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How to Upload/ Import PST Files to Exchange Online – Complete Guide

Published By Ashwani
Tej Pratap Shukla
Approved By Tej Pratap Shukla
Published On March 29th, 2024

This article talks about the top 4 ways that a user can use to import PST files to Exchange Online. If you have a similar query, or if you are looking for a comprehensive guide for the same, then follow this write-up step by step.

Table of Content 

In the computing world, PST is an important file format. If you have configured your MS Outlook in POP then your mailbox data is likely to be stored in PST file format. And, since PST files are sensitive, experts recommend importing PST files to Exchange Online.

But, the question is, Why? Let’s find them in detail!

Know Why Users Tend to Import PST to Exchange Online?  

While PST has mobility advantages, it also originates several security issues. Such as;

  • PST files aren’t designed to function as gigabyte email archives & due to this these files can easily get corrupted. Also, frequent data loss makes it even worse.
  • In cases like power outages, PC crashes, or abrupt closing of PST disconnects it from the Outlook profile. As a result, it’s usually overlooked or lost, creating an orphaned PST.
  • PST files contain emails and because of misplacement or restriction access, they are not properly retained which can lead to a legal issue if emails are required as digital evidence.
  • Though one can password-protect a PST file, there are several programs available that can crack passwords. Which then puts the user’s sensitive data at risk.
  • Since PST files are an essential part of enterprises, it has become the favorite target for hackers to deploy ransomware for malicious purposes.

The above are some of the serious concerns that make us rethink keeping the PST files on the desktop. And, this is why IT experts around the globe suggest migrating the PST files to Exchange Online.

Now, it leads to the below question.

How Can You Import PST Files to Exchange Online?

Did you know that there’s more than one method available for transferring PST files to Exchange Online? Yes, for that both manual and automated approaches you can use.

  • Import/Export Wizard
  • Network Upload Method
  • Drive Shipping Method
  • Automated Method 

Let’s have a thorough discussion of the above methods.

Method 1. Import/Export Wizard to Upload PST to Exchange Online 

This is an inbuilt feature in Outlook to import a few PST files. But, first, you need to set up the Outlook account before following the below steps.

  • Click on the File tab >> Open & Export, and press Import/Export
  • Now, in the Import Export Wizard window, select the Outlook Data File(.pst), and then the ‘Next’ button.
  • After that, you have to choose the PST file path from the ‘Browse’ button. Then, click on the radio button Replace duplicates with items imported, and hit Next.
  • Next, for importing the complete file, choose the root file, and click on the Include subfolders checkbox. After that, press the ‘Import items into the same folder’ and provide your account ID.
  • Finally, click on the Finish button to import PST files to Exchange Online.

However, it can be a very time-consuming process for organizations that want to import PST files in terms of TB’s. Besides, many customers have gone through different error messages. It includes permission issues, incomplete processes because the service provider doesn’t support it, etc.

Also Read: Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Step By Step

Method 2. Network Upload Method to Move PST File to Exchange Online

It is used for the bulk transferring of PST files. To execute the process, you need to have extensive knowledge of the PowerShell scripting language. Because if you enter even a single cmdlets command then it could lead to data corruption.

Many IT admins avoid using this complicated approach to save themselves from any data-related disaster such as Office 365 import failed.

And, since PST files contain sensitive emails, contacts, etc, one can’t risk losing such crucial information.

Method 3. Drive Shipping Method to Upload PST to Exchange Online Cloud

You can use this method to complete this task. However, you have to pay $2 per GB of data to be migrated. If you talk about its process then you have to copy files to a hard disc and physically ship them to the Microsoft facility center. After that, they will start the process.

However, you can analyze how much time it is going to take. Besides, this method can only executed in limited countries. Hence, it becomes clear that each manual methods have some shortcomings which make them unreliable and unsecured. And, that’s when the role of the automated method comes in. It minimizes all the challenges of manual methods. 

Let’s have a look at the automated method for moving the PST files.

Method 4. Use The Expert-Recommended Software to Import PST Files to Exchange Online

Whether you want to import an individual file or files in bulk, Outlook to Office 365 Migration Tool makes it easier for every user. Also, running the software doesn’t involve any complicated PowerShell scripts. So, even non-tech users can easily work with the tool.

Moreover, users are not required to set up Outlook on their premises to import their PST files to Exchange Online. From a technical point of view, you can transfer emails, contacts, calendars, etc without any data loss.

In addition to that, you can also apply a date filter for selective file migration, exclude unnecessary Deleted and Sent item files, etc using the software. So, you can say that it is a complete package for all the PST file import needs.

Detailed Software Working Steps to Import PST to Exchange Online

Step 1. Download, install, and run the software on your local computer from the given link.

Download Tool Purchase Now

Step 2. Select Source and Destination platforms such as Outlook and Office 365. 

Source & Destination

Step 3. Tick the checkboxes under the workload section. Apply the Date filter to perform filtering of data.

Workload items and Set Date Filter

Step 4. Provide the location of the PST file in the Source window. 

Source credentials

Step 5. Complete and Validate the destination account credentials.

Destination Credentials Validated

Step 6. Fetch the users into the tool. Finally, hit the Start Import button to move PST file to Exchange Online.Start Import

Must Read: How to Migrate OneDrive Data from One Tenant to Another?


PST files are vulnerable and there is a high chance of data corruption. And, safekeeping your crucial information such as emails, contacts, events, etc, is necessary to avoid data loss. So, the best thing you can do is import PST files to Exchange Online using the above-mentioned trustworthy software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is Drive shipping a costly process to upload PST to Exchange Online?

Ans – You must pay $2 per GB in the Drive shipping method. Due to this, it becomes costly for the huge dataset.

Q2. How Do I Add multiple PST files with large data in Exchange Online efficiently?

Ans – For a simple and efficient process, you can use the above-explained reliable tool. It is easy to use and also able to handle the large data. It only requires a few basic steps to complete the process.

  • Step 1. Download and Choose the Source and Destination.
  • Step 2. Select workload items.
  • Step 3. Complete Source and Destination credentials.
  • Step 4. Fetch the users and Start Import.