How to Backup and Restore Office 365 Mailbox

Last updated on April 21st, 2021

Many enterprises now use Office 365 to avoid the costs of running an on-premise Exchange. As you know, Office 365 is a cloud-based SaaS that allows users to work anywhere, anytime, without worrying about carrying any additional hardware. Office 365 data stores in the cloud that is safe from external security threats like a virus attack. But Office 365 is prone to internal threats like accidental deletion of data by user, hacking, etc.

When most IT professionals measure the costs of migrating Exchange Server on-premise to Office 365, the first thing they consider is eliminating backup costs. For this, you need to consider taking backup and restore the office 365 mailbox. Many users have different reasons for backup and to restore Office 365 emails; let’s quickly learn the understanding behind this.

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Reasons for taking backup and restore Office 365 mailboxes

  • Microsoft enables multiple users to access and edit the same document on any system. This leverage turns out to the case of accidental deletion of data. There is no way to prevent the human mistake other than taking regular backup of Office 365 mailboxes to PST to eliminate the risk of data loss.
  • While Office 365 has systems in place to protect deleted files, emails, and entire mailboxes, the data will get stored according to the policies that have been applied to it, making it difficult to recover the remaining data. After the retention period has expired, data is not always recoverable.
  • The Office 365 environment is more stable than any other framework for data storage. That is why the users look to restore Office 365 mailbox from Outlook PST to secure their data.
  • Unauthorized access to Office 365 data through any malicious activities or by hackers leads to the point of concern for the data integrity and safety of any organization.

Aforesaid points conclude, to avoid the circumstances of data loss, you need to look forward to finding a way to backup and restore Office 365 mailbox.

How to take Office 365 mailboxes backup?

We have checked the reason to backup Office 365 data, but now the question comes, what is the available method to take backup of Office 365 mailboxes? In general, there are two ways to carry out import/export to Office 365 migration.

  • Manual Method
  • Professional third-party tool

Manual method to backup Office 365: Using eDiscovery PST Export Tool

Microsoft provides an inbuilt program called the eDiscovery PST Export Tool. It assists in the eDiscovery process of exporting Office 365 mailboxes to PST data. By downloading email folders, addresses, and calendars to an Outlook PST format provides a way to take Office 365 Exchange backup. It is one of the best ways to backup Office 365 mailboxes since it is free to use.

Note: Firstly, you need to take permission to access the tool.

Step1:First of all, you need to open the Office account with the login credentials and then need to open the Office 365 Admin Center.

Step2:Next, visit the permission section then, go to Admin Roles>>eDiscovery Manager.

Step 3:Need to click on the + sign from Discovery Management to add roles. Below roles, click on Mailbox import-export. After that, once again click on ‘+’ just under the member section, then click on user name followed by clicking on the Save button.

Note-Permission to use the eDiscovery method will be given after the completion of the above steps. Given below is the step-by-step process to archive and export Office 365 mailbox to PST file format.

  • Firstly, you need to go to the Exchange Admin Center.
  • Then you need to select Compliance Management.
  • After that, choose In-Place eDiscovery and Hold.
  • Then, from the list view, pick the mailbox items that need to exported using In-place discovery.
  • To commence exporting to PST, you need to make a click on the download icon.
  • Then, you need to select the path to save the resultant PST file.
  • To remove the duplicate emails in the resultant PST, you need to tick on the Enable deduplication check box.
  • Users can also check the box to include unsearchable items. Such objects include the email files with attachments that will not get indexed during a search. This email format will get saved in a separate PST file.
  • Then, click on Export to start the migration process.

Manual ways to Restore PST files to Office 365

Using Office 365 PST Import Service, users can restore Office 365 mailboxes.

Also, Office 365 has a feature that allows you to upload unencrypted PST files into the Office cloud. It is critical to delegate the Mailbox Import Export function to the user account before the manual process starts.

Users need to download the Azure Copy tool; for this, you need to follow the given points:

  • Firstly, you need to login into the Office 365 global admin account.
  • Select Data Management and click on import, then go to the Import service.
  • Then, click on the upload files over the network option.
  • Now, download and install the Azure AzCopy tool.
  • After that, you need to click on the key icon and copy the key in import data to Office 365 window. Then click on the show URL key for the PST file and save them.

Upload PST to Office 365: Open the command prompt as administrator after downloading the Azure Copy tool and procuring key and URL. Open the Azure Copy tool installation directory and then run the below-mentioned command to start uploading the PST.


AzCopy.exe /Source:\\SERVER01\PSTshare /Dest:/SERVER01/PSTshare/ /Insert Secure Key: /S /V:C:\PSTshare\Uploadlog.log

Create PST Mapping and import: The user needs to form the mapping file for PST in CSV. Needs to download the sample CSV file by selecting Mapping Template file. Then you need to provide the required information to save the PST mapping file.

You must go to the Upload files over the network page once more and include the project’s name. Now click on the ‘+’ icon to add the mapping file. To search out the errors, tap on the CSV file and then “Validate” and click on finish. After that, the import will start, once completed, then close the application.

Professional third-party tool: Shoviv Office 365 Backup and Restore tool

As you know, to restore Office 365 mailboxes through a manual method is free of cost but involves carrying out some complex process to complete to backup and restore O365 emails. To get around these issues, you should use the Shoviv tool for backup and restore Office 365 mailboxes. Check out this tool feature:

  • This tool allows exporting Office 365 mailboxes into PST file format without making changes in the folder hierarchy and data integrity.
  • The tool’s user-centric features make the backup and restore work easier even for non-technical users.
  • Through this tool, it is possible to take Archive mailbox and Public folder backup.
  • To test the tool’s features, users can download a free trial version that allows them to restore the first 50 items/folders from their Office 365 mailboxes.

Restore Office 365 mailboxes is often a good idea since it can come in handy in various circumstances. However, backing up Office 365 mailboxes is not as easy as it seems, as the manual process is both difficult and time-consuming. We addressed how to backup O365 mailboxes to PST using both a manual and an automated solution in this article.



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