Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST – Top 3 Solutions

sherry James | February 17th, 2021 | Cloud, Office 365

Are you unable to export Office 365 mailbox to PST files? If yes, then read this guide to understand three possible ways to do the task. Here, we will explain the step-by-step solutions for the export process with screenshots. 

Why Organizations Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Format? 

Saving a local copy of mailbox data on your system to overcome any kind of disaster or unfavorable situation is the first choice of all administrators. By exporting Office 365 mailbox(es) to PST, you will have a backup copy. Later these files can be easily imported if necessary. 

Additionally, the exported PST file from Office 365 account can be used for sharing the data between Office 365 accounts. The destination user can import PST files directly into Office 365 account whenever needed. 

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4 Methods to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST
Method 1: Quickest & Secure way to Export Office 365 to PST (Recommended)
Method 2: Using eDiscovery Tool from Office 365 Portal
Method 3: Export O365 Mailbox to PST via Import/Export
Method 4: Office 365 to PST via PowerShell Commands

4 Proven Methods to Export Office 365 Mailbox(es) to PST

Method 1: Use Reliable & Secure Tool to Export Office 365 to PST?

If you are looking for a quick and trusted solution, then you are recommended to use this third-party tool. There are a huge number of applications available in the market that can help you guys in the same. But choosing the best one among the rest for guaranteed results is the toughest part.

Thus, here we have suggested one trustworthy utility that a user can follow to do the same. Office 365 eDiscovery Export tool is the most preferred choice of users. So, you can try it without any doubt with no risk of data loss. It enables you to export Office 365 mailbox to PST format in just a few simple clicks. Moreover, the application well suited for Windows users with no limitations.

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Wants to Perform Bulk Migration Operation in an Organization?

This is the application that overcomes all the flaws of manual solutions and fits well in every possible situation. This application does not require any administrative rights to export Office 365 mailboxes into PST files.

Both admin and users can use this application without any dependency and restriction. Moreover, whenever there is a requirement to save mailboxes in bulk, then this tool provides the option for the same.

How Does it Work?

  • Launch the tool and click on the Login button.

  • Enter the O365 mailbox credentials and click on Sign in button.

  • Choose Microsoft Outlook (PST) option as an Email Format.
  • Choose the Categories for data items you want to export.

  • Browse the destination location and click on the Start button.

Method 2: Using eDiscovery Tool For Exporting PST File From Office 365 Account

eDiscovery tool by Microsoft is basically designed to identify and deliver electronic data. This is further helpful in legal cases as pieces of evidence. One can try this eDiscovery in O365 to search data in the mailboxes, O365 Groups, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business conversations, Microsoft Teams, and OneDrive for Business sites. All this searching can be done in the same eDiscovery search via the Content Search tool.

However, it is originally meant for searching the O365 content for evidence and export the search results to PST format for legal purposes. Thus, it is known as In-Place eDiscovery search to a PST file. It cannot be termed as the sole method to export Office 365 Mailbox to PST format method as it was not the intention behind the method.

Export Search Results from Office 365 emails to PST format?

Here is the stepwise procedure of exporting search results of eDiscovery cases, just follow the steps mentioned below. But before we go into that:

Warnings, you must keep in mind.

  • Admin permissions are necessary for a user to have eDiscovery feature for Exporting Office 365 Mailbox to PST.
  • Your account must be a member of the Discovery Management Role Group.
  • Unsupported Browser Alert: If Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer is not used while downloading the search result, it will generate the error: “Application cannot be started. Contact the application vendor”

application cannot be started

  • Supported browser: Internet Explorer 8 or above version/ Mozilla Firefox/ Google Chrome with installed ClickOnce add-in.
  • You cannot perform specific Folders search but can export only via date range.
  • A user must have 32-bit & 64-bit version of Windows 7 or above version.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.7.

