How to Import PST Files to Shared Mailboxes in Office 365 – Effortlessly Using The Guide

  author
Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On December 29th, 2023
Reading Time 12 Minutes Reading

Synopsis of the article -: Are you raring for a way to import PST files to Shared mailbox in Office 365? We have illustrated 4 distinctive approaches to executing this task safely in this article. We have answered the user query and provided the most productive solution. Let’s jump into it!

User Query -: I am concerned about the safety of my PST files stored locally on my system. And, I want to import all the PST files to Office 365 mailbox so that my important emails and documents will not be exposed to any external security threats. For that, I am looking for a reliable solution but did not find an easy way out. Can anyone suggest an appropriate method?

5 Quick Steps to Import PST to Shared Mailbox Office 365

  • Step 1. Download, Install & Launch the Tool.
  • Step 2. Opt Outlook & Office 365 as Platforms.
  • Step 3. Enable Desired Workload & Set Date Filter.
  • Step 4. Validate Source & Destination Platforms.
  • Step 5. Choose Users & Click on Start Import.

PST is an important file format and it is the default file format of MS Outlook. The main concern is that its data i.e. emails, events, etc are stored on your local hard drive where there is a continuous fear of malware attacks.

Further, after reading the above query, it is certain that just like the user others might be worried about their sensitive files may fall in the wrong hands. However, as a matter of fact, not just individuals, many organizations are thinking of importing their data to shared mailboxes to secure their crucial files.

But, the question is, how can you easily bring your files to a shared mailbox in Office 365?

Let’s find out the answer!

Know the Different Ways to Import PST Files to Shared Mailbox in O365

There are 4 different methods including manual as well as automated approaches available to import PST files from your local system to Office 365.

  1. Import/Export Wizard
  2. Drive Shipping Method
  3. Network Upload Method
  4. Using Professional Software

Now, let’s briefly discuss the complexity level of each method.

Microsoft offers the first three native methods for its users where Import/Export method is a comparatively easy manual approach. Sadly, there are a lot of downsides present for all the manual methods. We’ll discuss the same in detail in the coming sections. Secondly, the network upload method is the most complex manual process to carry out and requires technical expertise in the PowerShell language.

Last but not least, the automated method uses professional software i.e. SysTools Import PST to Office 365 Tool. And it is recommended by many experts for its ease of use.

Download Tool Purchase

Now, let’s have a look at all the methods one at a time.

Technique #1 – Import PST Files to Shared Mailbox in Office 365 Using Import/Export Wizard

Before moving forward to the steps, first, you should make sure that you already configured your Outlook account. If you didn’t set up the same, then follow the below steps.

Step 1. Open MS Outlook on the desktop and click on File>> Add Account.

Step 2. Then, enter your Office 365 email address, and hit Continue

Step 3. Now, add the password and click on OK>> Finish.

Step 4. Office 365 is now set up in your Outlook. Now, you can import the PST file to Outlook 365 online.

Step 5. After that, execute the procedure.

Step 6. On the top left side of your screen, you will find the File tab, click on it, and select Open & Export>> Import/Export.

systools

Step 7. In the Import Export Wizard window, perform the below task.

Step 8. Import from another program or file>> click Next.

Step 9. Then, choose Outlook Data File (.pst)>>click Next.

step2

Step 10. Then, click on the Browse button to select the PST file you want to import. And, choose the desired radio button>>Next.

Step 11. If you want to import the complete file, select the root file and tick the Include subfolders checkbox. Now, select the radio button ‘Import items into the same folder’ and add your Office 365 account id.

Step 12. Finally, click Finish to import PST files to Shared mailbox Office 365.

As soon as you hit the ‘Finish’ button, the import process will start.

Also Read: How to Import PST File into Outlook Web App?

Limitations of Manual Method to Import PST to Shared Mailbox in O365

  • You can see that this method requires complex configuration and for that, you need to have desktop-based Outlook installed in your system.
  • It’s quite a lengthy process, to begin with.
  • If you have files in TB size then it is definitely not a suitable approach. As it can consume a lot of time than usual.

Technique #2 – Import PST Files to Shared Mailbox in Microsoft 365 Online Using Drive Shipping

The tech giant offers a native approach i.e. ‘Drive Shipping’ for its users to bring in the PST files to Office 365 shared mailbox.

You can basically bulk-import PST files by following the below steps:

  • Step 1. Copy the Outlook PST file onto a drive, encrypt with passwords for data security.
  • Step 2. Manually ship it to Microsoft data center.
  • Step 3. Then, Microsoft will validate the files.
  • Step 4. Once the verification is done, it will import PST files to Shared mailbox using the Network Upload method.

Drawbacks:

  • Microsoft made this method available to limited countries across the globe.
  • The cost associated is completely dependent on the size of the PST file. Since organizations deal with data in terms of TBs, this method will not be a cost-effective method.
  • If you are curious about the numbers, then let me tell you, the tech giant charges $2 USD/GB of data. 
  • Now, you can do the math that if you wish to ship 1TB of PST files then you will have to pay $2000 USD which is not pocket-friendly.
  • Also, you can ship a maximum of 10 drives at a time.
  • Suppose your PST file contains 300 or greater subfolders, then you can not import it using the Drive Shipping method
  • Not to mention, it’s a time taking process and inconvenient approach.

Technique #3 – Import PST Files to MS Shared Mailbox Using Network Upload Method

 It is a free method that users can utilize to import their PST files to Outlook 365 online. However, you should have deep technical knowledge of the PowerShell scripting language to carry out the process. Otherwise, it can turn into a disaster, and in the worst case, you will end up losing your important emails, contacts, etc.

Now, let’s have a concise discussion on the working steps.

