We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Problems with importing a PST into office 365

BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelp asked
Trying to move data from an inhouse exchange to office 365 in another domain (user is moving from company A to company B. he wants to take mail from company A into his company B email address).

In outlook, we exported his mail into a PST.  It's about 7.5GB - loads of folders under the inbox.

I set up an intermediate machine, connected outlook to company B office 365 and imported the PST into this account.  I see all the mail in this intermediate machine.

But on his company B machine, after days of syncing / after it saying all folders are up to date, there are loads of folders that don't have mail.  They aren't in OWA either.  So for some reason some folders contents didn't go from the intermediate machine to the office 365 machine.  Any advice on how to force it?  I see the contents in the company a machine, in the intermediate machine (populated by importing the PST), but on his machine, all the folders were created by syncing to office 365, but not populated (because the data isn't on the office 365 server either).

How do I force the intermediate machine to repush to the office 365 machine to send ALL the imported data into office 365?
Watch Question

Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
They probably have Outlook 2013 and are only showing the past 12 Months (default) of messages.

Get them to go to File> Account> Account Properties, then slide the slider across to show ALL mail and let that suck down the remainder of the messages.

Thanks.  Good call on office 2013.  They do have that but I didn't mention, I saw that and it IS set to all.

The problem is that it's not on the server?  OWA doesn't show them there.  Does that also have a slider for what to show / not show?  If it's on the server, should it be in OWA?  Emails aren't there and aren't in the outlook 2013 on the new computer / should be getting all the mail from the server.
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
OWA will show you what is on the server - so if it's not there, then it looks like it didn't get pushed up.

In the Office 365 portal (not sure you have access) you can (one logged in), go to outlook.office365.com/ecp and see the size of the Mailbox they have and then see how big the .PST file was that was imported.  Should be roughly the same size.  Are they?
I forgot to mention - it's actually godaddy's office 365 - that just means you go through them to log in, etc.?  Same back end as true o365.

I didn't see mailbox size via godaddy, so tried URL above.   says he's using 3.18GB of 50GB.  PST is 7.5GB.  so yeah, another method to support that everything didn't get pushed into o365.

I had called godaddy about this and they washed their hands because it involves outlook, not just o365.

but the guy said he heard that large PSTs have similar problems?

Can I just import the PST again into the machine and make sure to check the radio button to not make dupes : ) ??
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
Yes - does sound like the Import wasn't complete.

Try the import again choosing the option to not import duplicates and see how that goes.
now that I asked and you said yes, I'm wondering...

the emails are already in the OST and weren't pushed to the server.

so importing them now likely won't help?  What do you think of deleting the account / OST , recreate it, I'll get all the info from the server and THEN do the import into outlook?
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011
The process of importing from a PST file to an online Exchange account is to import the .PST file into a local .OST file and then the data from the .OST file is pushed to the Exchange Server.

Deleting the .OST file will force Outlook to download the contents of the mailbox on the Exchange Server - which currently doesn't include the missing data, so deleting it would be a waste of time.

Importing the .PST again choosing the option to not import duplicates would be the most sensible approach at this stage IMHO.

thanks.  My thinking, for what it's worth, is that the contents of folders 'a' and b are already in the OST / visible in outlook, but NOT in OWA.  So copying the PST into the OST, the system would say we already have contents of folders A and B, don't even bother bringing it in and the system that syncs the OST with the server doesn't see any changes?

I wound up doing my idea - recreated the account in a new profile in outlook (2010 - do you think that's part of the problem vs. 2013?).

As you said, it downloaded everything from the server.  So folder A and B is empty once it's in sync with the server.  Then I imported the PST.  Folder A and B in outlook has emails now.  and in owa folder A now has contents but folder B doesn't.

The mailbox size on the server was something like 2 GB before this new re-import.  it's now 3.5GB.  but the PST is 7.5.  We're getting there, but slowly : (

just keep repeating this?  Have you heard of any of these being the problem for this?

big (7.5GB) PST

loads (dozens / 100 - 200 folders all under the inbox (is the inbox different than any other folder in how it treats subfolders?  would you have loads of folders under inbox?  Or under a different main folder like 'sorted'?

outlook 2010 doing the imports vs. 2013?

in the inbox, there's subfolders and then subfolders under subfolders.  Not that the lowests subfolders are the problem folders, but are there limits to how many subfolder levels you can have?

Thank you
I am so sorry!  I misspoke.  He doesn't have dozens / 100-200 folders under the inbox).

He has about 2000 folders under the inbox.

any red flags with that?
Top Expert 2011
2000 folders shouldn't be a problem.

Try just importing a folder that is missing in 365 and see what happens.