Online backup and on-demand data restore in Azure Cosmos DB

APPLIES TO: SQL API Cassandra API Gremlin API Table API Azure Cosmos DB API for MongoDB

Azure Cosmos DB automatically takes backups of your data at regular intervals. The automatic backups are taken without affecting the performance or availability of the database operations. All the backups are stored separately in a storage service. The automatic backups are helpful in scenarios when you accidentally delete or update your Azure Cosmos account, database, or container and later require the data recovery. Azure Cosmos DB backups are encrypted with Microsoft managed service keys. These backups are transferred over a secure non-public network. Which means, backup data remains encrypted while transferred over the wire and at rest. Backups of an account in a given region are uploaded to storage accounts in the same region.

Backup modes

There are two backup modes:

  • Periodic backup mode - This mode is the default backup mode for all existing accounts. In this mode, backup is taken at a periodic interval and the data is restored by creating a request with the support team. In this mode, you configure a backup interval and retention for your account. The maximum retention period extends to a month. The minimum backup interval can be one hour. To learn more, see the Periodic backup mode article.

  • Continuous backup mode – You choose this mode while creating the Azure Cosmos DB account. This mode allows you to do restore to any point of time within the last 30 days. To learn more, see the Introduction to Continuous backup mode, provision continuous backup using Azure portal, PowerShell, CLI, or Azure Resource Manager articles.


    If you configure a new account with continuous backup, you can do self-service restore via Azure portal, PowerShell, or CLI. If your account is configured in continuous mode, you can’t switch it back to periodic mode.

For Azure Synapse Link enabled accounts, analytical store data isn't included in the backups and restores. When Synapse Link is enabled, Azure Cosmos DB will continue to automatically take backups of your data in the transactional store at a scheduled backup interval. Automatic backup and restore of your data in the analytical store is not supported at this time.

Frequently asked questions

Can I restore from an account A in subscription S1 to account B in a subscription S2?

No. You can only restore between accounts within the same subscription.

Can I restore into an account that has fewer partitions or low provisioned throughput than the source account?

No. You can't restore into an account with lower RU/s or fewer partitions.

Next steps

Next you can learn about how to configure and manage periodic and continuous backup modes for your account: