Considerations and Limitations

Before you restore VM guest OS files, check the following considerations and limitations.


Restore changes functionality is included in the Veeam Universal License. When using a legacy socket-based license, the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus editions of Veeam Backup & Replication are required.

Infrastructure Components

  • You can restore files from basic disks and dynamic disks (including simple, mirrored and striped volumes).
  • [For restore to another VM, to original location, or permissions only] If the target VM uses the gMSA account and you restore files from a backup, you must also install this account on the mount server associated with the backup repository on which the backup resides. If you restore from a replica, you must install the gMSA account on the backup server.
  • [For restore to original location] The mount server must have access to the VM guest OS (if restore is performed over the network) or vCenter Server and ESXi host where the target VM runs (if restore is performed over VIX API/vSphere Web Services).

Source for Data Recovery

  • You can restore VM guest OS files from a backup, VM replica, Cloud Director replica or CDP replica that has at least one successfully created restore point.
  • You cannot restore files from a backup created in the reverse incremental mode if the backup job is being performed. If the backup is created in the incremental backup mode and the backup job is being performed, you can restore files from any available restore point.
  • You cannot restore pipes and other file system objects. Guest OS file restore supports recovery of files and folders only.
  • You cannot restore guest OS files from a running VM replica or if the replication job with the necessary VM is being performed. However, restore is possible for CDP replicas if the CDP policy is running.
  • You cannot restore guest OS files encrypted with Windows EFS.
  • You cannot restore and browse guest OS files on disks encrypted by BitLocker.
  • Processing of reparse points is supported only for NTFS. Note that reparse points with reparse tag values other than IO_REPARSE_TAG_MOUNT_POINT, IO_REPARSE_TAG_SYMLINK and IO_REPARSE_TAG_DEDUP may be processed and restored incorrectly.
  • [For restore to original location] You cannot restore VM guest OS files if you have excluded the system disk from the VM backup used for restore and the volume GUID of the system disk was changed after the VM backup creation.
  • The comparison functionality is not available for backups created by Veeam Backup for OLVM and RHV, for backups exported with K10 policies and for backups stored in external repositories (for example, backups created by Veeam Backup for AWS, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure and so on).
  • [For permission restore] Permissions can be restored only for files and folders that are still present on the original VMs. If files and folders are missing, restore fails.
  • The comparison functionality uses Veeam Deployer Service. This service is a 32-bit service. During the comparison, the service converts some 64-bit objects in 32-bit objects. That is why such objects are shown as deleted in the Veeam Backup browser, for example, some objects in the Windows folder.

CDP Replicas

[Restore from CDP replicas is available starting from Veeam Backup & Replication version 12.1 (build]

  • You can launch restore for a CDP replica if its CDP policy is currently running. CDP will continue working.
  • During restore, the CDP policy does not create new long-term restore points and does not delete the existing ones. Short-term restore points are still created.
  • You cannot launch guest OS file restore, SureReplica, application item restore and failover in parallel for one VM or replica.

Target for Data Recovery

  • [For restore to original location] VMware Tools must be installed on the target VM. Application-aware processing must be supported for the Microsoft Windows OS of the original machine. If this is not possible, you can use 1-click file-level restore or copy files to the selected folder and then move them to their original location.
  • [For restore to another VM] You can restore items only to Microsoft Windows-based VMs. You can select a VM only within the same virtual infrastructure where the original VM resides. For example, if the original VM resides in VMware vSphere, you can select a VM that resides in VMware vSphere only.
  • [For permission restore] Veeam Backup & Replication restores only permissions. Attributes such as Read-only, Encrypted and so on are not restored.


To learn in which scenarios on which machines mount points are created, see Mount Points and Restore Scenarios.

Data Deduplication

If you plan to restore files from a VM running Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or later and data deduplication is enabled for some VM volumes, consider the following:

To learn in which scenarios on which machines mount points can be created, see Mount Points and Restore Scenarios.

Storage Snapshots

Requirements for guest OS file restore from storage snapshots are listed in the Data Recovery from Storage Snapshots section in the Storage System Snapshot Integration Guide.

Page updated 5/29/2024

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