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How to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery & PowerShell?

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Written By Kristian Wilson
Marco Devin
Approved By Marco Devin  
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Published On September 28th, 2022

In this write-up, you will get the completely free methods to export Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery and PowerShell. Here you will get the complete information and step-by-step guide to backup Office 365 mailbox to PST format without Outlook.

As we all know, Office 365 is a widely used service around the world. And users of Microsoft 365 (previously known as Office 365) are increasing day by day.

Because of Microsoft 365’s many cutting-edge features and capabilities, including the fact that users can access the data of Outlook 365 from anywhere and at any time, it is used by many biggest firms. Also, users can store the data like emails, contacts, calendars, etc.

Many organization is utilizing Office 365 to exchange their important information via email. Why is it so vitally needed to keep that data locally at this point? There is a risk of hacker attacks, etc, because Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based service. Also, Microsoft 365 not works without an internet connection.

For data safety, we are going to explain the methods to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery and PowerShell to download Microsoft 365 emails, contacts, and calendars.

Reasons to Backup Mailbox from Office 365 to PST format

The mentioned manual methods will help you in the different kinds of scenarios:

  • To be safe from hackers and spammers’ attacks on Office 365 accounts.
  • May be want to save emails and documents for a long time
  • Sometimes users want to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST file for audit purposes.
  • Want to prevent data from accidentally deleting of o365 items.

To Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery and PowerShell will be the best method for users or admins to avoid the above-mentioned situations.

How to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST via eDiscovery & PowerShell?

Now I will show you 2 manual methods to backup Office 365 mailbox to PST online. Both methods are mentioned below one by one to archive Office 365 mailbox to PST format.

Method 1: Export Mailbox from Office 365 to PST via eDiscovery Method

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not provide a streamlined way to export mail from o365 to PST format. In light of this, the eDiscovery approach is the best way to take backup Office 365 mailbox to PST without Outlook. However, in order to make use of eDiscovery, there is a certain condition that must be met:

Instructions to utilize Discovery Content Search & Export Utility

  1. Discovery Management Group
  2. This method will only work with windows 7 OS and all new OS.
  3. Required Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 or later installed on the system.
  4. Updated Internet Explorer must be installed on your system.
  5. Admin credentials are required

Steps to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST via eDiscovery

  1. Step 1: Log into your Office 365 account and run the Microsoft 365 admin center.

     Microsoft 365 admin centre

  2. Step 2: Now select the “Security and Compliance Option” from the admin center to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST by eDiscovery.

    Security and Compliance option

  3. Step 3: Next, choose the permission option and check the eDiscovery Manager option from the Security and Compliance section.
    Important Note: Membership in the eDiscovery Manager role group is required for access to many eDiscovery functionalities.

    eDiscovery Manager

  4. Step 4: Look for the eDiscovery Administrator option and hit on the “Edit” button to create the important roles which are important for the Discovery Management group.

    eDiscovery Administrator

  5. Step 5: Role group created mainly for Compliance Search, Case Management, Hold, Export, Preview, RMS Decrypt, and Review.
  6. Step 6: If the export role is missing hit on the “Edit Role Group” and submit the same.
  7. Step 7: Next select “More Resources” open the “Microsoft Purview Compliance Portal” and then search for the “Content Search” >> “New Search” option.
    If you can’t use the “Content search” menu, it’s likely because you lack the proper eDiscovery permissions. It may take up to 24 hours for eDiscovery permission changes to take effect.

    Content search

  8. Step 8: Now a new screen will appear and here you have to customize the details of the content search option. Here you have to give a name, and description of the search and select the mailbox, in which you want to backup Office 365 mailbox to PST.
    It may take a while for the application to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST and finish the entire search if you choose all locations, such as “SharePoint Online” and “Public Folders Database“.

    all locations

  9. Step 9: After that, you will get here condition tab, which allows users to apply the filter like query, language, keywords, conditions, etc.
    Do not apply the filter, if you want to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST completely.

    Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST

  10. Step 10: Lastly, when your all settings and filters are done, click on the “Submit” >> “Done” button.
  11. Step 11: Now search will be started in the background, also you can check the status using the search tab.
  12. Step 12: Next, click on the “Actions” and then hit the “Export Results” option.
  13. Step 13: Also, here you can apply the filter if you want to export encrypted Office 365 files when your settings will be done completely hit the “Export” button.
    Turn off “Enable Deduplication” if you only want to download the search terms to a single PST file.

    export encrypted Office 365 files

  14. Step 14: Once the export process will complete, now users can easily download the data using the “Download Results” option. And copy the “Export Key”, it would be required in the coming steps in the “ClickOnce” extension.

