Can I Automatically Archive Outlook data to PST via script or on demand?


I have many users that are going to be migrating from one Exchange hosted email solution to another.  In order to do this and retain their data, we need to download all of the old email for each user, and import the old email into the new mailbox once they are cut over.

I know that there are third-party tools that can be used to do this archiving, but the company does not want to spend more money on third party tools for something that is going to only be used once.  They are willing to have each user start with EMPTY mailboxes and to export / import the old mail one mailbox at a time to save money.

I think that this entire process can be sped up if we can just get everyone to click on a script that will AUTOMATICALLY ARCHIVE their existing mailbox to PST on their local machine.  Is there any way to script this?  

Thank you!
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept HeadCommented:
You can move everything to archive by adjusting the retention period.
Please check this

Once archive done. Take a copy of PSTs and import to Exchange server
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
If you export or archive the data does not matter (much). An export creates a copy, archiving moves the items. But yes, you can automate archiving.

Importing the created PST file is the issue. Importing it will block Outlook for a long time. Mounting the PST, and move items / folders manually or per script allows to work with Outlook, but is tedious.
Powershell is the best way. Exporting from Exchange and Importing to Exchange should be easy.

new-mailboxexportrequest userid -filepath \\server\psts\userid.pst
make sure you have enough space on the server.
You can loop through for all the users:
import-csv c:\temp\users.txt | foreach { new-mailboxexportrequest userid -filepath \\server\psts\$($_.userid).pst}

new-mailboximportrequest newuserid -filepath \\newserver\psts\userid.pst
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

Format of users.txt

Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Yes, that is of course a good idea, if available. It does only work with Exchange 2010 or later. Prior to that, you'll need Outlook to be installed, and use a different cmdlet to export to PST (Export-Mailbox, see

So all you have to do first is to switch all users to use the new Exchange Server. As you mentioned, they all start with an empty mailbox.
Then you can do the export, using the appropriate method as mentioned above, best on a per-user base to balance effort and load, and minimize time needed. The import will certainly run on a recent Exchange, and hence the New-MailboxImportRequest can be used to perform the import "in background", without user interaction.
jkeegan123Author Commented:
Sorry guys, these solutions ate just not going to work.

- powershell would be perfect, but as I mentioned, we are moving from one hosted exchange solution to another. We do not have powershell access in either of them.
- adjusting the retention policy is not going to work as we would manually have to set the retention policies, and of we are going to touch every desktop, we're just going to manually do "file - - open - - import export - - export - - to PST"

Ideally, a script that could be clicked to automate the exporting to PST would be perfect... I was thinking of maybe using AutoIT, because in that you can actually click x/y coordinates and script that out, but I have not gone to this solution yet as I was hoping for something that could automate exporting to PST from exchange at the client level.

It seems like a basic thing to need than would make ALL MIGRATIONs much easier add would put each user in control of their data... But so far we're looking like it's going to be manual.

Doesn't anyone have any other suggestions?
MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept HeadCommented:
Normally if there is no server access you have to export to PST and import to mailbox from Exchange powershell.
Check this to export

Check this to import to Exchange

Please check this as well it may help.

Send export instructions to users to export and save it in a shared folder. If users are willing to do so. So you just import it to Exchange using shell
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
I don't get it. Why you can't use PowerShell with Hosted Exchange? Is the old one 2003?
jkeegan123Author Commented:
The hosting provider does not give admin access to a powershell environment.  It is not Microsoft Office 365, it's a 3rd party provider like Intermedia (but not intermedia).  We get a provisioning portal that seems to be a custom skinned ECP ...
jkeegan123Author Commented:
I have come up with using an AUTO-IT script to click / ALT-select through the menus automatically to create a PST export of a top level folder and ALL OTHER folders, does anyone have a better idea than this?  Is there an easier way to get an EXPORT of the top of info-store to PST?  Not an archive via GPO, since that won't exactly do what I want ... I need a way to automate PST exports before a migration from one hosted provider to another.

There is also the use of the tool from BITTITAN.COM, which is great but costs 11$ per mailbox PER USE ... and that's a bit pricey (although amazingly complete and automatic).

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
jkeegan123Author Commented:
No other solution automated the creation of a PST EXPORT other than the AUTO-IT script.
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.