Best 3 Method to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST File Easily

Monday, April 16, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-

The importance of data security has become a major concern in the present world. Data backup is considered as a reliable solution to secure data from any mishap. The matter gets more serious when it comes to protecting your Office 365 data. The data backup and retention policy of Microsoft is not a full-proof one. For this reasons, it is deemed essential to backup Office 365 mailbox online. Converting Office 365 emails into PST is a secured way to backup Office 365 data. This post will discuss how to export Office 365 Mailbox to PST. Here, readers will know different methods of migrating Office 365 data to PST.

Approaches to Convert Office 365 Mailbox to PST

Office 365 emails can be converted to PST using three different approaches. We will discuss all three techniques in detail. Users can follow the step by step instruction in order to perform O365 mailbox export.

Method 1: Using PowerShell
This technique uses PowerShell to export O365 Mailbox to PST. Before going to the guideline of this procedure, let’s define the examples used here. The mailbox that will be imported is test1@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com. The new account created in O365 for export purpose is test2.onmicrosoft.com. Finally, the email with all admin permission is test3@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com. Now, going straight to the stepwise instruction.

Step 1: Connecting to MS Exchange Using PowerShell

i. To begin the export process, execute the following command in PowerShell:
“$UserCredential = Get-Credential”

Users have to enter Office 365 credentials here including username and password in the dialog box that will appear named Windows PowerShell Credential Request. Enter test3@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com credentials in the window.

ii. Now, execute this command:
“$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection”

iii. After that, execute the following command:
“Import-PSSession $Session”

  • Make sure to enter correct username and password in step 1. Incorrect credentials will stop you from proceeding.
  • To prevent denial-of-access (DoS) attacks, users are allowed to try three limited open remote PowerShell connections only with Exchange online organization.
  • Account that is being used for connecting to Exchange, must be turned on for remote PowerShell. Do not forget to confirm this.
  • ‘TCP port 80’ traffic between O365 account and local system must be opened. Make sure to check this.
Step 2: Providing Full Access Right to Mailbox to Export Using PowerShell

In this step, test1@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com will be provided complete access to test2.onmicrosoft.com mailbox. Use this example for granting permission:

“Add-MailboxPermission – User hr-freshdtls@msoutlookemails.com -Identity hr-managementdtls@msoutlookemails.com -AccessRights FullAccess -InheritanceType All”

Step 3: Open MS Outlook as test2.onmicrosoft.com. Confirm that in the list of mailbox on the left pane, test1@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com mailbox is visible. Wait a few minutes for permission grant to take effect.

Step 4: Check MS Outlook Configuration Settings

Here, validate if Outlook is prepared to get configured for saving all emails for limited time.Use the steps mentioned:

i. Click File on Menu bar >> Info page >> Account Settings
ii. Select Account Settings from menu. Select your account and click Change button.
iii. Check if Use Cached Exchange Mode option is enabled (checked) and Mail to keep offline option is set to All.
Users can relaunch Outlook to update it with all the recent changes made.

Step 5: Convert O365 Mailbox to PST by Using Import/Export Wizard
i. Open Import/ Export wizard to export test1@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com mailbox to PST. Click File >> Open & Export >> Import/ Export.
ii. From the options, choose Export to a file from the given list and click Next.
iii. Now, choose Outlook Data file (.pst) and then click on Next.
iv. From the list of mailbox folders, choose test1@cloudsystool.onmicrosoft.com and click Next. Also, check the option Include Subfolders.
v. Enter a new name and choose destination storage for PST file, for example, c:\tmp\outlook-archive- test1@cloudsystool -20160209.pst
vi. Choose from Do not export duplicate items or Replace duplicates with items exported options. Finally, click Finish.
vii. Now, enter a password or leave it blank, depending on your policy. Click OK.
viii. During export process, you will not be able to operate Outlook. Wait until the control is gained.

Step 6: Verifying Successful Completion of Export Process
In order to verify successful export of mailbox, compare the size of mailbox with the size of exported PST. Perform these steps to compare:

i. Right-click the mailbox situated on right pane. Choose the option Data file properties.
ii. Click Folder Size button under General tab.
iii. Click Server Data tab and take note of value mentioned as Total Size.
iv. Finally, check the exported PST file properties to find out the size. Compare if both the sizes are compatible or not.

Step 7: Removing Permission
After export completion, remove the permission granted earlier using PowerShell. Use this syntax to remove permission:

“Remove-MailboxPermission -User hr-freshdtls@stellaroutlookemails.com -Identity hr-managementdtls@stellaroutlookemails.com -AccessRights FullAccess”

Step 8: Closing PowerShell Session
After permission removal, execute this command to close down current PowerShell session:
“Remove-PSSession $Session”

After performing all the steps, Office 365 mailbox will convert to PST successfully.
  • Method 2: Using eDiscovery
In this method, an O365 inbuilt program called “eDiscovery PST Export Tool” is used for backup. Only Office 365 Admins can perform this method. Before starting the process, acquire permission for this tool by following the instruction.

i. Log into Office 365 Account by using Admin Credentials.

ii. First, go to Admin >> Exchange.

iii. From left pane, select Permissions. Then click admin roles tab and click Discovery Management.

iv. Click on + icon in order to add roles. From roles options, select Mailbox Import Export. Click + icon again under ‘Members’ and select the user who requires permission. Click on Save.

The selected user has received permission to use eDiscovery PST Export Tool. Now that user can transfer Office 365 mailbox to PST. Here are the steps to perform O365 mailbox backup.

a) Start Office 365 and go to Exchange Admin Center (EAC).
b) Click Compliance Management option from the left pane.

c) Now, click In-Place eDiscovery & Hold tab. The list of mailboxes will appear. Select your necessary items from the list.
d) Click on Download icon. A migration wizard will appear.

e) From the wizard, Browse to choose the destination location of the resultant PST file.
f) Select ‘Enable deduplication’ checkbox to avoid duplicate emails in PST file.
g) If needed, users can also select ‘Include unsearchable items’ checkbox. This includes emails that cannot be indexed by Exchange Search, like emails with attachments. All emails of this category will be downloaded in a separate PST file.
h) Click Export. This will start the backup. A progress box will appear that will show the development in export process.

Drawbacks of Export Methods using PowerShell and eDiscovery

Both these methods suffer from serious limitations. Here are some the drawbacks of these techniques.

(i) Admin Permission: These processes require Admin Permission. If users do not have permission, they will not be able to perform these methods.
(ii) Complex Process: These processes consume significant amount of time. Also, users have to be technically knowledgeable to perform these techniques.
(iii) Format Changing: Sometimes after migration to PST, changes in email formatting is seen. Data integrity of the files can be compromised too.

Method 3: Using Automated Tool

The numerous drawbacks of these methods are key to the popularity of automated tools. Users often opt for the method of using automatic application to export Office 365 mailbox to PST. Office 365 Exporter is considered as the perfect tool for this business. This program is devoid of all the drawbacks of previous methods and migrates O365 mailbox to PST effortlessly. It can even migrate several user accounts at the same time. This software supports Windows 10 and all other versions of Windows OS. Users do not need technical knowledge to operate this tool. All in all, this is a perfect application to export Office 365 mailbox to PST.


The concern over data security is increasing keeping pace with the importance of data. Despite being a cloud-based facility, taking backup of Office 365 mailbox is extremely important. Office 365 backup into PST can protect you during any unwanted situations. This write-up has been an endeavour to inform readers how to export Office 365 mailbox to PST. Users can try any of the methods mentioned here to save O365 data in PST. However, professionals suggest using the cited automated program for smooth migration of O365 to PST.