Best Way to Backup Office 365 Emails Locally In Few Click

Ashish Ratan Singh | May 24th, 2021 | Office 365

Office 365 is the most powerful service available inside Microsoft 365 – however backup service for your Office 365 data is not a part of it. It has been estimated that over 81% of data loss in Office 365 occurs due to simple errors from the user end. Due to this organizations/users require to back up their data manually protect them – from user error to major data breaches.

This is why in this article, we will demonstrate the best way to backup Office 365 emails with and without the use of an admin account.

How to Backup Office 365 Mailbox Locally?

There are a number of ways through which a user can save emails from Outlook Web App to Computer. Some of the possible solutions have been described below. Follow the step by step:

Solution#1: Backup Office 365 Emails via Manual Method

Outlook uses a personal storage file or PST to save all its mailbox data on the user’s local machine. One can archive all their mailbox data and save it in a ‘.pst’ file format.

An eDiscovery PST Export Tool is an inbuilt application provided by Microsoft. It helps to export Office 365 mailbox to PST file via eDiscovery. This creates Office 365 Exchange backup by downloading email files, contacts, and calendars to an Outlook PST format. It is considered to be the best way to backup Office 365 emails as it is free to implement

Also Read: Know Office 365 Email Backup Policy For Data Protection

To access this tool special privileges are needed. The use of the eDiscovery tool is granted by an admin account holder. Follow the steps below to acquire the permissions needed to access the tool.

Step 1: Firstly, log in to your Office Account online with Administrator credentials.

Step 2: Next, Go to Admin>>Exchange like the image shown below

Step 3: Now, click Permissions from the left pane. Then, go to Admin Roles>>Discovery Management.

Step 4: From Discovery Management, click the ‘+’ sign to add Roles. Click on Mailbox Import Export below roles. Then, under Members, click the ‘+’ sign again and click once on the name of the user. After that, click Save.

Step 5: This will grant access to the eDiscovery Export tool. The member with the aforementioned username has been assigned the privilege can start the download process. Here is the step-by-step method to archive and export the Office 365 mailbox to PST file format.

  • Firstly, go to the Exchange Admin Center (EAC)
  • Then, click Compliance Management from the left section
  • Next, click In-Place eDiscovery & Hold
  • Now, from the list view select the mailbox items that are to be exported as a result of using In-Place eDiscovery
  • And then, click the download icon to start Export to a PST file.
  • Perform the following steps in the eDiscovery PST Export Tool and create Office 365 Backup
    • At first, click Browse to set the folder path where the resultant PST file will be saved
    • Next, tick the Enable deduplication check box to remove any duplicate emails. If their same message in more than one folder, then only one instance is saved in the PST file
    • Now, users can also check the box next to Include unsearchable items. This will add mailbox items that can not be reached by Exchange Search. Such items include email files with attachments that cannot be indexed during a search. Such email files are saved in a separate PST file
    • Finally, click Export to start the migration process. A process box will appear indicating the progress rate of the conversion process.

Limitations of Manual Process:

There are pros and cons to performing any technical process to download PST from Office 365 online. Some of the drawbacks of using manual procedures have been discussed below.

  • The exported PST file may not have the exact email header or formatting as was saved in Office 365 mailbox. At any time data integrity is compromised to fasten the process.
  • Administrative credentials are required for granting privileges. Knowledge about administrator accounts and handling roles and granting permission is needed. Any misstep can lead to dire results.
  • This approach can be very lengthy and time-consuming. Many users look for a workaround to performing the manual process and save time. At times, this process can become irrelevant considering alternative options.

Solution#2: Automated Solution to Backup Office 365 Mailboxes

The overall manual procedure of granting permissions and using an inbuilt tool can be very tiring and complicated. Often users look for the best alternative way to backup Office 365 emails from their user account. And, many opt for using a third-party application such as Office 365 PST Export tool.

This automated tool is an easier and faster way to backup mailboxes from single/multiple user accounts in just a few clicks. Apart from email backup, this utility can be used to backup other items as well, such as contacts, calendars, archive mailbox, shared mailbox, etc.

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Quick steps to backup Office 365 emails are:

  • Step 1: Download & Launch the tool
  • Step 2: Choose the items to backup & set filters 
  • Step 3: Login via Office 365 Admin account
  • Step 4: Select the Office 365 account for backup
  • Step 5: Browse the location to save the backup & Start

Have a look at the salient features of the software:

  • Take a backup of Office 365 Mailbox locally with ease
  • Utility to Backup data in PST File Format
  • Admin Impersonation: Helpful to backup various accounts at the same time
  • Include Shared Mailbox as well while the backup process
  • Option to export In-Place archive mailboxes as well
  • Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8 & lower versions

Detailed Steps With Screenshot to Backup Office 365 Emails Locally:

Step: 1 Download, install and open the tool, and select the source and the destination platform as Office 365 and Outlook.

Step: 2 Select the mailbox categories from the given list and also use the date filter provided in this tool for selective data backup in Office 365.

Step: 3 login with the Admin ID and Application ID and click on the validate button.

Step: 4 Define the destination path and location for the resultant PST file on the computer.

Step: 5 Now, choose the desired user mailbox to backup and hit the start backup button in order to backup Office 365 emails locally.

Wrapping It Up

In this article, we have listed the best way to backup Office 365 emails using both native and automated tools. The process to backup Office 365 mailbox locally isn’t an easy task, especially when doing it with a free native tool such as the eDisocvery tool. It requires high technical skills and good working experience of working with Admin Center. Moreover, the same complicated steps need to be performed every time the backup needs to be created. Whereas, automated tools are quite easy to handle and save time in case of regular backup.