How to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using 4 Different Ways

Chirag Arora ~ Modified: May 9th, 2023 ~ Office 365 ~ 17 Minutes Reading

Exporting Office 365 mailbox to a PST (Personal Storage Table) file is always a useful way for a variety of reasons, such as creating local backups, archiving cloud data, or migrating data to a different email platform. Additionally, PST files are commonly used for archiving and transferring email data between different email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook.

However, it can also be quite a technical process, although it’s important to follow the correct steps to ensure that all data is exported correctly. There are a few ways to carry out this task. One popular method is eDiscovery, which can be used to export Office 365 mailbox to PST files. However, users have reported encountering errors while using this tool. In this article, we are going to provide a step-by-step solution for resolving these errors.

Another method commonly searched query is to export an Office 365 mailbox through PowerShell commands. However, there is a misconception that by using PowerShell commands one can download Office 365 mailbox, contacts, and calendar to PST. In reality, there is no such method available. Hence, we have covered all the queries here.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to export Office 365 mailbox to a PST file using both manual methods and a professional tool. Additionally, we will also discuss some best practices for exporting and importing data, including how to ensure that your data remains secure throughout the process.

Table of Content:

The following write-up will discuss the process to export Office 365 mailbox to PST including Emails, Contacts, Calendars, etc. locally. Let us explore the table of content:

Why do We Need to Export Exchange Online Mailbox to PST in Office 365?

Generally speaking, I am a huge fan to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST file format when needed to create PST from the Office 365 mailbox. See below how exporting Office 365 Online / On-premises  will help you in different scenarios

  • A critical situation where you need to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST data for Legal / Audit purposes
  • An Office 365 admin account got hacked by an anonymous person or group
  • Not Depending only on Microsoft to control your data
  • Want to keep Mails & Documents for a longer period of time
  • Data Loss due to accidentally deleting O365 account items
  • Permanently delete an O365 User or Ex-Employee account
  • The requirement to backup of Office 365 shared mailbox to PST
  • Cloud Ransomware attacks result in the encryption of business account data

Exporting data from Office 365 to PST is a great solution, that will help a particular user or admin of an organization to avoid or overcome the above situations.

Four Different Ways to Export PST from Office 365 Mailbox to Hands On 

Now, there are two top methods used to export Outlook 365 mailboxes to PST format. The steps are quite complex and require adequate technical knowledge to perform the same.

How to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using eDiscovery Method?

Microsoft has not designed any specific tool especially to download Office 365 mailboxes and other items to PST format (like New-MailboxExportRequest) command

So, eDiscovery Content Search is only the manual approach available for the user to export Office 365 Exchange Online mailbox to PST. This will enable users to download and protect their Outlook 365 Online data.

Requirements to Use eDiscovery Content Search to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST

  • Discovery Management Group
  • To Export search results to PST needed Windows 7 OS or later.
  • Needed Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 or later must be installed
  • The latest version of Internet Explorer or others must be installed
  • Permission must be assigned for Office 365 OWA export to PST

Below elaborated step-by-step solution for Admin to export O365 mailboxes to PST using the eDiscovery PST Export Tool.

Important: eDiscovery can also be used to export on-premises Exchange 2016 / 2013 mailboxes.

Method 1: Export PST from Office 365 Mailbox Using eDiscovery 

Step 1. Firstly, you need to login into your Office 365 account and launch Microsoft 365 Admin center

Login to Admin Centre

Step 2. From the Admin centers, click on the Security and Compliance option

export o365 mailbox to pst

Step 3. Under the Security and Compliance section, select the Permissions option and Drag it to eDiscovery Manager.

Take permissions

Note: Now, to access various eDiscovery features, it is important to be a member of the eDiscovery Manager role group.

