Methods to Backup and Restore MS Office 365 in Windows

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  • Published on
    September 5th, 2019
  • Updated on
    July 5, 2022
  • Read Time
    7 minutes
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Businesses are moving from on-premises MS Exchange environments to MS Office 365 over the past years and the world is also leaning more towards export and import data to the desired locations. Office 365 is a popular cloud-based application to migrate the data to Outlook or the other application and also import and export to Office are crucial tasks to users. But, what is the need to import/export to Office 365? In this blog, we will know the reasons to backup for Office and methods to backup and restore MS office 365. Follow to the end.

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What are the Possible Reasons to Backup Emails in MS Office 365

  • Accessibility at any moment: MS Office 365 is a cloud-based application that’s why it is necessary to back up the data so users can access the desired data anytime without any internet connection.
  • To the Archiving: When the mailbox data needs to be archived or shared by the users, then it is required to export the MS Office data to some location, from where it can be accessed easily.
  • Revoking Office 365 users: When an employee revokes his MS Office 365 account then the account needs to be saved offline for any future analysis.

What are the Possible Reasons to Restore PST Files

  • Relocate On-premises data: Restoring Outlook PST file to Office allows a way to import Exchange On-premises data to MS Office 365.
  • For the Security: MS Office 365 is safer than any other application to store the data.
  • Inflicting retain policies: MS Office 365 allows to inflict retain strategies and document deletion strategies that detach data after a predefined time.

In this way, the possible reasons to backup and restore MS Office 365 are discussed and now in the next part, we will know some manual methods as well as a professional method to backup and restore for MS office 365.

Manual Methods to Backup Emails from MS Office 365

Method 1: Backup by the eDiscovery PST export utility

To backup the Office 365 mailboxes to Outlook PST file, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Log in to your Office 365. Go to Admin Center >> Security & Compliance Center >>Permissions and edit eDiscovery Manager role group.

Note: Check the presence of Export role from the following roles assigned – Case Management, Compliance Search, Export, Hold, Preview, Review and RMS Decrypt. If it is missing, then add it using the plus (+) icon.

Step 2: Go to the Search & Investigation >> click add (+) and then start a New Content Search wizard. Fill the suitable name and click Next.

Step 3: Choose Search everywhere and check mark Exchange to export data from all mailboxes and you can also select specific mailboxes using the Custom location selection option and you can export from Public folders by selecting search all public folders option.

Step 4: Now in the next part, you also can set the filters like time range, email metadata (from, to, cc, bcc) and message types. Click Search and after opening next window, click Start export.

Step 5: After selecting the required options for export, click Start export and now you can download the export results by clicking Download export results in the Content Search dialogue box. It will generate an export key, copy this to Clipboard.

Step 6: Finally, in the eDiscovery PST export tool paste the copied export key and provide a folder where you want to save the PST files to the Export Tool then click the Start the export will be started.

Method 2: Backup through the Microsoft Outlook Application

Before using the application Office 365 mailboxes must be configured with Microsoft Outlook account. After state, the permissions, wait for a few times until the mailboxes aren’t visible on the Outlook account. Then follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Outlook application. From File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export.

Step 2: Select Export to a file >> Next.

Step 3: Select Outlook Data File (.pst). Click Next.

Step 4: Finally, in the next step, you will be asked to choose the folder items to move. Then select the desired items (public folder or mailbox) and click Next. The export will be started.

Drawbacks of Manual Solution to Backup

Drawbacks, using eDiscovery tool

i. Very much time consuming and complex method.

ii. Can’t be exported selective mailboxes.

iii. Archiving license of MS Office 365 is required for this option.

Drawbacks, using MS Outlook application

i. Multiple mailboxes can’t migrate at once.

ii. Sometimes particular mailboxes are not able to export.

iii. It is necessary for the configuration of mailboxes.

Manual Method to Restore MS Office 365

Method 1: By using Office 365 PST Restore or Import service

The MS Office 365 has a new feature to restore decrypted PST files to Office cloud. But the user must assign the Mailbox Import Export role to the user account before implementing the process. To assign the role, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Microsoft Exchange Admin Center inside this, click Permissions then click Admin Roles.

Step 2: Now, double click on Organization Management then click add + Roles.

Step 3: Finally, Select Mailbox Import and Export then click Add, click OK and click Save.

Method 2: Download a utility – Azure Copy Tool

Follow the steps below to perform this action:

Step 1: Log in to MS Office 365 and select Data Management.

Step 2: Now, click Import >> Go to the Import Service >> Upload Files Over the Network.

Step 3: After this, download the tool by clicking on the Download Tool and install it.

Step 4: In the  Import Data to Office 365 window click on the key sign and click Copy key. Now click on the Show URL for PST files. Finally, save this key and URL to a secure location.

  • By uploading the Personel Storage Table files to MS Office 365

After obtaining the Key and URL by Azure Copy Tool, open the command prompt as the administrator. Also, open the directory where Azure copy tool is installed and run the following command to upload the Personel Storage Table files (PST):

AzCopy.exe /Source:\\SERVER01\PSTshare /Dest:/SERVER01/PSTshare/ /Destkey: /S /V:C:\PSTshare\Uploadlog.log

Drawbacks, using Manual solution to Restore

i. Takes too much time to perform.

ii. Unfeasible for non-encrypted PST file.

iii. Chances of data loss.

iv. Only compatible with some MS Office plans.

You May Also Read- Why do we Need to Backup Google Data?

An Alternate Professional Method to Backup and Restore MS Office 3655

As we saw the manual solutions are very complicated and takes so much time for the backup and restore therefore Office 365 Backup and Restore Tool by the Sysinfo is one of the best options to backup and restore for MS Office 365. This tool is enough able to import and export data at once in very less time and there is also no chance of any data loss. User can take backups of Office 365 emails, contacts, calendars in various file formats. The utility offers a great way to store all the information related to the backup or restore process in the CSV file.


After analyzing both methods we saw, manual methods are so complex. This method is very much time consuming, limitations of importing and exporting and also the chances of data loss. So, I would suggest try a professional utility to feel free for secure backup and restore MS Office 365.

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