Best Methods to Import PST files into Office 365

Don’t we all want things in one place so we can manage them efficiently and effectively, which may increase our productivity? Office 365 or Microsoft 365 does the same thing by bringing several apps together. It is a cloud-based platform accessible on your desktop, mobile devices, and online.

Office 365 allows you to work from anywhere, as everything is hosted on Microsoft’s server. This aspect of Office 365 makes it popular among users. Since it is secure and safe, many users want to import their Outlook importable PST [Personal Storage Table] file into Office 365 for uninterrupted and secure access.

Microsoft Outlook commonly uses PST files to store/save Outlook data, such as emails, contacts, calendars, events, tasks, etc. This is essential information you would want to secure through migration to Office 365, as PST files can get corrupted quickly. Also, it is not safe to use PST files for long-term storage.

If you are a PST file user, you want to move the information in these PST files into Exchange Online. In this article, we will explain step-by-step the best possible methods for importing PST files to Office 365.

The Possible Methods to import PST files to Office 365

Importing PST files to Office 365 can be done manually, primarily using Outlook’s Import/Export Wizard. However, you can also use another robust Network upload method, Azure AzCopy. You can also send your encrypted hard drive storing large PST files to Microsoft. If you possess technical expertise and a solid understanding of PowerShell commands, you will have the opportunity to import PST files into Office 365 using PowerShell commands.

These are manual methods and do not necessarily suit you if you want them to be quicker, more accurate, and seamless. Therefore, we will also explain the specialized PST migration software to help you import your PST file to Office 365 in a few clicks.

When to use one of the Methods?

We have mentioned four methods to import PST files to Office 365. These methods can be used:

Outlook Import/Export Wizard: The manual method using Outlook Import/Export Wizard can be employed only when you have a few small PST files to migrate to Office 365.

Network Upload using Azure AzCopy: When you have large and multiple PST files to import to Office 365. This method can easily import PST files up to 20GB. An increase in size can hamper the performance.

Stellar Migrator for Outlook: A professionally designed tool to directly migrate/import Outlook PST files to Office 365. It is best suited for users with large PST data. The Outlook PST to Office 365 migration tool can seamlessly migrate up to 50GB of PST data to Office 365 in a few clicks.

You can use the Migrator for Outlook to directly import PST files from multiple systems to the Office 365 mailbox. Moreover, the Stellar Migrator tool completes the migration process from PST to Microsoft 365 with integrity and accuracy.

The Process of Migration of PST Files to Office 365 with Different Methods

We have explained when to use the above methods to migrate PST to Office 365. These methods consist of numerous steps, so you need to be aware of and fully committed to following each step to Complete the migration successfully.

Method 1: Import PST files to Office 365 with Outlook Import/Export wizard

In all fairness, this manual method can be called a native method, as you will need to configure the Microsoft Outlook application in your Office 365 account. Then, you can import PST files to Office 365. This method can be the easiest and quickest way to migrate a PST file from a user’s mailbox to Microsoft 365. You should have direct/remote access to Outlook on your system to complete the process.

  • To begin the process, ensure you are an Outlook user and can access the PST files you want to import.
  • Once done, click on File, select Open & Export, and click Import/Export from the options.
  • Select Import from another program or file from the new dialog box and click Next.

select Import from another program or file and click on Next

  • Now select the Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.

Now select the Outlook Data File PST and click on Next

  • From the Import Outlook Data File box, click Browse and locate your PST file.

From the Import Outlook Data File box click on the Browse and locate your PST file

  • Select the PST file you want to import.
  • Under Select the Folder to import from, choose the PST Folder, then check Include subfolders. Then tap on the Import items into the same folder in the radio button.

Select the PST file you want to import

  • Select the Office 365/Microsoft 365 email account, then click Finish.

Once the import is completed, you can access the migrated PST files in your Office 365 mailbox.

Method 2: Network Upload using Azure AzCopy

Before using this method, know that it requires technical skills and knowledge. Azure AzCopy is a command-line tool capable of copying data to and from Azure storage. Therefore, the tool can also import PST files into Office 365.

To employ this method to import PST to Office 365, you will need to assign the user account the Import Export and Mail Recipient roles. This will be used to migrate Outlook PST to Office 365.

Following are the steps you will need to follow to import PST files to Office 365 using Azure AzCopy:

Step 1: Assign Roles

  • Open Exchange Admin Centre, and select Roles. Click on Admin Roles, search import-export, and click. 

From Exchange Admin Centre and select Roles Click on Admin Roles and search import export and click

  • Now, under the Assigned tab, find Add and click. Select the users to whom you may want to assign the role of Admin to import Outlook PST files.

find Add and click Select the users you may want to assign the role of Admin for importing Outlook PST file

  • Search and select users and click on the Add button.

Step 2: Create an Import Job

In this step, you will create the import job to upload PST files to Azure Storage.

  • Go to the Microsoft PurView Compliance Center homepage.
  • On the left-hand side, you will find Data lifecycle management, expand it, and click on Import.
  • In the Import, select Import PST Files.

In the Import select Import PST Files

  • Click on +New import job button. Name the job, and click on Next.
  • On Select Import Job Type, check on Upload your data and click on Next.

click on the Show network upload SAS URL and save it to your Clipboard and then Download Azure AzCopy for the tool

  • In the Import data box, click on Show network upload SAS URL, save it to your Clipboard, and then Download Azure AzCopy for the tool.

Now, you can move to the next step.

