Exchange Online mailboxes benefit from Microsoft's comprehensive multi-tier security measures designed to safeguard all online data. However, it's crucial to understand the shared-responsibility model governing Office 365 data, where Microsoft is accountable for security while users are responsible for accessibility. Moreover, businesses are obligated to maintain mailbox backups to meet industry standards and legal requirements. Therefore, Exchange Administrators must ensure the regular backup of Exchange Online mailboxes is conducted.

In this article, we will discuss the methods to backup Exchange Online mailbox data to PST. Here we will brief both manual and automated solutions that can help you export Office 365 mailboxes to PST.

Why it is necessary to Backup Exchange Mailboxes?

There are multiple scenarios that often ask for Exchange mailboxes backup, such as:

  • To export the data to Outlook PST
  • To backup Exchange data for compliance requirements
  • To export Exchange mailboxes to Office 365 in the form of PST
  • To access the Exchange mailboxes in case of emergency

These reasons are enough to tell you why it is necessary to have a backup of Exchange mailboxes.

Business man

Instant Solution

Download Kernel Export Office 365 to PST as the instant solution to take unlimited backup of Exchange Online mailboxes to simple PST files.

Method 1: Use eDiscovery Export method to export mailbox items to PST

The eDiscovery export method serves as an indirect approach for Exchange Online backup; it represents the sole manual option available for safeguarding your Office 365 data or facilitating the migration of Office 365 data to MS Outlook.

To export Office 365 mailboxes to PST using the eDiscovery Export tool, you must follow these steps (please note that you require eDiscovery Manager permissions to carry out these actions).

  • STEP 1: Login to Office 365 portal and open the Office 365 Admin Center.
  • STEP 2: Click Admin Centers to expand it and click Security and Compliance.
  • STEP 3: In Security and Compliance, go to Search and investigation, and click Content Search. Click plus (+) button to start a New Search, supply a Name for the backup file and click Next
  • STEP 4: Select Search everywhere and then select Exchange. If you want to export specific mailbox data, use Custom Location Selection, click the plus (+) button and add the mailbox you want to export data from.
  • STEP 5: This step will take you through all the filtering options. In case you want to export all data, do not change the default set filters. Click Search when you are done.
  • STEP 6: Click Start Export when the Search wizard completes the background search.
  • STEP 7: Next, a pop window will appear giving several options. Choose the options and click Start Export once you are done with the settings.
  • STEP 8: Click Download exported results (under Export results to a computer) after the data export wizard finishes.
  • STEP 9: Now, you will receive a system generated the special export key. Copy this key using Copy to clipboard as you will need this in the next step.
  • STEP 10: This is the last step. Paste the copied key (from the previous step) in the space provided. Also, browse to the location where you want to store the downloaded PST files. Click on Start to begin the export, close the application once it is done. Select destination path

This method might seem straightforward, but it is very complicated to execute.

Method 2: Automated Method

If the manual method seemed complicated or didn't work for you, then we have a better solution for you – Kernel Export Office 365 to PST that saves Exchange/Office 365 mailboxes in PST file format. This is a simple and user-friendly tool.

Follow below-mentioned steps to back up Office 365 mailboxes.

  • STEP 1: Launch the software and click on Add to choose the Office 365 account. Launch Kernel Office 365 Backup
  • STEP 2: Choose the method to login to the account and click on OK. Choose method to login to the account
  • STEP 3: Enter the credentials of the Office 365 user and click on the Add button. Enter the credentials of the Office 365 user
  • STEP 4: The account will be connected to the tool. You can click on Set Filter and Migrate to find the right mailbox items. Set filter and migrate button
  • STEP 5: Choose amongst the three folders- Mailbox, Archive Mailbox and Public Folders and click on Migrate. Choose amongst the three folders
  • STEP 6: Apply the required filters to selectively save the mailbox data. Finally, click on I am OK, Start Migration. Click I am OK Start Migration
  • STEP 7: Select PST as the output format and click on OK. Select PST as the output
  • STEP 8: Provide a saving destination for the PST file anywhere in your system and select OK. Provide a saving destination
  • STEP 9: It will successfully backup all the mailbox items into a PST file. Backup process successfull

This the simplest method to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST file format.


Backing up Exchange Online mailboxes to PST is a valuable practice, offering versatility in various scenarios. However, the manual method can be intricate and time-consuming. In this article, we explore how to back up Exchange Online mailboxes to PST using both manual and automated solutions.