How to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST using eDiscovery

This video tutorial shows how to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST file format with a native eDiscovery tool. Thanks to that, you can create local copies of your mailboxes, which later can be recovered using Outlook Import/Export tool.


If you’re looking for a way to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST files, this video guide is for you.

In order to achieve that, I will use a native eDiscovery tool.

Before I start, I have to mention that the export tool works best on Internet Explorer. Other browsers may require an installation of a ClickOnce extension.

Let’s get started then. First, I have to log in to my tenant and access the Admin Center. Now, I go to Security and Compliance Center.

Here, I start with setting permissions for my account. I go to permissions, click on eDiscovery Manager and continue by clicking the Edit button. I add myself as a member of the eDiscovery Administrator role group. This way, I will have access to every eDiscovery case and search, even if I am not assigned to them. Time to save.

Now that I have the required permissions, I can go to Content search and start a new search.

I could also create a new eDiscovery case, which would enable me to put mailboxes and sites on hold, but as I only need to export the mailboxes, I prefer the option which requires less clicking.

After naming my new search, I can decide whether I want to search all mailboxes or choose only specific ones. I can also export data from all public folders. eDiscovery does not enable me to choose a specific public folder, but I can filter them by using keywords and conditions on the next screen. However, I am only interested in data from mailboxes at the moment.

On this screen I can specify keywords the tool will look for in emails and other items. Below, by adding conditions, I can export only the elements from this year, below a certain size, etc. However, I want to export all content, so I do not change anything and click search.

The search is performed and will take a while, depending on how many elements need to be scanned. When it is finished, the option to export results shows up. I click it and leave the default options, as changing the first one sometimes causes PST files to be corrupted, The second option causes the tool to create separate PST files for each mailbox. I prefer it this way because it would be easier to import items back when necessary. Ok, as everything is set, I start the export.

After it is finished, I choose to download exported results, next, I copy the key and start the Export tool. Now I have to paste the key I have just copied and select the location used to store the downloaded files.

That is all, for every mailbox that was not empty, there is a separate file that can be easily imported using Outlook import tool.

If you want to use this method to back up your mailboxes, you can see that this workaround may become a bit problematic in the long run. If you want to back up your data automatically, easily browse through the copies and recover whole mailboxes, selected folders or single items, download a free trial of CodeTwo Backup. Click the link on the screen to learn more.

Thanks for watching!

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5 thoughts on “How to export Office 365 mailboxes to PST using eDiscovery

  1. MS really botched what should be a simple export of a user’s mailbox. We don’t need to run thru 26 steps. We just need to be able to click on a mailbox and export to PST. Why so complicated????

    • There have been some recent changes to how eDiscovery export works, take a look at this updated article and you should have no problems finding the right options (& required permissions).

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