Have you ever come across a situation where you need to export all your Exchange mailboxes to PST, but couldn’t find a secure solution to do that? Well, you are at the right place then.

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 Exchange 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.

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

The eDiscovery export method is not a direct method for Exchange Online backup, but that's the only manual option you have to protect your Office 365 data or to migrate Office 365 data to MS Outlook.

Follow the steps to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST using eDiscovery Export tool (you need to have eDiscovery Mangers permissions to perform these steps).

  • 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.

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

Method 2: Automated Method – Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore Tool

If the manual method seemed complicated or didn't work for you, then we have a better solution for you – Kernel for Office 365 Backup & Restore 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 Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore and click Backup.
    Launch Kernel Office 365 Backup & Restore
  • STEP 2: Click the Add button to choose a single mailbox for migration.
    Choose a single mailbox for migration
  • STEP 3: Enter the credentials of the Office 365 user, click Migrate above-mentioned mailbox only and click Add button.
    Enter the credentials of the Office 365 user
  • STEP 4: Now, select the account and click on Set Filter and Migrate button
    Set filter and migrate button
  • STEP 5: You will see several filtering options. Choose as per your requirement and click I am Ok, Start Migration
    Select filter options
  • STEP 6: Select the specific file format for backup and click OK.
    Select the specific file format for backup
  • STEP 7: Next, browse and select a location for the backup.
    Browse and select a location
  • STEP 8: When the migration is complete, a dialog box will appear as shown below, click OK.
    Migration process

This the simplest method to export Exchange mailboxes to PST file format.


It’s always great to backup Exchange mailboxes to PST, as it can be very helpful in multiple situations. But, it is not that simple to backup Exchange mailboxes as the manual method is very complicated and time-consuming. In this piece of content, we discussed how you can backup Exchange mailboxes to PST with both manual as well as an automated solution.