Step 3: Upload PST Files using Azure AzCopy tool

To start uploading the Outlook PST files to Office 365 Azure Storage, follow these steps:

  • Extract the command-line tool, Azure AzCopy, on your desktop. Also, copy the folder with PST files to the desktop or connect the drive if the PST file is on your external drive.
  • Open the Command Prompt and locate the extracted folder (azcopy.exe file), which is on your desktop, by using the cd command.
  • Run the command pathToFolder/ContainingPST” “SAS URL –recursive=true, to upload the PST files to Azure Storage.

Now run the command to upload the PST files to Azure Storage

Note: If your PST files are saved in the subfolders as well, you can apply the—-recursive=true switch to identify the recursive mode.

  • Wait till PST files are uploaded.  It may take some time, depending on network speed and bandwidth.

During the process, you must ensure that the PST file does not exceed the limit of 20GB. Anything above 20GB may hamper the quality of import.

Step 4: Verify Uploaded Outlook PST Files

To ensure that the PST files are successfully uploaded to Azure Storage, go to Azure Storage Explorer. The tool can verify this. It supports Windows, macOS, and Linux.

  • Download and launch the installer. Click on Install for me only.
  • After installation, launch the Azure Storage Explorer.
  • Select Blob container, click on Shared access signature URL (SAS), and then paste the copied SAS URL in the Blob container SAS URL: field, and then click on Next, and then Connect.

Click Shared access signature URL (SAS) paste the SAS URL in Blob container SAS URL click Next then Connect

  • Click on File Shares on the left-hand side of the window to see the PST folder. Open and verify PST files.

Click on File Shares on the left hand side of the window to see the PST folder Open and verify PST files

Step 5: Map Outlook PST Files

This is a critical step to ensure the PST files are correctly imported into the users’ mailboxes in Office 365. You can do this by downloading the PST import mapping file and filling it out to upload it during the next step, which is creating an Import job. For this, download the mapping template PstImportMappingFile.csv’.

download the mapping template

When you begin filling out the template, leave the Workload. Below the FilePath, enter the folder name. Under Name, enter the users’ names. Under Mailbox, enter email addresses, and then fill in the TargetRootFolder where you are importing the mail items. You can leave other fields empty and save the CSV file.

You must understand the parameters and columns used in the CSV file template for the job.

Workload: It indicates the PST import to the user’s mailbox, which you may leave on Exchange.

FilePath: Indicates the location of the PST file. You can leave the column empty if your PST file is in the root folder. However, if you saved your PST in subfolders, you need to mention the subfolder’s name.

Name:  the name of the PST file.

Mailbox – The user mailbox where you want to import the PST files.

IsArchive – You can also import the PST files to the user’s online archive folder. Please set it to true or false as needed.

TargetRootFolder—When you leave this column empty, the PST files will be imported to a new folder in the user’s mailbox. If you want to merge the data (either in the inbox or sent items), use only a (/) slash sign.

Step 6: Start PST Import Job

Open the Microsoft 365/Office 365 Import data wizard to begin the PST import. Follow the steps given below:

Open the Microsoft or Office Import data wizard to begin the PST import

  • In the New import job box, check mark on I’m done uploading files, and I have access to mapping file, and then click on Next.

check mark on I m done uploading files and I have access to mapping file and then click on Next

  • In the next part, Select import job type, click on +Select mapping file, and then click on Validate. To proceed further, click on Next. In case, the validation fails, then you need to download the logs and look into the issue.
  • Now click Submit, and then Done.

Validate the mapping file

  • To see the progress, go to Information Governance.

To see the progress go to Information Governance

  • The message will change to Import completed when the data is successfully imported.

When the data is successfully imported the message will change to Import completed

  • To verify, you can log into your Office 365 account and check the folder and mail items for your imported PST files.

You will now have full access to all your mail items.

Method 3: Send/Ship the Drive storing PST Files to Microsoft

In this method, you must send/ship your Outlook PST files to Microsoft to upload the files to your Azure Storage. Once the designated Microsoft facility receives the data, the Microsoft personnel use the information in the journal file to upload the data to Azure Storage. You can check the status.

Microsoft will charge $2/1GB or $2000/1TB for PST files. For complete steps and other information, go to the Microsoft document.

Keep the PST file up to 20GB on your hard drive. More than that, it can affect the PST import process and performance.

Method 4: Stellar Migrator for Outlook

Stellar Migrator for Outlook is a professional migration tool that can ease the importation of your PST into Office 365. This tool allows you to select, scan, and upload PST files directly to Microsoft 365. Using Microsoft Modern Authentication, you can use the PST to Office 365 migration tool to connect with the mailbox and initiate uploading mail items from selected PST files to your Office 365 mailbox.

Interface of Stellar Migrator for Outlook

It is a highly structured and safe tool that maintains the original folder hierarchy of your PST files. Stellar Migrator has some top features that will help you reduce the time to import PST files to Office 365 with other methods.

The tool can be installed on multiple systems. It allows you to upload several large PST files, up to 50GB each, simultaneously to Office 365. The most incredible aspect of the tool is that it allows you to upload and migrate mail items from Outlook OST files, along with orphaned or inaccessible OST files, to Office 365.

Conclusion

A few manual methods can be used to migrate/import PST files to Office 365. However, the manual methods are lengthy and require a focused approach. They do not allow you to miss a single step, even accidentally, to complete the import successfully. These are tedious and cumbersome procedures.

Therefore, to avoid all these limitations and the technical abilities required with the Azure AzCopy process, it is recommended and wise to use a specialized tool like Stellar Migrator for Outlook to import PST files to Office 365. It comes with a friendly interface that offers filters of different types so you can be specific with your PST file import to Office 365.

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