has backup tools that let you back up important company data to disk, removable media, or cloud. The scheduling capability found in the Backup and Restore Wizard provides data backup for the server itself and workstations in the small business network. The data backed up includes security information, file and share permissions, and registry data. For data security, only a member of the Administrators or Backup Operators group can perform a backup. Individual files and directories on the server can be restored by using the Backup and Restore Wizard.

Backing up Active Directory

You can use Windows Server Backup to protect your operating system state, volumes, files, and application data. For instructions about how to back up Active Directory, see Windows Server Backup Feature Overview and Windows Server 2012: Planning for Active Directory Forest Recovery.

Although we recommend that you back up Active Directory, the only way to avoid data loss is to have multiple Active Directory domain controllers. Then, if a domain controller fails, the other domain controllers will have a complete copy of the directory. With a backup, you have data only as recent as your last backup.

Backing up SQL Server, including Reporting Services

Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2012 uses Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) to protect Microsoft SQL Server application data. An alternative solution that can be used while SQL Server runs is the built-in backup features of Microsoft SQL Server.

If you use SQL Server Management Studio to create a backup of the SQL Server databases, you can run a backup job from the Backup and Restore Wizard to include database backups that Reporting Services created. Schedule the backup routing in Reporting Services to run first, followed by a backup job run in the Backup and Restore Wizard. More information: Backing Up and Restoring Databases in SQL Server

Microsoft Dynamics 365 creates at least two Microsoft Dynamics 365-specific databases on SQL Server. In addition, Microsoft Dynamics 365 requires the default master and msdbSQL Server databases for database services and the default report server SQL Server databases for Reporting Services. The databases that make up a Dynamics 365 system on SQL Server are as follows:

  • OrganizationName_MSCRM


  • ReportServer

  • ReportServertempdb

  • master

  • msdb


For multitenant deployments, your Microsoft Dynamics 365 deployment will include more than one OrganizationName_MSCRM database.

The SQL Server backup plan should address each of these databases to make sure that Microsoft Dynamics 365 could recover if one, or all, databases fail. If your organization already has SQL Server or another database application, your database administrator may have a database backup strategy. However, if this is the first database application in your organization, you can create and maintain scheduled jobs to perform the necessary backups by using the Maintenance Plan Wizard in SQL Server Management Studio. To start the Maintenance Plan Wizard, in Reporting Services, expand the server, expand the Management folder, right-click the Maintenance Plans folder, and then click Maintenance Plan Wizard.

Your backup plan for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 databases provides you a backup set that includes a full database backup and some number of transaction log backups, depending on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 installation and the frequency with which you determine whether you must have backups. For more information, see Back Up and Restore of SQL Server Databases.

For databases that are updated infrequently, such as the msdb database, you might perform only full database backups. The OrganizationName_MSCRM, MSCRM_CONFIG, and ReportServer databases should have both full database and transaction-log backups.

Databases on which transaction log backups will be performed must have the Full recovery model database property set. You can set this property through SQL Server Management Studio. For more information, see Recovery Models.

Schedule full database backups frequently enough to reduce the number of restores after a failure. For example, if one day's data loss is acceptable, you can back up the transaction log one time per day, and back up the database one time per week. If only one hour's maximum data loss is acceptable, you can back up the transaction log one time per hour. To reduce the number of restores, back up the database one time per day.

To create a database maintenance plan for scheduled backups, run the Maintenance Plan Wizard from SQL Server Management Studio. Select the option to back up the database as part of the maintenance plan for a full database backup. Select the option to back up the transaction log as part of the maintenance plan for a transaction log backup.

Your computer that is running SQL Server should also be designed with a level of fault-tolerance that is correct for a database server. This includes a RAID-5 disk array for your databases and a RAID-1 (mirror) for your transaction logs. With the correct level of hardware fault-tolerance, restoring from backup should be a very uncommon occurrence.

More information:

Backing Up and Restoring Databases in the SQL Server

Backing up Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server

Backing up and restoring the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server basically involves the following data:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server database files (explained previously)

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Server program files

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 website files

For information about how to back up solutions and customizations that have been implemented outside of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 application, contact your solution vendor.


We recommend that you keep a record of your current Microsoft Dynamics 365 update version. Therefore, if failure recovery is required, the appropriate update can be reapplied.

By default, all Microsoft Dynamics 365 program files are located in the following folders:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics 365 Reporting Extensions\

By default, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 website files are located in the following folder:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics CRM\CRMWeb

See Also

Microsoft Dynamics 365 data protection and recovery
Exporting and importing customizations and solutions

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