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Best way to export an entire ex-user's mailbox from Office 365 to .pst

Posted on 2016-10-05
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HI,

I have a few ex-staff who I want to close off their accounts on Office 365 and free up the licences, but first I want to export their entire mailbox.

I did this before by opening the user's mailbox in Outlook and exporting as .pst, but later discovered that this process doesn't export everything, only the emails actually downloaded to the folders and sub-folders.

Most of the older emails are not downloaded to the Outlook client until, at the bottom of each folder, you click "There are more items in this folder on the server. Click here to view more on Microsoft Exchange."

Now before I go into every single folder and click this link, I want to be sure I am doing this the best, and easiest way.

Can someone please confirm the easiest, most straightforward and most reliable and comprehensive way to export every email is a user's Office 365 E1 plan account out to .pst file.

Thanks in advance for help.
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Question by:mewtd
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Vasil Michev (MVP)
ID: 41830010
You dont have many options. Apart from Outlook, you can perform an eDiscovery search and export the results: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn440164(v=exchg.160).aspx

A better option is to keep the mailbox as Inactive mailbox, which allows you to preserve its data indefinitely, for free. Read more here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn144876(v=exchg.150).aspx
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

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Adam Brown earned 1400 total points
ID: 41830186
Note, though, that you have to have an Exchange Online license that supports the Unlimited Archive space option and In-place hold to use inactive mailboxes. Using Microsoft's O365 subscription plans, this is the E3 and E5 licenses *only*. E1 does not support this and none of the Business subscriptions support it. If you are using only Exchange Online, this would require Exchange Online plan 2. Plan 1 does not support in-place holds or unlimited archiving.

Another option you have for keeping the mailboxes around is to convert them to shared mailboxes, then remove the license on the user account. Don't delete the user account, though. If you do this, the mailbox will remain indefinitely without using a license, but can't be accessed without granting permissions to it. If, however, the mailbox is larger than 50GB, you can't do this.
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Assisted Solution

by:Todd Nelson
Todd Nelson earned 600 total points
ID: 41830735
Like Adam stated, if the mailbox size is less than 50GB, I recommend converting the mailbox to a shared mailbox and then remove the assigned license.  This will allow you to retain the mailbox indefinitely because shared mailboxes in O365 do not require a license.  And it will give you time to export to PST when it's convenient for your schedule.

Unfortunately, there aren't too many good options to export to a PST other than what has been provided by Vasil.

Good luck.
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