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Learn Multiple Methods to Create PST File from Office 365 Online

Published By Mohit Jha
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On January 7th, 2022
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading

In this article, we are going to provide users with a number of ways to successfully create PST file from Office 365 online. You can read the discussed methods and decide which one suits your requirements in a better way.

Personal Storage Table(PST) is a database file used by Microsoft Outlook to store all its data including emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, etc. Office 365 is a cloud-based software as a service suite provided by Microsoft. It includes email services as well as other data management applications that can be accessed anytime and anywhere.

Why Do We Need to Create PST File from Office 365 Online

Cloud-based service once considered to be among the most secure is not a safe place anymore. It is now under constant threat of cloud ransomware attacks, online hacking etc. Unsure about their cloud data, users look to create backups so as to maintain a local copy of all their Office 365 data. By creating a local PST file backup, users can safeguard as well as access their data anytime. There are other factors that can also add to the need of having an O365 account database backup. Let us understand this with the help of query:

“Hello, I am currently under the process of shifting from my present job to a bigger organization. I have been using Office 365 for all my emailing requirements. Now I want to create a backup of all my personal emails along with contacts and calendars so I could still access them later on my local system with Outlook installed. So, I am looking for relevant solutions to create PST File from Office 365 online having all data from the O365 account. Any suggestion will be helpful”

Different Solutions to Save Office 365 data in Compatible File

If you are looking to create a backup of O365 account data, then perform the sequential steps of any of the below-listed methods:

Let us discuss all these methods in detail in the following section:

#1. Create PST File from Office 365 Online Using Best Tool

Both the discussed manual methods have a lot of shortcomings. They are not feasible for any normal user to perform. The steps are confusing which increases the risk of permanent data loss in case of any wrong step taken. Considering all these scenarios, we decided to recommend an expert software solution. It is among the most reliable solution among the manual method. The output file contains all the mailbox data including emails, contacts, calendars, tasks etc. The easy-to-use steps of this remarkable tool to create PST File from Office 365 online are as follows:

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1. Download, install on your computer and run the Office 365 Backup tool. Now choose Office 365 and Outlook as the source and destination platforms respectively.

2. Select all the required mailbox items such as email, contact, calendar, task and documents in order to create them into PST file. Use the date filter for selective data conversion based on a pert ocular date range from the work load selection.

3. Use the Office 365 admin account details such as admin ID and application ID to log in to the portal. Hit the validate button for permission validations.

4. Provide the destination path and location for saving the resultant PST file to you local computer.

5. Now, choose the required Office 365 account from the list of accounts associated with the admin account and click on the start backup button to Create PST File from Office 365 Online.

#2. Use Desktop Based Outlook Application

In order to implement this procedure to create PST file from Office 365 online, you must have an MS Outlook application installed on your local machine. You can then export Office 365 mailbox data to PST format using the Import / Export feature of MS Outlook.

  • Firstly, configure the Office 365 account in your Outlook application
  • Once it is added successfully, click on File >> Import & Export
  • In the Import and Export Wizard, select Export to a file option
  •  Now, choose Outlook data file(.pst) and click on Next button
  • Make sure to tick the Include Subfolders option
  • Click Finish button after selecting the destination for PST file to be saved.

Limitations Of Manual Method

Users require technical skills and knowledge to set up the account as well as perform the mentioned steps. Also, for O365 accounts having a large mailbox, both the processes involved in the method will take a lot of time. First O365 data needs to get synchronised in Outlook and then the export process needs to be completed. Furthermore, the high risk of data loss is an added concern for any user.

#3. Create PST File from Office 365 Online using eDiscovery PST Export Tool

Microsoft provided the eDiscovery manager to help users in exporting their data from cloud-based O365 to Outlook supported file. However, it can only be done if you have the administrator authority over the account. If its not an issue for you, then follow the given steps properly to see how exactly it works:

1. Login to your Office 365 account using Admin credentials.

2. Now, go to Admin Center Security Compliance.

3. Next, click on Permissions tab and select edit role group for eDiscovery manager. Here you need to edit the assigned roles.

4. Click on + icon to add an account in eDiscovery Administrator list. Click save to continue.

5. Now, go to search Investigation panel and click on + icon to open the new Content search Wizard.

6. Here, enter a name and choose from the given options before clicking on Next button:

      • Search everywhere: Select this option if you want to export all the data from Exchange Online, Sharepoint or public folders as per your requirements,
      • Custom location selection: Choose this option to export only selective data as PST

Note: In selective data migration scenario, you can choose from various filtering options such as logical operators(AND, OR, etc.) with any keyword. Click on search option for the searching process to begin.

7. Click on the Start Export button to create PST File from Office 365 online. You can also choose to include encrypted files. Also, it is recommended to use default settings to perform this process. It will create separately PST file for each mailbox.

8. Now, you can either choose to click on Finish button or on Download exported results button. If clicked on the latter option, the downloading process and export via tool will be finished at the same time

9. Before proceeding any further, copy the generated export key while the data is being prepared for export.

10. Finally, paste the copied export key and select the destination location in the eDiscovery PST export tool. Click the Start button to begin the process.

Limitations Using eDiscovery to Save Office 365 Data

Using eDiscovery tool is a fight in itself let alone use it to create PST File from Office 365 online. First of all, it has a serious problem of freezing during the process. In addition, you cannot use it unless you have admin privileges. Furthermore, the sheer amount of steps takes too much time to implement. Also, you cannot perform them unless you have the required technical knowledge. Lastly, the chances of data loss and compromising the data integrity are some added concerns with the process.

Wrapping Up

Backing up data from cloud-based services such as MS O365 is a hefty task. Therefore, we provided multiple methods for users to match their exact needs. One can choose among the mentioned ways after analysing their procedures and limitations (if any) to seamlessly create PST file from Office 365 online.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a Microsoft-certified expert who has assisted thousands of clients with Outlook & Microsoft Office 365 issues. He enjoys writing on email clients as well as data migration. He is always excited about giving troubled readers the most up-to-date knowledge, explanation, and refinements.