Just a very brief one to kick off – sharing in case this little tip helps anyone searching!

A colleague asked me today about resetting a production instance of D365 that they wanted to restore to “factory settings”. They had expected to see the ‘Reset’ option which is available for Sandbox instances, then realised it obviously isn’t there for Production instances so that you don’t accidentally completely wipe your entire production environment and lose all that hard earned and cultivated data.

While this makes complete sense, I very often see occaisions when you would want to reset a ‘Production’ instance – when you’re using a Production licence but it isn’t your actual Production environment. Potential scenarios for example include having a Pre-Production environment that needs rebuilding (due to corruption, mis-allignment, or a CI/CD process – kudos if you’re in the latter category!), or, as was the case today, because the customer has their dev, pre-prod and production environments in separate O365 instances (don’t even get me started on that can of worms!) and Dev therefore consumed the mandatory single Production licence.

(Btw, I’ve also used a sandbox reset previously because rebuilding after a reset was faster than scheduling an upgrade to the newest version. This has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion!)

Many places around the interweb say (plus it seems a fairly common belief in the community) that you need to raise a support ticket to reset a Production instance but it’s actually very easy to do yourself.

All you need to do is:

  1. Navigate to the Dynamics 365 Administration Centre
  2. Select the instance you want to reset and click on ‘Edit’
  3. Set the “Type” from Production to Sandbox. This will open up all the extra functionality that comes with sandboxes, such as resetting, administration mode and overwriting from another instance.
  4. Once you have reset/overwritten the target instance you can quickly swap it back to a Production instance again and rebuild as necessary.

Note that unless you have some spare Sandbox licences already purchased that it will continue to consume the, more expensive, Production licence even though it is now consuming Sandbox specs but it does at least open up the extra functionality you need without the necessity of a support ticket with Microsoft. And if all you want to do is reset, then you’re really not losing out anyway.

Do yourself a favour though and please don’t try this on your actual production instance… 🙂