5 Network Upload Steps to Import PST to Shared Mailbox

  • Step 1. Download the AzCopy tool.
  • Step 2. Import All PST files to Microsoft 365.
  • Step 3. Create a PST Import Mapping file.
  • Step 4. Then, Create a PST Import Job.
  • Step 5. Filter, & Start the PST Import Job.

Major Downsides:

  • You can not upload PST files having a size of more than 20 GB
  • This method is no longer valid if you are not technically sound.
  • Uses complex PowerShell scripting language and takes a huge amount of your time.
  • There is a risk of losing your valuable data or data corruption if you entered the wrong in-line command.
  • After reading till now, you must be curious to know about the automated approach since all the above manual methods have their own set of limitations.

Without further ado, let’s get familiar with the same.

Technique #4 – Use The Tried & Tested Software to Import PST Files to Shared Mailbox

You can say that with the help of the tool, you will overcome almost all the downsides of manual methods. The easy-to-do steps will seamlessly import your PST files to the desired Office 365 mailbox in no time.

Pre-Requisites of This Software to Import PST to Shared Mailbox in Office 365

Set Admin Impersonation rights in the Exchange Admin Center.
a. Add Mailbox Import Export role to the Discovery Management Role Group.
Admin Impersonation

Then assign UserMailbox permissions to the Admin account.

After ensuring all the pre-requisites, now follow the below steps to import PST files to Shared mailbox -:

Step 1. Choose Outlook as the source platform and Office 365 as the destination platform.

Step 2. On the same screen, select the categories you wish to import into Office 365 under Workload Selection. 

Step 3. Use the Date-Range Filter option to selectively import mailbox data based on dates. Then, click Next.

Step 4. You will now be directed to the Source screen. Here, select the folder path where the Outlook PST files are stored. 

Organize PST files in folders named after the target O365 email IDs as follows:

Create a folder in the root drive, such as E:/PST/[email protected]/ (place all user1’s PST files here)

And so on…

Then, select the folder “E:/PST/” in our tool as the Import Folder Path.

Step 5. Click Validate to ensure that the necessary permissions have been granted to the files. After validation, permissions will be granted to the source platform. Click Next.

Step 6. Enter the Office 365 admin email account and application ID for the destination. Click Validate to confirm the credentials. After validation, permissions will be granted to the admin account. Click Next.

Step 7. On the Users screen, you have multiple options to add users from the source account that needs processing:

  • Fetch Users -: Automatically fetches users from the Source.
  • Import Users -: Imports users through CSV.
  • Download Template -: Downloads a template for creating a CSV file.

Select the suitable method for adding users.

Step 8.  The list of source users is displayed on the screen. You can search for a specific mailbox and select that user for data import. Use the Show Selected toggle bar to display only the selected users, facilitating selective data import.

Step 9.  Now, users need to add destination user accounts. You have two options for this:

  • User List Template -: Provides a sample CSV file for manually adding source users.
  • Import Users -: Imports users through CSV.

Template Download

Step 10.  Click Validate to authorize the selected user source and destination accounts. Once users are validated, click the “OK” button.

Users Validated

Step 11. Users can prioritize the import task. Select accounts based on priority as shown in the image.

Priority Import
Step 12. Finally, click the Start Import button to initiate the import process.

Conclusion

In this digital world, malware attacks can happen at any time. Hence, to safe-keep your important emails and documents, it’s wise to import PST files to Shared mailbox in Office 365 since it offers better data security features. And, what could be a more suitable option than using trustworthy software to import your PST files?

Also Read -: How to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST? Explained in Detail

FAQs

Q1. What is a PST file and why would I need to import it to a shared mailbox in Office 365?

A PST file is a personal storage table that contains emails, contacts, calendars, and other data from Microsoft Outlook. You may need to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365 if you want to move data from an individual mailbox to a shared mailbox or if you want to consolidate data from multiple mailboxes into one shared mailbox.

Q2. How can I create a shared mailbox in Office 365?

In order to create a shared mailbox, you should be the Office 365 administrator. Or you must have administrator privilege. 

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1. Login to your Microsoft 365 account and navigate to the admin center.
  • Step 2. Navigate to Teams & Groups from the left-hand menu. Now, click on Shared mailboxes.
  • Step 3. Click on Add a Shared Mailbox and fill out the required information, including the display name and email address.
  • Step 4. Click Add to create the shared mailbox.

Q3. Is it possible to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365 using the web interface?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to import a PST file to a shared mailbox using the web interface. You’ll need to use PowerShell to complete the import.

Q4. What permissions do I need to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365?

To import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365, you need to have the Mailbox Import Export role assigned to your account. You can assign this role using the Exchange admin center or PowerShell.

Q5. Can I import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365 if the mailbox is already in use?

Yes, it’s possible to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365 even if the mailbox is already in use. However, the import may cause temporary disruptions to the mailbox, so it’s best to schedule the import during a time when users are less active.

Q6. How long does it take to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365?

The time it takes to import a PST file to a shared mailbox in Office 365 depends on the size of the file and the speed of your network connection. A large PST file can take several hours or even days to import.

Q7. What happens to the data in the PST file after it’s imported to a shared mailbox in Office 365?

After the PST file is imported to the shared mailbox in Office 365, the data is stored in the mailbox like any other email or item. You can access it from your primary mailbox.

Q8. How can I verify that the PST file was imported correctly to the shared mailbox in Office 365?

If you have imported using the manual approach then you can use PowerShell to check the import request status and review the mailbox contents to ensure that all data was imported. Moreover, if you are using the above-mentioned tool then the tool will generate a detailed, summary report that you can check in order to verify the imported data. 

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