Step 4. After that, Checkbox beside eDiscovery Manager, Next Edit icon to add the important roles which are required for the Discovery Management group

Step 5. Generally, the role group is assigned to the following roles i.e., Case Management, Compliance Search, Export, Hold, Preview, Review, and RMS Decrypt

Step 6. Suppose if, the Export role is missing, click Edit role group and add the same.


edit role group


Step 7. Now click on the “More Resources” option and open the “Microsoft Purview Compliance Portal”. Navigate to “Content Search”, and click the “New Search” option.

Note: If the “Content search” option is not available for you then, make sure, you have set the required eDiscovery permissions. Furthermore, changes in eDiscovery permissions can take up to 24 hours to reflect.


Step 8. When you click on  “New Search”  then a wizard will appear, that will let you customize all elements of content search options. You can specify the name and description of the search. The second option i.e. “Location” allows you to specify which mailbox data you want to export.

Note: If you will select all locations including “SharePoint Online” and “Public Folders Database”, then it might cause the tool to take a long while to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST and to complete the entire search.


Step 9. Now in the next part of the Search customization, you get the “Conditions” tab, which allows you to apply a number of different filters like; query language/region, keywords/phrases, and conditions, including those related to time, message fields & properties, etc.

Note: If you want to export entire mailbox data, then do not apply any conditions or keywords.


Step 10. Once, all the required settings and filters are applied then you can click on the Submit button and click on Done to close this window and start your search instantly.

Step 11. Now the Search will be running in the background – in the meantime, you also can check the status of your Search by clicking on the Search tab.


Step 12. On the next screen, you can easily see whether the search is complete or not. If yes then click the “Actions” button and choose the “Export Results” option.


Step 13. In this window, if you want to export encrypted files then you can include the encrypted files option. You can also customize the export results. It is suggested to export the results with default settings to avoid any confusion. Once, all the required settings are applied then click on the “Export” button. 

Note: If you want to Export the search results in a single PST file then do not the “Enable Deduplication” Option.


Step 14. The export process will start immediately. Navigate to the Export tab and select your Search again to see the progress, whether it is completed or in process.


Step 15. Once, the export process gets finished then you can click on the “Download Results” option. Make sure to copy the unique “Export key” as it is required in the “ClickOnce” extension that would start in the coming step.


Step 16. Now, once you have clicked the “Download Results” option, eDiscovery PST Export Tool will start automatically. You need to provide the Export key and define the destination path and location in order to save the Exported PST data to your local computer. Once, you provided all the details then click on “Start” to Export Office 365 mailbox to PST files. When it gets completed, then close this extension.



Errors You Might Face While Exporting Office 365 to PST via eDiscovery

Below errors can come if eDiscovery is not configured properly:

export office 365 archive to pst

  • Can not Start an Application Error in the end. (eDiscovery Export Tool download fails)

Cannot start Application

  • You can’t start the eDiscovery PST Export Tool from the admin center in Office 365 Online

export o365 mailbox to pst

Method 2: Detailed Explanation to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using SysTools Software in a Few Clicks

Users often raise concerns about the above-mentioned manual methods. Considering the growing needs of the user, SysTools Office 365 Export is a complete remedy to perform the export from Office 365 mailboxes to PST / EML/ MSG format quickly without facing any technical or non-technical problems. To export on-premises, data use  Export Exchange Mailbox to PST tool by SysTools.

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Moreover, Office 365 user can export their own mailbox and archive mailbox without an Admin account. Whereas Admin Impersonation allows downloading of Office 365 normal user mailbox, archive mailbox, and shared mailbox to PST and other file formats. It is designed keeping in mind the various restrictions that are imposed in the manual methods.

This tool does not compromise the integrity of the data as it ensures maintaining data integrity. Moreover, a user can run this software on any version of the Windows operating system, including the latest Windows 10.

5 Quick Steps to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST File

  • Step 1. Install Software & Enter Credentials.
  • Step 2. Select Required Folders to Export.
  • Step 3. Choose Export Type & Apply Filter.
  • Step 4. Hit Start to Export O365 Mailbox to PST.
  • Step 5. Click on the Save Report Button.

