Exporting Emails to PST from Office 365 Mailbox

Sunil ChauhanConsultant
Expertise in EXO, EOP, AzureAD, Microsoft 365 Defender, Security and Compliance, and PowerShell scripting.
Microsoft is moving in-place eDiscovery & hold from ECP to EOP console under Content Search in Search and Investigation Options.  In this post, I will be showing you how to export emails to a PST file using the Content Search Options.
There are times when we may need to export all Email and Mailbox content from a users mailbox hosted in Office 365 to a PST File. In this article, I will demonstrate how to export user mailbox data to a PST.  Note that you can process single or multiple users in a batch.

Before you start the process, ensure your computer meets the minimum system requirements as shown below.

  • 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and later versions
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
  • A supported browser:
    • Internet Explorer 8 and later versions "OR"
    • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, with the ClickOnce add-in, installed

Once satisfied, proceed with the first step below..

Step 1. Login to protection.office.com and browse through the Content search Option under Search & investigation as shown in the following screen shot.

Step 2. Click on the + Icon to start a new search, and provide a Name for the Search, under " Where do you want us to look?" 

Step 3. Select "Custom locations selection" and  "Choose specific mailboxes to search" and then Click on the  "+" icon to select the Mailboxes you want to Export to PST.

Step 4.  Leave all the options blank in the next window, unless you wish to do a specific search, and hit next.

Once the search has completed, you will see the Search Statistics result. The Start export option now becomes available.

After you click the "Start export" option, you will see there are now more options for you to select.

The screen shot below shows the default options, but you can select the 2nd option to include all items, including the ones that have an unrecognized format or that are encrypted and weren't indexed.

The Enable de-duplication option skips duplicate emails. You should only check this if you need to skip items in long conversation emails.

Step 5. Now click on the "Start export" button

If you come across the below error, you might be thinking that you already have permissions, but here's the catch, permissions are managed separately for this portal so you need to get the permission before you can start the export.  

Step 6.  To add the permissions go the Permissions Tab on the same portal, add your admin account into the eDiscoveryManager Role Group.

Note: It may take up to an hour before your permission starts to work.

Once you have the appropriate permissions, you will be able to initiate the PST Export, and will be able to see the screen below.

Step 7.  Next, click on "Download exported results" as shown above

After that you will see the popup shown below, that will be showing progress Status, where it says Preparing data...  Once it's completed, you will be able to download the PST file.

Once the "Preparing data" process finishes, you will see the following options.  

Step 8. Click on the Download results option (as seen above) to proceed.

Note: If you are using google chrome and have not installed the ClickOnce add-in you will be prompted to download an application "Microsoft.Office.Client.Discovery.UnifiedExportTool.application",  and the export may fail.

Step 9. Complete the Application Install as shown in the Security Warning below.

Step 10. Once the app is installed, you will see the eDiscovery Export Tool popup shown below, where you will need to provide the Export Key and location for saving the exported PST files.

Once done, that PST download will commence and you will see the progress of the download, just as shown below.

Once the PST download has completed, you can find the downloaded pst files at the Export Locations you selected in Step 10.  That's the end of the process.

To Summarize

I have explained how we can export mailbox data to a PST file hosted in office 365 using the new EOP portal, where I have also tried to include minimum system requirements and issues you may strike if using the Google Chrome browser.
I hope you found this post helpful and informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback.

Sunil ChauhanConsultant
Expertise in EXO, EOP, AzureAD, Microsoft 365 Defender, Security and Compliance, and PowerShell scripting.

Comments (7)

Francois PerouxSenior Cyber Security Consultant

Really good article.
Edwin HofferTechnical Expert
Top Expert 2014

Nice article. But, it takes too much time and also user should have the technical knowledge to perform the manual process for exporting Office 365 mailboxes to PST file. So, there is another fast and best solution to export emails from Office 365 to PST format. Visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfNBOkd0khI
Sandeep KumarAssociate Consultant

The method is right, to backup Office 365 mailboxes to Outlook PST.
The same is available at https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/31546/Two-ways-to-backup-Office-365-mailboxes-to-Outlook-PST.html

But as Janice, the to and fro process should be done. For the same I recommend Kernel for Office 365 Backup & Restore tool which is capable to backup all mailboxes from Office 365 to Outlook PST, and export PST to Office 365 easily. It has user interactive & easy to use interface. To know more about Office 365 Backup & Restore tool, visit https://www.nucleustechnologies.com/office-365-backup/
SysToolsData Expert - Recovery,Backup,Migration

@Sunil Chauhan, This is a great stuff!!!!  However, the user might face several limitations while exporting Office 365 mailbox using Ediscovery Tools. Some Of them are:
  • To Export User need to work on two concurrent searches at a time
  • Unable to search more than 10,000 emails at a time
  • Complex Procedure to export Office 365 To PST file Format.
  • The user might face technical Issues

Here, I would like to recommend our product SysTools Office 365 Backup & Restore  to Export Office 365 to PST / EML and other file formats and restore  PST file back to Office 365. Best Part is Software comes with free demo version to test the tool features.
Limited period Offer $19 !!!! One time Payement...
Visit Official Site: https://www.systoolsgroup.com/office365-backup/
Kurt JohnsonTechnical Manager

Thank Sunil for this informative article..keep posting

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