What is Office 365 eDiscovery PST Export Tool: Simple & Clear Explanation

Written By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On March 27th, 2024
Reading Time 10 Minutes Reading
This page gives you information about the O365 eDiscovery export tool how can we download and use the tool to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST and how it fails with an error and not working properly in the simplest manner. So, let’s get started and understand the real meaning of the Microsoft Office 365 eDiscovery PST Export Tool.

What is eDiscovery in Office 365?

eDiscovery stands out as a prominent feature that is seamlessly integrated into the Microsoft Office 365 Security and Compliance Center. This is due to the comprehensive collection of security, management, and auditing features within Office 365’s Security and Compliance framework. It is specifically designed to safeguard and oversee the data stored within the M365 mailboxes and other locations.

Hence, we can say that eDiscovery is the procedure used for identifying and delivering electronic content searches from Exchange Online mailboxes, Office 365 Groups, etc for business conversations. This information is used as evidence for legal cases.

The ‘e’ in eDiscovery signifies that all the data is in a digitalized form such as email, an online document that makes indexing or searching of data facile. Furthermore, the functionality of eDiscovery does not come with every Microsoft Office 365 subscription plan. Users can take advantage of the eDiscovery and export tool in the O365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans.

Most of the users who are aware of the eDiscovery procedure use this service as an alternative way to backup Office 365 mailbox data in the local machine. For this, we need to take the help of the eDiscovery PST Export tool. Generally, it is a tool whose work is to export the searched content on the local system in the form of PST file format. Let’s move to the second phase where we are going to see how the entire eDiscovery process happens and where the eDiscovery PST Export tool is required.

How to Use Office 365 eDiscovery PST Export Tool? Complete Working

It is clear from the above what the O365 eDiscovery process is and why we use it. Now, the next phase is how to use this functionality on the mailbox. To do this, you need to go through a series of stages and every stage has its significance. So, you cannot skip any of it. Let’s begin and perform the content search.

Phase 1: Set eDiscovery Permission for Your Members

In the first phase, we are going to assign certain eDiscovery-related permission to the team members to add them as eDiscovery case members. But, before assigning a case member you have to be an eDiscovery role group member. Hence, the following list describes you as the eDiscovery role group.

Reviewer:- This is the most restrictive permission in eDiscovery. The purpose of this role group is to give access to members to view and access to case data in Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery.

eDiscovery Manager:- The main role of this group member is that they can create and manage eDiscovery cases. It means they can remove member(s), place content location on hold as well as they can create and edit Content Searches.

Now, Let’s Assign the eDiscovery Permissions

Step 1. First, open the link https://protection.office.com. Then you have to login into your Office 365 account and launch Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

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

Step 3. After that, select the Permissions option from the Security and Compliance section and drag it to the eDiscovery manager.

Step 4. After that, check the checkbox beside eDiscovery Manager, then click on the Edit icon to add members.

Step 5. Now, click on +Add, Under the Choose eDiscovery Administrator.

Step 6. After that, input the initial of the member name. Then select the member by checking the adjacent checkbox.

Step 7. At last, add the member by clicking on the Done button.

Step 8. After that, Navigate to the ‘Security and Compliance’ section then, click on More Resources. And, on the Microsoft Purview Compliance Portal click on Content Search then press New Search.

[Note: If the ‘Content Search’ option is not available for you, then you might not have the required eDiscovery permissions. So, set the necessary eDiscovery permissions beforehand and ensure the same. Further, it usually takes 24 hours to reflect the changes made to the eDiscovery permissions.]

Step 9. After you click on New Search, you will see a new screen. There, you will find options to customize all elements of content search. Such as you can provide the Name & description of the search and Location of the mailbox that you want to export.

[Note: If you wish to enable the SharePoint and Exchange Public options under the Location section. Then, you can easily do that but it’s going to take a little longer to complete the search process.]

Step 10. Next, under the Conditions section, you can apply different filters and specify query language/ region, keywords/phrases, and conditions to make the search more specific.

[Note: The Conditions section is optional. But, in case you want to export the entire mailbox then don’t apply any filters.]

Step 11. After applying all the necessary filters and making the required changes in the settings, click Submit and then Done.

Step 12. When you click on Done, the search process will run in the background. And, if you want to check the status of the search then you can do that from the Search tab.

Step 13. Next, check whether the search process is complete or not. Once you see the search result on the Search tab, click on ‘Actions’ and then press on Export Results.

