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Office 365 is responsible for creating safe credentials and other parameters to protect mailbox data. Office 365 gives you enhanced security capabilities to leverage to detect threats and improve response time. Such a cloud environment has a shared responsibility model in which they provide all the setup, infrastructure, availability, durability, etc. But the accessibility remains on the user side.

The admin is also accountable for taking a regular backup of the mailboxes, as Microsoft does not accept any automatic backups. It also reduces the mailbox size and makes them responsive and agile.

Methods to export Office 365 Mailboxes to PST

In the present article, we will check some methods to export the Office 365 mailboxes to PST using Microsoft 365 Admin Center and MS Outlook.

Method 1- Export Office 365 mailbox to PST using Office 365 Admin Center

In Office 365 Admin Center, you can create an eDiscovery search and exports its results into PST format. It is a detailed process that requires the help of several wizards before making a PST file.

  • Add the Export Role in eDiscovery Manager

    eDiscovery manager is the facility that checks the content in the mailbox and brings you the results for exporting. By default, the Export role is not included in the available roles for eDiscovery Manager. So, you must add the role in firsthand.

    1. As a Global Administrator, login to Office 365 Admin Center and go to Admin wizard.go to Admin wizard
    2. In the list of available admin centers, click Compliance
    3. In the Permissions category, check the Roles.check the Roles
    4. Select eDiscovery manager and double-click on it. You can see that there is no Export Role in the Assigned Roles. Click the Edit option.Select eDiscovery manager
    5. To Choose Roles, click Edit option.Choose Roles
    6. Click the Add button.Click the Add button
    7. Type Export and use the checkbox to select the role. Then, click Add Add button
    8. Now Export role is listed in the Assigned Roles. Click Close.Now Export role is listed in the Assigned Roles
  • Create the eDiscovery search.

    The Content Search creates a search job for the selected mailboxes based on several parameters and keywords.

    1. Click New Search feature.Click New Search feature
    2. Provide a unique name and an optional description for the search job. Click Next.Click Next
    3. In the Specific locations, enable the Exchange Mailboxes option. Then, choose users, groups, and teams.Enable the Exchange Mailboxes option
    4. Select the mailboxes for looking the items into it. Click Done.Select the mailboxes for looking the items
    5. Define the search conditions based on keywords. Use the feature smartly. Click Next.Define the search conditions
    6. A brief summary shows all the selected locations, user mailboxes, and other features. Click Submit.brief summary about location, user mailboxes and other features
    7. A new search is created.A new search is created
  • Export the search results into PST format

    The content search job starts looking into mailboxes based on the given keywords and other parameters. After its completion, the status of search job will be ‘completed.’Export the search results

    1. If you double-click on the search results, then its summary will come up and If you click on Action, then many options will appear. Choose Export Results.Choose Export Results
    2. There are several options to choose include and exclude items and you can also pick multiple options to create one or multiple PST files. Click Export button.Click Export button
    3. Copy the Export key as it will be useful at a later step. Click on Download Results to download the eDiscovery tool.

      NOTE – You must use Microsoft Edge browser to download the eDiscovery tool.

    4. Authorize the download of the tool by clicking on the open option.
    5. After downloading the tool, start it and paste the export key. Then, use the Browse option to select the folder location. You can also customize the PST file name. Click Start.
    6. The download will start, and you must let it finish before checking the PST file.

Limitations of the Manual export using Microsoft 365 Admin Center

  • Only an experienced Office 365 administrator can complete the process.
  • It takes a significant time in completing the export job for a large mailbox.
  • There is no direct filter option to apply on the mailboxes.
  • The method will migrate only the primary mailbox.
Method 2- Export Office 365 mailboxes to PST using Outlook

For a single Office 365 account connected in Outlook, you can export it directly to a new PST file. It won’t require any additional permission or Administration involvement. To Export Office 365 mailboxes to PST individually, it is a suitable option.

  • In Outlook, First click on File option and choose Import/Export section in Open & Export category.Choose Import/Export section
  • Select the second option to ‘Export to a file.’ Then, click Next.Export to a file option
  • Choose Outlook Data File (.pst) as the format of desired export job.Choose Outlook Data File

Limitations of manual export using Outlook

  • The method can export only a single mailbox at a time.
  • Some deeper items like message rules, custom views, custom forms, signatures, and folder properties do not move into PST files.


A great learning curve is required in the manual methods to export PST files successfully. Additionally, you can export only a limited number of mailboxes into PST files successfully. A professional application lowers the complexities of the Office 365 environment and creates unique healthy PST files. Kernel Export Office 365 to PST, supports all plans of Office 365, and saves primary mailboxes, archive mailboxes, public folders, etc., into PST format. It will provide you with a sufficient number of filters to back up the necessary content of the mailbox.