Exporting Emails to PST from Office 365 Mailbox

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Sunil Chauhan
Expertise in Microsoft Exchange Server, Office 365, and PowerShell scripting, In my spare time I love writing tech blogs and taking photos.
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.

LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Vaseem Mohammed
Keep posting!
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Ajit Singh
Nice one!

Expert Comment

by:☁ François Peroux ☁
Really good article.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Edwin Hoffer
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

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