Step 14. Now, you will see various options to export the encrypted files. So, under the Output Options, choose the radio button as per your requirement and click on Export.

[Note: If you don’t want any confusion while carrying out the process then don’t change the default options. Further, if you are willing to export the search results as a single PST file then skip clicking on the Enable Depuplication option.]

Step 15. As soon as you hit the Export button, the process will start immediately. You can check the progress of the export process from the Export tab.

Step 16. Once you see the Export process finishes, you can click on the Download Results option. Next, make sure to click on the Copy to clipboard button under the Export Key section cause it will be further needed in the coming section.

Step 17. Next, when you click on the ‘Download Results option, the eDiscovery Export Tool will start automatically and a window will pop up. Here, you need to provide the Export key that you copied and then click on Browse to define the destination path for saving the export result. Finally, click on the Start button to export your Office 365 mailbox items.

Obstacles while using Office 365 Export Tool – eDiscovery PST Export Tool Errors

As we know, everything has its pros and cons. Likewise, the eDiscovery PST Export Tool has disadvantages too, and all of them are mentioned below:

Error 1: eDiscovery PST Export Tool Application Cannot Be Started

This is the most common error users face while downloading the tool. This technical issue occurs when the user does not fulfill the basic prerequisites required to install the eDiscovery export tool. Get the in-detailed information from this blog – What to Do When Office 365 Export Application Cannot be Started?

  • Windows 7 and above versions.
  • Presence of Microsoft .Net framework.
  • This service works only on the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Error 2: Office 365 eDiscovery Search Failed Error

This error arises during the export process and the reasons are listed below.

  • It might be possible there are some corrupted messages present in search content.

  • It is possible that the huge amount of data creating this issue.

Error 3: Export Completed With Some Error Status

It is a common error, which occurs due to internet connection fluctuation during the use of the tool.

Error 4: eDiscovery PST Export Tool Hangs

This tool has its limitations if the user is exporting a large content search. Then the application will be crashed or hanged. To know more about this error, refer to this blog – A Guide On Microsoft Office 365 eDiscovery Export Tool Crashes

Error 5: eDiscovery PST Export Tool Stuck Calculating Office 365

Sometimes while calculating various attributes like Speed, Status, Process Time Remaining, and so on. This application gets stuck in a non-ending state. As a result, no export process can be performed.

Alternate of O365 eDiscovery PST Export Tool

In the present era, every business is going online or digital and wants to use their data from anywhere and anytime. So, Office 365 becomes the most useful business online suite that Microsoft develops. But we know, the cloud is not 100 percent safe for your business data. There is always a chance of data breaching or unintentional deletion. So, to protect your data from any kind of data loss scenario. Every organization or user must create a backup of their data.

Moreover, it is evident from above that by using eDiscovery you can save your data to your local machine. But this process contains lots of phases and disadvantages too. So, to create a backup of your data simply, try some professional suggested software i.e., SysTools Office 365 Export Tool. It is the most trusted software by experts to export Office 365 emails, contacts, and calendars on the local system. Apart from this, it has lots of features that make the entire process smooth and facile. The tool is available for Windows as well as Mac Operating systems.

Download Now Purchase Now

Step 1. Download and launch the software on your computer. Choose Office 365 as the source and Outlook as the destination.

Step 2. Enable required mailbox items, these include Email, Contact, Calendar, etc. Use the date filter option to export data selectively.

Step 3. Use the Office 365 admin email ID and application ID to log in to the software and click on the validate button.

Step 4. Choose the destination path and set the location to save the resultant file on your local drive. Select the file size from the drop-down and click on the validate button. 

Step 5. Now add users associated with the admin account, you can do this by using the three ways. These include Fetch Users, Import Users, and Download Template. Use the respective approach add the users and create mapping. 

Step 6. Select the desired users from the list and click on the validate button. 

Bringing It All Together

eDiscovery process and eDiscovery PST Export tool are great functionalities added to the Microsoft Office 365 package. However, users use eDiscovery PST Export Tool to create a backup of Office 365 data. But, this service is not meant for this work. Therefore, we also discussed a perfect solution to save a backup of Office 365 accounts on the local system. It is certain that after reading this article, you do not have any doubt about eDiscovery.


By Mohit Jha

Mohit is a writer, researcher, and editor. Cyber ​​security and digital forensics are the two subjects that keep Mohit out of his seat. In addition, he hopes that the well-researched and thought-out articles he finds will help people learn.