Monday, October 02, 2023
Home » Cloud » Using PowerShell & eDiscovery Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST

Using PowerShell & eDiscovery Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST

Written By Mohit Jha
Mack John
Approved By Mack John  
Published On March 18th, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading

This write-up talks about the most convenient way a user can use to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST. Moreover, it also talks about manual methods such as PowerShell & eDiscovery. Hence, if you have queries similar to this, go through the complete guide.

“Hello Experts, I am using Office 365 for the last few years. Now, I have so many emails, contacts, and calendar items in my O365 account. However, due to some personal and professional issues, I do not want to use Office 365 anymore. Now, I want to use some other desktop-based email applications such as MS Outlook, Thunderbird, or Apple Mac Mail. Can anyone please suggest a perfect way to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST file format?”

Just like this scenario, there may multiple reasons why users may need to archive Office 365 mailbox online, besides the obvious reason of backup and recovery. Ensuring mailboxes availability offline, forensic analysis, compliance/ regulatory, archive, reuse, and de-provisioning are some main factors that occur in the need for such migration. In order to execute this task seamlessly, we are here with some manual as well as automated Office 365 email backup solutions. This post comprises all possible and amazing solutions for the same. So, let us get started!

5 Quick Steps to Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST using Software 

  • Step 1. Run Tool & Login with Admin/User Credentials.
  • Step 2. Select Email Format & Mailbox Category.
  • Step 3. Apply Date Filter for Selective Data Archive.
  • Step 4. Select Desired User Accounts from List.
  • Step 5. Click on Start Button to Initiate Process.

Solution 1:  Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery

eDiscovery in Office 365 allows users to search & export Exchange Online mailbox data in PST file format. Follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Log in to your Office 365 admin portal and open the Office 365 Admin center.
  • In Office 365 Admin center, go to your Exchange Admin center.

Important: To use eDiscovery management in O365, a user must be assigned a ‘Discovery Management role in the Exchange admin center.

Step 1. Create & Customize Search

  • Go to the More Resources section and click on it. Move to Microsoft Purview Compliance Portal and click on it to open. Then, go to the Content Search section and hit the New Search button.
  • It will open a new window, and it will allow you to apply all the search customization options. Set the required name for the eDiscovery search. Choose the desired location, from which it will archive data. Similarly, provide all the preferred and important details. 
  • Once you have applied all the desired settings and filters, then hit the Submit  & Done button in order to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST.

Step 2. Download Search Results 

  • Hit the  Action button, when the eDiscovery export process gets completed. Then go to Export Results and press it.
  • After applying all the desired settings, click on the Export option. The process of eDiscovery will start immediately. 

Step 3. Initiate the Export Process

  • Once, the export process gets completed, now you can Download the results. Just copy the Export Key. We will use this key in eDiscovery Export Tool.
  • Now a popup will open with the name eDiscovery PST Export Tool. Then paste the key in this tool and define the destination path and location to save the PST files.

Limitations of Manual Method

  • Users cannot schedule or automate the Office 365 PST export process.
  • It is a premium feature that needs the least Exchange Online Plan 2 / Exchange Online Archiving license.
  • Users cannot especially select the folders to export.

Solution 2: Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST using PowerShell

Users can archive backup Office 365 Mailbox to PST using PowerShell as an administrator. Here:

  • is the Office 365 mailbox that needs to be exported in PST format.
  • is a freshly created account in Outlook for the export procedure.
  • is the main account that has all administrative rights to Office 365.

To start the export PST from Office 365 Exchange Online process, execute the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Establish the Connection with Exchange Server via PowerShell

    • First, run the below command in PowerShell:

PowerShell Command

    • Now, in the Windows PowerShell Credential Request wizard, you are required to enter your Exchange Online admin account credentials. Hence, simply enter the credentials of in the display.

PowerShell Commands

    • Then, run the below command:
    • Now, execute the following command:

archive Office 365 mailbox

Step 2: Grant Complete Access Rights to Mailbox to Export Using PowerShell

Next, the account will give complete access to the mailbox. For this, run the command given below:

Add Mailbox Permission Command

Step 3: Open Outlook for Newly Created Account

At this point, you need to open the MS Outlook application with the new account i.e., Also, make sure that the mailbox is in the left pane of the Outlook mailbox.

