How to export Exchange archive mailboxes to PST?

Aftab Alam Aftab Alam Updated On - 30 Oct 2019

In-place archiving, the archiving feature of Exchange on-premises and Exchange Online, gives total control over the mailbox data as the user can now place the data in the archive mailbox rather than the PST file. Archive mailbox is similar to the primary mailbox and can be accessed in Outlook or Outlook on the Web.

You can save the archive mailbox on the same database as of the primary mailbox or use a different database but the same Exchange Server. Furthermore, you can save the archive mailbox on another Exchange Server in the same Active Directory.

Here are various methods which you can use to transfer items from primary mailbox to archive mailbox –

  1. Using the manual process.
  2. The manual process is a simple copy and paste process where you copy the data from the primary mailbox and paste it to the archive mailbox.

  3. Using Inbox Rules.
  4. With the help of Inbox rule in Outlook, the user can choose to move the messages to archive mailbox automatically.

  5. Using retention policies.
  6. With the help of retention policies, the user can choose to automatically move the message to the archive mailbox after a specific period.

  7. By importing PST file.
  8. Use the mailbox import request to get the items from a PST file to your archive mailbox.

Before exporting the data from an archive mailbox to a PST, first let’s understand how we create an Archive mailbox, place data in it, and then migrate it to a separate PST file. There are two ways which you can apply to create an archive mailbox in the Exchange Server.

Create an archive mailbox.

Here is the process –

  1. Login to Exchange Admin Center (EAC). Then go to mailboxes under recipient category. Here, select the mailbox for which you want to create the archive mailbox. In its properties, you can see that archiving is Disabled. Click the Enable button.
  2. Browse the database for the archive mailbox. Click OK.
  3. Now, you can see that the archiving is Enabled for the mailbox and also the Mailbox type is showing User (Archive) as Mailbox Type.
  4. To verify the creation of the archive mailbox, you can go to your Outlook application and see a new mailbox with a prefix Online Archive.

Export Archive Mailbox to PST

There is an in-built feature within the Outlook which you can use to create a PST file for your selected folder. Here is the process –

Step – 1. Follow File>> Open & Export>> Import/Export.

Step – 2. Select the second option Export to a file and click Next.

Step – 3. Select the second option of Outlook data file (.pst) and click Next.

Step – 4. Select the archive mailbox and click Next.

NOTE: You can choose to click the Filter button and trim down the data as per your specific needs.

Step – 5. There will be a default location and name of the PST file. You can change the location and name. There are different options for managing duplicate items. Choose any one and click the Finish button.

After exporting the PST file, you can go to the location and find the new PST file there.

Export Archive mailbox to PST using Exchange commands

You can export the archive mailbox to a PST with the exchange command just like a normal Exchange mailbox. Here is the command

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox <Mailbox Name> -FilePath <path of shared folder> -IsArchive

IsArchive is a special parameter which tells the Exchange to migrate only the archive mailbox of the primary mailbox. Here is an actual example of the command

After running the command, the export job will have a status ‘queued.’
Finally, you can see a new PST at the shared folder location.

After completing the export process using both the methods, you can easily understand that the method is a little bit complex and there are no easy filter options. That’s why you should use a specialized tool which can conduct a safe migration for you.

Kernel for Exchange Backup & Restore

Kernel for Exchange Backup and Restore is an Exchange server backup software. It is useful for a secure backup of primary mailboxes, archive mailboxes, and public folders to PST files. You can select the archive mailbox option and export them to a PST file easily.