Working Steps of Software to Export Office 365 Online Mailbox to PST

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Step 1. Firstly, install the software on the system and provide the credentials for the Office 365 user account and click on the Sign In button

export o365 shared mailbox to pst

Step 2. The tool shows the folder hierarchy for the respective User ID wherein a user can easily select the folders to export Outlook 365 mailboxes to PST. Now, the eDiscovery PST Export method fails to display this folder structure.

export o365 mailbox to pst

Step 3. The tool provides impressive features where it renders three different formats i.e., PST, MSG, and EML to export mailboxes from Office 365 admin center.

Step 4. A user can either choose selective data items from the Select Categories field. Or to export all data items, select the Archive Mailbox option to export PST from Office 365 web deleted emails (In-place archived Mailbox).

export office 365 archive mailbox to pst

Step 5. Date-filter option allows setting a date range where the data will be exported as specified in the filter


Step 6. One can split the resultant PST file Using the Split Options for Outlook data file option. Ensure to specify the file size after which the PST file will split.

Note: For the complete step-wise guide to export Outlook 365 Online mailbox to PST format using user and Office 365 admin account, please visit the following url –

Features Offered By Automated Tool 

  • Export emails in PST, EML, and MSG file formats.
  • Option to Split PST into smaller parts to generate variable size .pst files. 
  • Export archive mailbox to PST from Office 365 user account.
  • Export Office 365 shared mailbox to PST using Admin impersonation.
  • Download Office 365 emails according to a certain date range.
  • Offers Naming Convention option to archive emails in EML, and MSG formats. 

Method 3: Exchange Online Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using PowerShell

First thing there is no such option available to directly export PST from Office 365 online mailbox via PowerShell. There is no such PowerShell cmdlet command available in Office 365 (like the New-MailboxExportRequest command ).

If the user wants to export Office 365 online mailbox to PST for free then using eDiscovery PST Export Tool is the only solution. Other methods are also there, which are the technically sound solutions to export Outlook 365 mailboxes. Those are:

  • Using the Powershell command user can synchronize Office 365 Outlook Online account with a desktop-based MS Outlook. And then using Import / Export feature one can export Office 365 emails to PST using Outlook.
  • Script delegation full access, Outlook Online bind to the delegated mailbox, and export to PST. Technically very likely possible but I think, no one ever tried to do it. Well, after trying scripts, I found that it is quite complex to Export PST.

So to make the task easy It’s recommended to use the automated solution over other methods.

Method 4: Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using Outlook

Using Outlook you can export data into PST, however, before you begin you have to ensure a few things. As there are a few prerequisites for this method.

  1. In the very first step, you have to configure your Office 365 account with POP configuration in Outlook.
  2. By default, Outlook is set to download email for the past 1 year. If you need to export all your Office 365 emails collectively, then you can change this setting. Open Outlook, click on Account Settings> Account Name and Sync Settings and move the slider to All.


Step By Step Guide to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Using Outlook

Step 1. Open Outlook on your computer. In the top left, click on the File.


Step 2. From the drop-down, select Open & Export > Import/Export option.

Step 3. Click on Export to a file > Next.

Step 4. Choose Outlook Data File (.pst)> Next.

Step 5. Select the name of the email account to export, as shown in the picture below. Only a single account can be exported at a time. Make sure that the Include subfolders check box is selected. This ensures that everything in the account will be exported: Inbox, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks. Choose Next.


Step 6. Click on the Browse button to specify the destination location to save the Outlook Data File (.pst). Enter the desired file name, and click on the OK button to continue.

Step 7. Click on the Finish button to export Office 365 mailbox to PST using Outlook.

