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How to Backup Office 365 Emails Locally – Learn the Best Way In Few Clicks

Published By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 7th, 2023

Office 365 is the most powerful business productivity suite offered by Microsoft – however, a 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 and 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.

What are the Different Ways 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. Here are some of the possible solutions. Follow the step by step:

5 Quick Steps to Backup Office 365 Emails are:

  • Step 1. Download & Launch the Tool.
  • Step 2. Choose Items to Backup & Set Filters. 
  • Step 3. Login via Office 365 Admin Account.
  • Step 4. SelectOffice 365 Account for Backup.
  • Step 5. Browse Location to Save & Click on Start.

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 keep 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

You need to have special privileges to access the tool. Only the global admin or Office 365 admins can access eDiscovery. Follow the steps below to acquire the permissions needed to access the tool.

Manual Method Steps to Backup Email from Office 365 Admin Portal

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 username mentioned above 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 you want to export as a result of using In-Place eDiscovery.
  • And then, click the download icon to start Exporting to a local PST file.
  • Perform the following steps in the eDiscovery PST Export Tool and create an Office 365 Backup.
    • First, click Browse to set the folder path where you want to save the resultant PST file.
    • Next, tick the Enable deduplication check box to remove any duplicate emails. If the same message is 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 to Backup Office 365 Emails Locally:

There are pros and cons to performing any technical process to download PST from Office 365 online. Here are some of the drawbacks of using manual procedures:

  • 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 could be compromised to fasten the process.
  • You must have administrative credentials for granting privileges. You must be aware of administrator accounts, handling roles, and granting permission. 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 saving time. At times, this process can become irrelevant considering alternative options.
  • The export process can be limited by the size of the mailbox or the number of items that can be exported at one time.
  • The export process can take a significant amount of time, especially for large mailboxes or slow network connections.
  • Exporting data from Office 365 to PST can raise security concerns, as the exported data may not be as secure as it is in the cloud-based Office 365 environment.
  • In some cases, data may be lost during the export process, particularly if the PST file is corrupted or if the export process is interrupted.
  • Data may not be exported in a compliant way with the regulations.
  • Item types, such as calendar events and tasks, may not be exported.

Solution #2: Automated Solution to Take Backup of Office 365 Emails

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 reliable application such as Office 365 Backup Tool.

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

Download Now Purchase Now

Have a look at the salient features of the software:

  • Take a backup of Office 365 Mailbox locally with ease
  • Best Utility to Backup data in PST File Format
  • Admin Impersonation: Helpful to backup various accounts at the same time
  • Include Shared Mailbox as well during the backup process
  • Option to export In-Place archive mailboxes as well
  • Compatible with Windows 10, & 11 OS 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 back up 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 of 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 with Admin Center. Moreover, you need to perform the same steps whenever there would be a need for backup. Whereas, automated tools are quite easy to handle and save time in case of regular backup.

FAQs Regarding Backup Office 365 Emails Locally

Q1. How to back up a shared mailbox using this tool in Office 365?

In the above-mentioned step 5, you need to directly select the email address of the respective shared mailbox in the software.  The software will back up its data locally with a separate PST file.

Q2. Does this tool deletes the data in the source after backing up them locally? 

No, the software is designed in this way, it does not alter the source data, it simply downloads them in a local file format. In order to delete the source data you need to manually log in to the respective account and delete them by yourself.

Q3. Do I need to backup Office 365 emails? Doesn’t Microsoft backup my mailbox data?

No, Microsoft does not backup your data, however, they ensure the safety of their data centers. But in the clear answer, they do not provide comprehensive backup for your data. Hence, you need to back up your data personally.

Q4. How do I back up my Office 365 emails without Outlook?

If you are looking for a free method then, you can use the eDiscovery method to backup your emails from your Office 365 account. However, the eDiscovery method is quite complex and time-consuming, additionally, it requires technical knowledge. Hence, the recommended way to back up Office 365 is to use the above-mentioned tool.