Dynamics 365 for Outlook with “Go offline” capability uses SQL Server Express for local data storage on the user’s computer. This enables Dynamics 365 users to work offline and later synchronize local data with SQL Server (on-premises) or Dynamics 365 (online) when Dynamics 365 for Outlook is brought online again.

In some cases, Dynamics 365 users may want to back up the local SQL Server Express database. This is especially useful when Dynamics 365 users are offline for prolonged periods. The following table indicates different methods that can be used for backing up the SQL database used with Dynamics 365 for Outlook.

Backup method What to back up Comments
Offline backup Contents of Dynamics 365 data directory.

The default location of 64-bit Microsoft Office on 32-bit Windows: %programfiles%\Microsoft Dynamics 365\LocaleCode\sql\7

The default location of 32-bit Microsoft Office on 64-bit Windows: %programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Dynamics 365\LocaleCode\sql\7
Before you start the backup, make sure that the SQL Server (CRM) service is stopped. Restart the service after the backup is complete.

LocaleCode is the 4-digit number representing the language locale.
Online backup using Microsoft tools MSDE_MSCRM7.mdf

Use SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) or sqlcmd.exe (a command-line tool).
Online backup using non-Microsoft tools MSDE_MSCRM7.mdf

Look for tools that are compatible with SQL Server Express.

Backup and recovery tools

SQL Server 2012 Express provides a graphical management tool (SQL Server Management Studio Express (SQLManagementStudio)) that includes backup and recovery features. You can download SQL Server Management Studio Express at Microsoft SQL Server® 2012 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Express.

Restoring from backup

If there is a problem with Dynamics 365 for Outlook offline synchronization, the backup can be used to restore Dynamics 365 functionality. Dynamics 365 for Outlook should be in offline mode before you restore the backup. When restored, you can then connect to Dynamics 365 (online mode). The data that isn’t already on the server will be transferred to the server from the client. Be careful when reconnecting to the server. If you restore from an outdated backup, the existing data on the server may have subsequently changed and you run the risk of overwriting current data on the server with older data from the offline client backup.