    Download Results

  15. Step 15: When the process of exporting Office 365 Mailbox to PST format, the eDiscovery PST Export Tool will run automatically. Here you have to enter the location to save the PST file locally. After entering all details hit the “Start” button and after completing the process, close the extension.

    Export Key

Difficulties You Might Face while Exporting Office 365 Mailbox to PST using eDiscovery

  • Maybe eDiscovery PST Export Tool Stuck Calculating Error.
  • Might be eDiscovery PST Export Tool not downloading properly or failing.
  • In Office 365 Online, the eDiscovery PST Export Tool cannot open from the admin center.

Method 2: Export Mailbox from Office 365 to PST via PowerShell Method

Follow all the steps carefully to archive and backup Office 365 mailbox to PST format.

Step 1: Set Up a Connection using MS Exchange to Use PowerShell

  1. To export Office 365 mailbox to PST via PowerShell, run the command in PowerShell, using:
    “$UserCredential = Get-Credential”
  2. Now, input your Office 365 account username and password in this section, under the Windows PowerShell Credential Request wizard.
  3. And then, run the command,
    “$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic –AllowRedirection”
  4. And then, again run the stated below command.
    “Import-PSSession $Session”

Step 2: Allow Access to Mailbox to Download via PowerShell

Now admin has to give access to another mail like techsupport@freepctips.com to complete access to freshtechsupport@freepctips.com mailbox using:

“Add-MailboxPermission – User techsupport@freepctips.com -Identity freshtechsupport@freepctips.com -AccessRights FullAccess -InheritanceType All”.

Step 3: Create a new account in Microsoft Outlook

Launch Outlook as freshtechsupport@freepctips.com and make sure techsupport@freepctips.com is in the left sidebar. The authorization may require minutes to apply.

Step 4: Verify the Configurations Settings

Now here we have to check whether Outlook is configured or not successfully to save all emails within a limited time.

  1. Hit the “File” tab >> “Info Page” and then the “Account Settings” options.
  2. After that, choose “Account Settings” again and select the account to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST.
  3. And then, select the change icon and verify whether the “Use Cached Exchange Mode option” enable or not.

Step 5: Download Mailbox as PST Format using Import/Export Wizard

  1. Open Outlook and click on the “File” tab to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST.
  2. And then, choose Open & Export >> Import/ Export option.
  3. Now select the “Export to a File” option from the list and the Next icon to continue the process.
  4. Next, choose the “Outlook Data file (.pst)” option and click on the “Next” button.
  5. After that, select “techsupport@freepctips.com” from the list. And ensure that all folders and subfolders are selected.
  6. And, enter the file name and select the location where you want to store it.
  7. Now, from the options area, choose the “Do not export duplicate items or Replace duplicates with items exported” option and click on the “Finish” icon to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST.
  8. And then, enter the password to secure the PST file if required else leave and hit the “OK” icon.

Step 6: Verify that the Process is Completed

Now check whether the process is completed or not. You can verify it, by comparing mailbox size and PST file size.

  1. Now click right on the mailbox from the right panel, and choose the “Data file properties” option.
  2. Hit the “Folder Size” icon from the general tab.
  3. And then, choose the “Server Data” tab and check the file size, which is shown as the Total size.
  4. Lastly, verify the properties of the exported outlook pst file, and compare the size of both files.

Step 7: When Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST Format Successfully

When the process to backup Office 365 mailbox to PST using PowerShell method is complete. Now you have to remove all the granted permission through PowerShell using the mentioned command.

“Remove-MailboxPermission -User freshtechsupport@teamsystools.com -Identity techsupport@teamsystools.com -AccessRights FullAccess”

Step 8: Stop and Exit from the PowerShell session

Lastly, stop and exit the PowerShell process using the given command:

“Remove-PSSession $Session”

Drawbacks of using PowerShell methods to Export Office 365 Mailbox to PST

  • Admin permission is important if you are a user and have no permission. Then you can’t archive Office 365 mailbox to PST format.
  • Data integrity will not be maintained, also all emails extension will change after downloading the mailbox as PST.
  • Also, advanced technical knowledge and your valuable time are required.

Time to Say Goodbye

In this article, we covered free, manual ways to export Office 365 mailbox to PST using eDiscovery and PowerShell. Manual methods are simple, but users will, as always, encounter obstacles and constraints. Therefore, make sure you are following all the mentioned instructions. In addition, you’ll learn the necessary steps to take before making a backup Office 365 mailbox to PST format.