Prima facie of this method seems simple, but there are various shortcomings of this method.  Some of them are as follows:

  • You must have the technical knowledge to configure your Office 365 email account in Outlook with POP configuration.
  • Additionally, you can only export a single account at a time, for multiple-user data export, this method is not practical.
  • It does not export meta-data of mailbox items such as folder properties (views, permissions, and AutoArchive settings), message rules, and blocked senders lists.
  • For instance, If you’re using Cached Exchange Mode, then this method will only export the items in your current cache.

Let’s Sum Up

Users are constantly searching for how to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST file format. The manual methods discussed in this blog are quite complex and require technical expertise. Moreover, a novice user fails to implement these approaches. Therefore, for an effortless process to export Office 365 online to PST, use the automated tool as discussed above. It is a proficient tool that does not require much technical knowledge. Moreover, one can smoothly download PST from multiple Office 365 user accounts without posing any technical discrepancies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. Is it possible to export Office 365 archive mailbox to PST?

A: Yes, using the above software you can easily export Exchange online archive to PST, MSG, and EML file format while maintaining the folder hierarchy.

Q 2. Can I export multiple Office 365 user’s account mailboxes to PST format?

A: Yes, this software allows you to export multiple O365 user’s mailboxes to PST.

Q 3. Do I need Admin credentials to export my Office 365 account data?

A: No, Admin credentials are necessary to export multiple users’ accounts. You can easily export single account data by un-checking Is Admin while login into your account using this tool.

Q 4. What type of files I can Backup from Office 365 Account?

A: You can backup Office 365 mailboxes, Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks to Outlook PST, EML, and MSG formats using Office 365 Export Wizard.

Q 5. Can I use this tool to export Office 365 shared mailbox to PST?

A: Yes, while using admin impersonation (Is Admin), the tool allows you to select a shared mailbox. You can select the desired shared mailbox to export it into PST format.

Q 6.  How do I export an entire mailbox in Office 365 using Outlook?

Follow the below steps to export PST files using Outlook:

  • Step 1. Configure your Office 365 account in Outlook & click on the File.
  • Step 2. Click on Open & Export and then Import/Export.
  • Step 3. Click on Export to a file and choose Outlook Data File (.pst) then Next.
  • Step 4. Select the required Folders & Subfolders & Click on Next. 
  • Step 5. Provide the destination path and location to save the PST file and click on Finish.

Q 7. How do I grant a role for eDiscovery?

In order to add the user or assign a role for the eDisocvery process, you must have an Admin or Global Admin account. 

Follow the below steps to assign permission to a user in the Discovery Management role group:

  • Step 1. Go to EAC, & navigate to Permissions > Admin roles.
  • Step 2. Click on Discovery Management and then Hit the Edit button.
  • Step 3. Click on Add button, under the Members option in the In Role Group.
  • Step 4. From the Select Members option, add the required users & hit the Add button then click on the OK button.
  • Step 5. Now, click on the Save button under the Role Group.

Q 8. What license is required for eDiscovery and Advanced eDiscovery?

It completely depends upon the individual requirements, for instance, if they need eDisocvery for content search, then it is included in all the SKUs. 

However, if you need an Advanced eDiscovery feature then you must have an Office 365 E3 subscription. For Advanced Compliance, you require an E5 subscription plan. Moreover, if you only require the content search then you need Microsoft 365 E1 and above licenses.

Q 9. How do I recover deleted files from eDiscovery?

  • Step 1. Add yourself to the eDiscovery Role Group in Permissions.
  • Step 2. Search & Specify the user’s mailbox for deleted items.
  • Step 3. Now copy the eDiscovery results in a mailbox.
  • Step 4. Export the eDiscovery search result to the PST file.

Q 10. How do I check my eDiscovery results in Office 365?

You can easily track the eDisocvery process & check the results by following below steps:

  • Step 1. Open EAC >> More Resources >> Microsoft Purview Compliance portal.
  • Step 2.  Navigate to Content Search & then click on Search to display the flyout page.
  • Step 3. Scroll to the bottom and click on a Review sample. 
  • Step 4. Here you can find a sample of the search results.