Important: The permission can become applied within a few seconds or minutes.

Step 4: Check the Configuration Settings of MS Outlook

To verify the Outlook configuration settings and download emails, go with the guidelines given below:

  • Click on File >> Info >> Account Settings.
  • Now, click on the Account Settings option once again and select the desired account.
  • Hit the Change button and then make sure if the Use Cached Exchange Mode option is enabled or not.

Step 5: Move Emails to PST Using Import/ Export Wizard

  • For moving mailbox data from to PST file, go to File >> Open & Export >> Import/ Export.
  • Now, choose Export to a file from >> Next.
  • Select Outlook Data file (.pst) >> Next.
  • After this, choose the desired mailbox i.e., from the displayed emails folder list.
  • Hit the Next button and check to Include Subfolders.
  • Next, type a new name for the file and define the storage for the PST file.
  • Select the desired option from the Options section and click on Finish to finish the export procedure.
  • Next, enter the password for the PST file (if necessary). Or, leave it blank and click on Cancel >> OK.

Note: Keep this thing in mind that, Outlook will not work until the migration process gets completed.

Step 6: Verify Export PST Process Accomplished Successfully

  • Simply hit right-click on the desired mailbox and choose Data file properties.
  • Then, navigate to the General tab and highlight Folder Size.
  • Click the Server Data tab and note the Total Size.
  • Next, in the Properties, verify if the size of the output PST file matches the value given in MS Outlook or not.

Step 7: Delete All the Assigned Permissions

To remove all assigned permissions using PowerShell, run the commands given below:


Step 8: Quit PowerShell

To exit the PowerShell session, execute the command below:

Remove command

In this way, you can Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST using PowerShell.

Limitations of PowerShell

  • Export mailboxes only after holding the necessary rights
  • Requires granting full rights access to the mailbox
  • Complex and requires technical expertise to execute
  • Time-consuming process and can lead to data loss

Solution 3: Archive Office 365 Emails using Outlook

  • Users can add their Office 365 email account to the MS Outlook application. After that, one can utilize the Outlook application to move emails, contacts, and calendars into PST file format. Here is how to do this:
  • Add your Office 365 account to Outlook and after this, Outlook will automatically synchronize with Office 365. All the content of your Office 365 mailbox will be displayed in Outlook.
  • Choose Export Outlook items to a .pst file option from the export options to export your emails from the source account to PST file format.
  • Doing this will export all Office 365 account data into a PST file, which is a portable format so that one can import it to another email account.

Limitations of Using Outlook

  • Technical knowledge is required.
  • No assurance of data security.
  • Possibilities for manual errors.

All the above manual techniques can archive Office 365 mailbox to PST file format. However, each method includes some serious limitations. Hence, we recommend users use an expert approach i.e., Office 365 Export Tool. Using this software one can simply archive mailboxes from Office 365 to PST even without any kind of data loss.

Also Read: Office 365 Backup Best Practices; Ensure Safety of Your Crucial Cloud Data

Use the Reliable Software to Archive Office 365 Mailbox to PST

As discussed in the above section, the manual procedures are so complex to execute and not feasible if you are not technically sound. Additionally, they require a lot of time and effort to archive Office 365 emails to PST format. Whereas, there is this automated tool that is tried and tested by so many MVPs and experts. The amount of precision with which the software works and assures 100% data backup is exceptional.

Unlike the manual methods, it has three options to save data to the local system. Moreover, if users don’t want to archive Office 365 mailbox PST files, then they can select EML or MSG as the export option and they will get all their emails in the selected file format. Also, there are some additional features as well which make the complete task simple and efficient.

You can check how to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST using this software:

Observational Verdict

As extracting data from the cloud is not so easy hence, how to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST is one of the most common queries asked by several users. This guide incorporates all manual workarounds for the same. Moreover, if users found manual techniques complex and time-consuming then, they also can go for the professional tool as discussed above.