Steps to export pst files from Office 365 admin center are as follows:

A user needs to follow the below-mentioned workflow to use eDiscovery in the Security & Compliance Center in order to start the process:

Step 1: Grant appropriate eDiscovery permissions to users

Following are the role groups related to eDiscovery in the Security & Compliance Center:

  • Reviewer: It is the most restrictive permission related to eDiscovery cases. The main motive of this role group is to let members have a look and access the case data in O365 Advanced Discover.
  • eDiscovery Manager: This role group members are allowed to create and manage eDiscovery cases. In addition, they are also allowed to manage the eDiscovery cases, which are created by them or a member of.
  • eDiscovery Administrator: Apart from all case management tasks that an eDiscovery Manager can do, many other tasks also. For example, the eDiscovery Administrator can view all cases that are listed in eDiscovery pages, manage all cases, and access case data in Advanced eDiscovery for an organization.

After this, you know clearly that what roles need to be assigned before using eDiscovery. Now, it’s time to know how these permissions are assigned. Follow the steps below:

  • First, you need to go to https://protection.office.com.
  • Log in to Office 365 account and move to the Security & Compliance Center
  • Then, click on Permissions >> eDiscovery Manager >> Edit role group.

  • Click on the Choose eDiscovery Administrator >> Edit >> + (Add icon).

  • Click on the + (Add icon) to add the user as an eDiscovery Manager.

  • Choose the user that you want to add as a member and click on Add button.

Note: Here, Rennie is added as a member. Unless you add a user as the member, ediscovery feature is unavailable to user mailbox to perform eDiscovery search & Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST.

Step 2: Make a New Case

In order to create a new eDiscovery case, follow the steps given below:

  • From Security & Compliance Center, Click on Search & investigation >> eDiscovery >> + Create a case

  • On the New Case dialog box, enter the Case name and give the description
  • Click on the Save button

Step 3: Add members to the case

In order to access and manage the case, you need to add a member to the newly created case. Now, to do the same, perform the mentioned below steps:

  • Go to the Security & Compliance Center
  • Click Search & investigation >> eDiscovery to get the list of the cases in the organization
  • You have to click on the newly created case in which you have to add members

  • Now, Manage this case will appear. Manage members, click the +Add button.
Note: Under Manage role groups, click +Add to add a new role group to the case.

  • Click on the Save button to save the new list of members. After this, a user mailbox can easily run eDiscovery on a case which is shared with User mailbox (here Rennie)

Step 4: Make & Run a Content Search on the Case

You can perform run one or more content searches related to this case.

Keep in mind: Content searches related to the case can be accessed only by the cast members that are members of the eDiscovery Manager role group also. Now, simply follow the steps mentioned below to perform the search:

  • Go to Security & Compliance Center >> Search & investigation >> eDiscovery.
  • Choose the case in which you want to perform Content Search and click on the Open button.
  • After that, click on the Search tab and then on + New Search.

  • On the New Search page, you can add keywords also to create the search query.
  • Under the Locations: selected locations, select the content locations that you have to search.
  • Select the Specific Location option to choose the mailboxes and sites that you want to search.
  • Click on the Modify option, a list of locations displays.
  • Here, you can select search for any users, groups, teams, or site locations.
  • You can choose all public folders also in the organization.

  • When you are done, click on Done >> Save button.
  • Then, click on the Save & run to save the search settings.

  • Type the name of the search and click on the Save button to start the search.

Step 5: Export the Content Search Result to Save Office 365 to PST

As the search process completed successfully, it’s time to download or export O365 content search result.

  • Go to Security & Compliance Center, click Search & investigation >> eDiscovery
  • Choose the for which you want to export results and click on the Open button
  • Now, in the case, Homepage, click on the Search tab
  • From the list of searches, choose the searches that you want to export
    Click More >> Export results option to export Office 365 mailbox to PST.

  • Click on the Export tab in order to display the list of export jobs for that particular case.
  • Click on the Download results option to download the search results.

  • After that, you need to copy the Export Key and paste it in the pop-up window.

  • Choose the destination location for exported Office 365 mailbox data as PST and click on the Start button.

  • When the process is completed, click on the Close button and finish the task.

After following this long and complex procedure with so many conditions, your Office 365 data is exported successfully to PST format at the desired location.

