Exporting Office 365 mailboxes to PSTs & Importing PSTs to Office 365

Being able to export Office 365 mailboxes to PSTs is a common requirement in the modern IT environment. Whether it’s creating an offline backup of mailboxes or copying them onto a transferable drive – there are any number of reasons why you may need to perform this export. The reverse it also true – you may find yourself in a situation where you need to import PSTs into Office 365. In either case, this article will enable you to perform the process manually and show you an alternative that may make the whole thing simpler.

Native Export/Import

Exporting Office 365 mailboxes to PSTs using native means

  1. Login to Office 365 and go to ‘Admin’.
  2. Select ‘Exchange’ option in the left corner of the ‘Office 365 admin center’.
  3. Click on ‘permissions’ and select ‘Discovery management’ under ‘admin roles’.
  4. Next you will have to add your account to the Members list in the Discovery Management role group properties window using the ‘+’ button. Ensure that you assign the following roles to yourself: Mailbox Import Export (for exporting mailboxes) and Mailbox Search (for searching in the mailboxes).
  5. Go to ‘compliance management’ in ‘Exchange admin center’ and click the ‘+’ symbol to start ‘in-place eDiscovery & hold’ wizard.
  6. Select the ‘Don’t search any mailboxes’ option and click ‘Next’. Else, if you want to search in the mailboxes and export only the search result, select that option.
  7. In the next step, you will get several filtering options. Apply the required filters to search for the required messages.
  8. To export the search results to a PST, click the ‘down arrow’ button. In the new dialog box specify the location to save the PST file and start the export.

Uploading PST files to Office 365 using native tools

  1. Login in to Office 365 using the administrator credentials.
  2. Go to the Import page and select ‘Go to the Import service’.
  3. ‘Import files to Office 365’ page will open up, click ‘New job Add Icon’, and then click ‘Upload files over the network’ to open that page. Here you will get the option to download ‘Azure AzCopy’ tool. A new window will open up, click Run to install the Azure AzCopy tool in the default location.
  4. Once the tool has been installed, the next step is to copy and save Shared Access Signature (SAS) and the network upload URL to a file. For that you will have to go to the ‘Upload files over the network’ page and use ‘Copy network upload SAS key’ under ‘Copy secure network upload SAS key’ and ‘Show URL for PST files’ under ‘Copy the secure network upload URL’ to copy and save key and URL to a file.
  5. Next, use AzCopy.exe tool to upload PST files to Office 365. For that, open the Command Prompt on your local computer. Go to the directory where you installed the AzCopy.exe tool in Step 3.
  6. Run the following command to upload the PST files to Office 365:
    AzCopy.exe /Source:<Location of PST files> /Dest:<Network upload URL + PST file path> /DestSAS:<SAS key> /V:<Log file location>