A Complete Guide to Exchange Online Backup and Restore for Office 365

Are you looking for a way to exchange Online backup and restore for Office 365? Also, you’re unsure how to import PST files into Exchange Online. There’s no need to be concerned. This article will walk you through all of the options for Office 365 backup and restore and restore the Outlook data file to your O365 account.

Exchange Online Mailboxes Backup Options

There are a number of manual solutions available for exporting Exchange Online mailboxes to PST files. The manual methods are described further down.

Using the eDiscovery PST Export Tool (Manual 1)

Microsoft has a built-in tool called eDiscovery PST Export that allows you to migrate your Office 365 mailbox to an Outlook PST file. It is a simple and free method of exporting O365 Exchange user accounts to PST format. To perform the same task now, a user must have eDiscovery tool permissions. To obtain permission for the same, follow the steps outlined below.

With valid credentials, log in to Office 365 admin.

Then go to the Admin >> Exchange option.

Then, from the left pane, select Permissions, and then Admin Roles >> Option for Discovery Management

To add roles, go to this page and click the ‘+’ sign. Then, beneath roles, select Mailbox Import Export.

Then, under the Members option, click on the + sign once more. Click on the user’s name once more. Finally, press the Save button.

All of this will give a user permission to use the eDiscovery Export tool. Only the above-mentioned username will be granted permission as a result of this process.

It’s now time to begin the Office 365 Exchange backup.

  1. Go to the Exchange Admin Center (EAC).
  2. From the left pane of the screen, select Compliance Management.
  3. Then select In-Place eDiscovery & Hold from the drop-down menu.
  4. Now, from the list view, select the mailbox items you want to export.
  5. After that, click the Download icon to begin the process of exporting to a PST file.
  6. Now, in the eDiscovery PST Export Tool,

follow the steps below to backup your Exchange Online mailbox:

  • To begin, click the Browse button and navigate to the folder where you want the output PST file to be saved.
  • After that, enable deduplication and delete all duplicate emails by checking the Enable deduplication checkbox. It only saves a single copy of each email.
  • You can now select Include unsearchable items from the drop-down menu. It will also add those mailbox items that Exchange Search does not have access to. All of these emails are kept in a separate PST file.
  • Finally, click Export to start the migration and backup your Exchange Online mailbox to an Outlook PST file. A process box will appear, indicating that the migration is still in progress.

Configure Exchange Online in Outlook (Manual 2)

  • To begin, add the source email account to MS Outlook, similar to how you would add your Gmail account to Outlook 2016.
  • Then, in MS Outlook, add your Exchange Online email account. Outlook will automatically sync with Office 365 as you do this. In MS Outlook, you can easily see the content of your Office 365 account.

Methods for Manually Importing PST to Exchange Online

There are several methods for manually copying/importing Outlook PST to Exchange Online, all of which are discussed below.

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Manual 1: Uploading to a Network

Follow the steps outlined below to upload a PST file to Exchange Online:

Step 1: Install Azure AzCopy and Copy the SAS URL.

The SAS URL is the Azure storage location in the Microsoft cloud that also contains the SAS key, which is also known as the Shared Access Signature key. With this key, you can upload or copy Outlook PST files to the Azure storage location with all of the necessary permissions.

Tip: To migrate a PST file successfully, use Azure Azcopy with version 5.0.

  1. To begin, navigate to https://protection.office.com.
  2. Then, using valid credentials, log in to your Office 365 admin account.
  3. From the left pane, select Data Governance, and then click the Import button.
  4. Now, on the Import page, select the option to Go to the Import Service.
  5. Then, to move data, select New Job >> Upload email messages (PST files).
  6. When you select Upload files, you’ll be taken to the following page:
  7. Select Show network upload SAS URL from the drop-down menu and copy and save the URL.
  8. Click the Download tool option to download and install Azure AzCopy.
  9. A window will appear; select the Run option.
  10. Finally, select the Cancel option to exit the page.

Step 2: Exchange Online: Import Multiple PST Files

  1. Open a Command Prompt on the system to begin the migration.
  2. After that, go to the directory where AzCopy.exe is located.
  3. If you installed the application locally, it’s in the following folder: percent ProgramFiles(x86) percent Microsoft SDKsAzureAzCopy
  4. Then, to migrate a PST file to Exchange Online, run the command listed below:

    /Source: (PST files location) /Dest: (SAS URL) /V: (Log file _location) AzCopy.exe /Source: (PST files location) /Dest: (SAS URL)

Step 3: Go to Exchange Online and look at the list of PST files that have been uploaded.

Checking and verifying the migration of the PST file to Azure is an optional step.

Step 4: Make a PST Import Mapping File

Now you must create a CSV (comma separated value) file containing information about the user’s mailboxes into which the Outlook data file will be imported.

  • Get a copy of the PST Import Mapping file.
  • Save the CSV file to your local machine after that.

Step 5: Make an Outlook PST file. In Office 365, import a job.

  • Go to https://protection.office.com and type in the address.
  • With valid credentials, log in to the Exchange Online admin account.
  • After that, go to Data Governance and select Import from the drop-down menu.
  • Now select Go to Import Service from the drop-down menu.
  • On the next page, click New job or + sign, and then select Upload email messages (PST files) from the drop-down menu.
  • Look into it. I’ve finished uploading my files, and I now have access to the mapping file check box in the check boxes section, followed by Next.
  • Then, to continue, type in PST import job and click Next.
  • Click on the Add button to add PST Mapping.
  • To check for CSV file errors, select the CSV file name from the list and click the Validate button.
  • After you’ve mapped your PST files, read the terms and conditions and check the appropriate checkboxes.
  • You can now click the Finish button to successfully submit the job.
  • On the Import data to Exchange Online page, you can check the job in the displayed list of PST Imports.
  • Then, to update the status, select the job and press Refresh.

Using Drive Shipping (Manual 2)

Drive shipping is another option for importing Outlook PST files to Exchange Online. Follow the steps outlined below to achieve the same result:

  1. Copy the PST file to a BitLocker-encrypted hard disc to start the process.
  2. Then, physically transport the drive to Microsoft.
  3. As soon as Microsoft receives the hard disc, the data team will move the PST database to a temporary location in the Microsoft cloud.
  4. Then, using Exchange Online’s import service, migrate PST to Office 365.

Manual Methods Have Limitations

There are a number of limitations that a user may face when using manual methods to backup and restore Exchange Online. The following are some of the limitations:

  • Because it is not possible to backup Office 365 multiple Office 365 users at once, configuring each and every Office 365 account to Outlook takes time.
  • To use an inbuilt utility, the backup process requires administrative permission. All of this adds to the complexity of the Exchange Online backup and restore process.
  • Technical attributes may not be preserved after the backup and restore process, according to the manual.

Exchange Online Backup and Restore in One Place

To have an easy way to backup and restore Exchange Online, use a professional solution like SysTools Office 365 Backup & Restore tool. The tool is designed to take Office 365 backups in PST and EML formats, as well as import PST files into Office 365 mailboxes with ease. The best part about the software is that it has an advanced feature that allows it to backup and restore multiple user accounts at once. Furthermore, in both backup and restore scenarios, the utility performs complete data migration.

Let’s Sum Up What We’ve Learned So Far

Backups of mailbox data are critical in the event of a disaster, as they can be easily restored when needed. Users also want their Exchange Online data restored to their accounts. This blog covers all possible Exchange Online backup and restore solutions, taking into account the needs of users. Users are free to use any of the above methods that are most convenient for them.