Method 2: Export PST File From Office 365 Account via Import/Export

The eDiscovery tool as mentioned above was not intended to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST format. It performs searches for legal purposes and exports the result in PST format as a piece of evidence.

Thus, it is not a reliable approach and suggested approach!

OK, I know what you guys are thinking.

Here is another way of doing the same. Configure your O365 account in Outlook and then use Export to a .pst file option. This will help users in downloading mailbox data in PST format.

In order to do the same by the proper set of instructions, follow the steps given below.

  • First, you need to configure your Office 365 account in Outlook 2016 or other versions
  • After this, your Outlook will sync automatically with Office 365 mailboxes and all data is visible in Outlook now.
  • Now, in your Outlook application, go to File tab.

  • Then, click on Open & Export >> Import/ Export option.

  • Here, you need to choose Export to a file >> Next.

  • Choose the email account that you want to export.

  • Browse the location to save the output file.
  • At last, click on the Finish button.

Looks like an easy way of doing so???

But wait! There is more to the story

Microsoft itself mentioned in the blogs that it can be used to export single Office 365 mailbox to PST at once. From the admin point of view where he/she has multiple mailboxes, this is not at all a feasible approach.

Apart from this, this export process does not move all data like it leaves meta properties. So, there might be a loss of some data.

Thus, you need to look for some other alternative also guys to save Outlook Web App Emails to Computer.

Method 3: Office 365 to PST via PowerShell Commands

There are various users who export Office 365 mailboxes to PST format via PowerShell commands. But, unable to perform this task in a perfect way as the commands become confusing sometimes.

Don’t know how it can be done in a proper way? Wait! Let me show you how you can do it!

Steps to Export Office 365 mailbox to PST File via PowerShell

Let’s start here with an example:

Now, you have to consider that

  • rennie@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com: Mailbox that needs to be exported.
  • mia@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com: Newly created account in Outlook.
  • pavan@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com: Account with all administrative rights.

Step 1: Grant appropriate eDiscovery permissions to Users

1. Execute the command given below:

“$UserCredential = Get-Credential”

Run Powershell cmd
Enter the login credentials of your admin account i.e.,

pavan@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com

Enter Credentials

2. Run the below-mentioned command:

“$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange
-ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/
-Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection

Run the powershell command
3. Then, execute the following command:

Import-PSSession $Session

Step 2: Grant Mailbox Access Right

Here, rennie@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com will get complete access to mia@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com mailbox by running below command:

Add-MailboxPermission –User rennie@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com 
-Identity mia@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com -AccessRights FullAccess 
-InheritanceType All

Execute Command

Step 3: Open Outlook application via the newly created account

Now, after assigning access rights, it is important to make sure that both the accounts are there in the left pane of the Outlook window.

Step 4: Check the Configuration Settings of Outlook

You need to make sure that Outlook is ready to get configured and download emails by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Click on File -> Info -> Account Settings option

Account information

  • Go to Account Settings option and select the account of your choice

Account Settings

  • Click Change button and verify whether Use Cached Exchange Mode option is checked or not.

Exchange account settings

Step 5: Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Format

When all set to go, you can take help of Import/Export feature of Outlook to extract Office 365 emails to PST format. In order to know how it can be done in a perfect way, follow the steps mentioned in method 2 above.

Now, you must be thinking, it is the most perfect way to export multiple Office 365 mailboxes to PST format.

No! No! No! (Not Exactly)

Don’t think so as it has some flaws that make you look for some other way. The method discussed requires administrative rights and admin account access. It means you are not allowed to perform this task at the user-level.

Apart from all this, if a user is not that much technically strong, then also it is not at all a feasible approach to saving Office 365 emails to desktop. Small mistakes in commands can affect the complete process badly.

Conclusion

Whenever the users try to export Office 365 mailbox to PST format for any reason, choosing the best method is a tough task for them. Yes! It is true that there are some manual approaches that one can try. But nothing is free from some or other limitations. Thus, moving towards a professional solution is not at all bad choice to have one solution for all cases.