What Is Offline Restore?

An online backup service that offers offline restore can ship your backed-up files to you on a physical storage device

What to Know

  • Offline restore is a time-saving feature offered by some online backup services.
  • It lets you restore your backed-up files to your computer locally instead of over the internet.
  • This can save loads of time if you have a slow internet connection or lots of files to restore.

This article explains what offline restore means in the context of an online backup service.

What Is Offline Restore?

Some online backup services offer a feature called offline restore, which is an option where the backup company physically sends your previously backed up files to you on a storage device.

Offline restore is almost always an added cost, charged only if and when you might need to use the feature. Backblaze is one example of an online backup service that supports offline restore.

Photo of a package with the words URGENT on it
Peter Dazeley / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

Why Should I Use Offline Restore?

Restoring files back to your computer from your online backup account can take a long time if the files are large, your internet connection is slow, and/or you have lots of data. If you've started a normal restore using the internet, but it's taking longer than you'd like, consider using offline restore if that's an option.

Another situation where this feature is a smart idea is when your ​hard drive crashes and you have to completely reinstall Windows or factory restore your computer or device. Since you can't restore your files to a broken hard drive, getting all of it back on a portable device is ideal.

If you have several GB, or maybe even TB, of data to restore, it may be the smartest choice to have your data sent to you the old-fashioned way.

How Does Offline Restore Work?

Assuming offline restore is an option, you would follow whatever process the company has outlined for requesting it. This might involve a few clicks of a button in the backup software or maybe an email, chat, or phone call with support.

After receiving your request for the offline restore, the backup service will make a copy of your data from their servers onto some kind of storage device. This might be one or more DVD or BD discs, flash drives, or external hard drives.

Once they've got the data ready for it, they'll mail it to you, usually with the fastest shipping speed available, like next-day or overnight. UPS or FedEx are usually used.

Upon having physical access to your files, you can use the online backup service's software you already have installed to restore your data to your computer, like you would when restoring through the internet.

Which Online Backup Services Offer Offline Restore?

As we mentioned above, Backblaze is one such compatible service. We've reviewed several other cloud backup services and compiled our thoughts, and a list of their features, in reviews that you can read here: Best Cloud Backup Services Reviewed.

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