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Summary: Migrating PST files to Office 365 presents challenges, with the Drive Shipping method taking up to 1-2 weeks. Kernel Import PST to Office 365 offers a swift and user-friendly alternative for immediate bulk imports.

Migrating PST files to Office 365 mailboxes can be a complex endeavor, often presenting significant challenges. Fortunately, the Office 365 import service has streamlined this process, making it more accessible and efficient for users to transfer their PST files to Office 365 mailboxes. This essential service is conveniently accessible within the Security and Compliance Center of Office 365, enabling users to perform bulk imports of PST files to Office 365/Exchange Online mailboxes swiftly and effectively. The import service provides two distinct methods to facilitate this migration:

Drive Shipping Method Complete Overview

In this section, we will delve into the Drive Shipping Method, offering a comprehensive exploration of its functionality and procedures. Let’s examine the intricacies of how this method operates.

Download the Secure Storage Key and PST Import Tool

To download the secure storage key and PST import tool, follow the below steps:

  • Go to Office 365 Security and Compliance Center via
  • Now, go to Data Governance, select Import and then click New Import job on the Import page.
  • From “Choose import job type,” click “Ship hard drives to one of our physical locations” and click “Next.”
    Choose import job type
  • Do the following two steps on the Import data page:
    Import data page

After completing both the steps close the “Import” page wizard and install WAIImportExport.exe tool on your system.

Copy PST Files to Hard Drive

The WAIImportExport.exe tool performs several crucial tasks, including encrypting the hard drive using BitLocker, copying the PST files to the hard drive, and generating a journal file to store essential information pertaining to the copying process.

  • In Command Prompt, go to the directory where WAIImportExport.exe tools installed.
  • Now, run the following command to copy PST files to the hard drive:
    WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:<Name of journal file> /t:<Drive letter> /id:<Name of session> /srcdir:<Location of PST files> /dstdir:<PST file path> /sk:<Storage account key> /encrypt /logdir:<Log file location>

Once the command is executed, the tool will initiate the process of copying PST files to the hard drive. The duration of this operation will vary depending on the size and quantity of PST files involved.

Create the PST Import Mapping File

For accurate mapping, it is essential to create a CSV file, which must be submitted when creating a PST import job.

Create PST Import Job in Office 365

Now, you’ll need to create another PST import job within the Office 365 import service. In this step, you will submit the CSV mapping file. The import service will utilize the data within the mapping file to facilitate the import of PST files into the designated user mailboxes. Please proceed with Step 1 to create a PST import job in Office 365.

  • After creating a job, select the following options from the “Import Data” page, and then click “Next.”
    Import Data
  • In the next step, click “Select drive file” and go to the folder where WAIImportExport.exe is located. The journal file created earlier will be copied to this folder.
    Select drive file
  • Select the journal file and when it appears under “Drive file name,” click “Validate” to check your drive file for errors.
    check your drive file for errors
  • After adding and validating journal files that you want to ship to Microsoft, click “Next.”
  • Now, click “Select mapping file” to submit the PST import mapping file that you created earlier and validate it. After validating the CSV file, click “Save” to save the import job.
  • Click “Refresh” on the import page to display the new drive shipping import job in the list of import jobs.
Ship Hard Drive to Microsoft

In the Drive Shipping method’s subsequent phase, you will be required to send the encrypted hard drive to Microsoft, accompanied by the shipment tracking number and return shipment information. Following Microsoft’s receipt of the hard drive, it typically takes 7-10 business days for them to upload your PST files to the Azure storage area. During this period, please proceed to complete the following steps:

  • Go to the Security & Compliance center in Office 365 and select “Data Governance,” and then click “Import.”
  • Enter the tracking number, delivery carrier, return carrier account number and click “Save.”
  • Click “Refresh” to update this information on the Import job page.
Filter the Data and Start the Import Job

Upon Microsoft’s receipt of your hard drive, the status will be updated to ‘Drives received.’ Subsequently, data center personnel will utilize the information contained in the journal file to initiate the upload of PST files to Azure storage. Once the upload is complete, the status will transition to ‘Analysis in progress,’ signifying that Office 365 is in the process of analyzing the data to determine the age of items and message types within the PST files.

  • In the Import page, you can use filters to import specific data or the whole data of the PST files.
  • Click “Ready to import to Office 365,” a wizard will appear on the screen.
    Ready to import to Office 365
  • When the “Filter your data” page appears, you can decide if you want to filter your data before importing. If you don’t want to filter, click “No, I want to import everything,” and click “Next.”
  • And finally, to import the data, click “Import data” to start the import job.

Refresh the ‘Import Page’ to stay updated on the status of your import job. Once the import job has concluded, the status will shift to ‘Completed.’ While this technique offers a viable way to import PST file data into Office 365, it’s worth noting that the drive shipping method is a complex and time-intensive process, typically taking more than 1-2 weeks to complete the import of your PST files into Office 365.

Alternative of Drive Shipping Method

Indeed, not every organization can afford to wait 1-2 weeks for the complex drive shipping method to import their PST data into Office 365. Managing this process can be quite cumbersome. For those organizations seeking an immediate and user-friendly solution, Kernel Import PST to Office 365 stands out as a valuable resource. This tool is renowned for its ability to efficiently import PST files into Office 365 in bulk, providing a swift alternative. Moreover, its straightforward working process ensures that even individuals with basic knowledge can import PST files to Microsoft 365 without Outlook, making it an exceptionally handy tool.

Kernel Import PST to Office 365