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How to Import PST to Office 365; Step-By-Step Explanation

import pst to office 365

Nilesh Kumar | Modified: July 20, 2023 | Office 365 | 12 Minutes Reading

Summary: This step-by-step guide is designed for users and admins of Office 365, who are looking for a complete solution to Import PST to Office 365. We have dicussed different ways to perform this operation like PowerShell, etc. Go through the guide and follow the mentioned steps to execute the entire task safely without putting in any extra effort.

When it comes to cloud-based platforms, numerous organizations use Office 365. Basically, Microsoft Office 365 is a Software as a Service solution that includes Microsoft Office and other services – email and collaboration. Due to its feature-rich nature and performance, Office 365 has become the first choice of users as well as organizations. However, some situations occur in which the user needs to import PST to  Office 365.

Now, the question crops up, is it possible to import PST to Office 365 Online Archive folder? Yes, users can easily import with the help of PowerShell commands. In this blog, we are going to discuss step by step process to upload PST to Office 365 using PowerShell commands.

Instant Solution: To Import PST to Office 365 without any hassle, use the below tool. 

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5 Quick Steps to Import PST to Office 365  

  • Step 1. Download & Run the Tool on a PC.
  • Step 2. Choose Outlook & Office 365 as Platforms.
  • Step 3. Select Required Workload & Apply Date Filter.
  • Step 4. Authenticate Source & Destination Platforms.
  • Step 5. Choose Required Users & Click on Start Button.

Some Prerequisites for Manual Method to Import PST to Office 365:

  • An admin account on Office 365 tenant is required
  • Have Import Export Mailbox admin role
  • Having high upload bandwidth is an advantage

Method #1 – Import PST to Office 365 via PowerShell Commands

To import PST to Office 365, Microsoft provides an Import Service feature built on Azure storage.

Phase 1. Storage Provisioning

Step 1. In Office 365, click on Import Service > Data Migration

Step 2. Now, you need to click on the Upload PST option


Step 3. After that, click on the + sign and select the Upload email messages (PST files) option

Step 4. For the first import, the Storage account will be created. You need to click on ‘Show network upload SAS URL’ for that. This URL will contain:

Storage Account Name

Container Name

Shared Access Signature: It contains the sv – storage service version, se – expiration date, sr – storage type, si – storage identifier, and sig – signature. Azure AzCopy Tool uses this URL to upload PST.

Phase 2. Upload PST to Office 365 Account

After the completion of the storage provisioning process, the user can begin the PST upload procedure. To upload PST, the user has two options either they can use the AzCopy tool (Command Line Tool) or Azure Storage Explorer (Graphical tool).

Step 1. First, you need to connect to the Azure Storage Explorer


Step 2. Now, enter the Shared Access Signature (SAS) URL or an account key

Step 3. You will be able to see the Connection Summary after entering the required SAS URL

Step 4. Next, you can import PST using Azure Storage Explorer Tool

Step 5. After that, you can check the list of files present on Azure by using

New-AzureStorageContext -SasToken ($SharedAccessSignatureURL -split ‘\?’ | Select-Object -Last 1) -StorageAccountName ($SharedAccessSignatureURL -split ‘\.’ -split ‘//’)[1] | Get-AzureStorageBlob -Container ($SharedAccessSignatureURL -split ‘\?’ -split ‘/’)[3] | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Name

Step 3. Mapping the File

Once you have uploaded the PST file to Azure Storage, you must build a CSV file. This CSV file will map the PST files to mailboxes and destination folders.

Step 4. Import PST to Office 365

Finally, you need to import the PST mapping file. Click on the Finish button, and your PST file will be imported to Online Archive in Office 365.

Get-MailboxImportRequest | ForEach-Object -Process { Get-MailboxImportRequestStatistics -Identity $_.RequestGuid } | Select-Object -Property BatchName, TargetAlias, StatusDetail, StartTimestamp, OverallDuration, TotalInProgressDuration, EstimatedTransferSize, PercentComplete, @{Label=’File’;Expression={$_.AzureBlobStorageAccountUri | Split-Path -Leaf}} | Out-GridView -Title “PST Import Progress

Method #2 – Upload PST to Office 365 Using Outlook

Step 1. In the very first step, you have to configure your Office 365 account in Outlook.

Step 2. Now, launch Outlook, navigate to File, and click on it.

Step 3. Click on the Open & Export option from the menu.

Step 4. Then, hit the Import/Export option. Now choose Import from another program of file (default selected).

Step 5. Click on Outlook Data File (.pst) from the given options. Choose the PST file you want to import to Office 365.

Step 6. Set the location where you want to import. Lastly, click on the Finish button.

Limitations of Using PowerShell Commands to Import PST to Office 365  

 This method has certain limitations, including:

  1. Large Data Volume – The network upload method might not be suitable for a large volume of data, as the upload process would become quite time-consuming and resource-intensive.
  2. Internet Bandwidth – The manual method requires a sufficient and reliable internet connection with high upload speeds to import PST to Office 365. If the internet connection gets slow or becomes unstable, then the upload process may fail several times.
  3. PST File Size Limit – You can only import PST files to Office 365 with sizes smaller than 2 GB. If the recommended size exceeds, the eDiscovery might not work. Hence, in order to upload more than 2GB size, then you can split it into smaller files before uploading it to Office 365 mailbox.
  4. Data Security – Another reason PST files are not encrypted, hence, they are vulnerable to data breaches. If PST files are not handled with care then they can be lost or stolen, and the data they contain might be compromised.
  5. PST File Corruption – It is quite obvious, that the PST files are fragile in nature and can easily get corrupted. Furthermore, if the PST files are corrupted in between the process, then they can not be uploaded or imported, which results in data loss.
  6. Not Suitable for Multiple Users – Last, but not least, the manual approach is not suitable for importing multiple user mailbox data at once. It can create confusion, which will eventually result in accidental data deletion. 

Also Read: How to Save Office 365 Mailbox Emails to Desktop Hard Drive?

Method #3 – Drive Shipping to Upload PST to Office 365

  • Step 1. In the drive shipping method, first, you have to prepare your PST files. Ensure all PST files are healthy and already named for easy identification and management.
  • Step 2. Now, get a virus-free hard drive and make sure it fulfills all the requirements of Drive shipping. Then copy or transfer all the required PST files to the hard drive that needs to be uploaded to Office 365.
  • Step 3. As these PST files must be having organizational crucial data, hence, for the security of PST data files, Microsoft recommends users encrypt the hard drive using BitLocker or any similar encryption software.
  • Step 4. Now, in order to import PST to Office 365 account, you need to create a drive shipping request. To do this, you can log in to Microsoft 365 admin center and go to Import services >> Data Migration, and create a drive shipping request.
  • Step 5. Once all the above steps are completed, then you can prepare the hard drive for shipping. To do so, you can safely pack the encrypted hard drive with other shipping documents. Then use any of the reputed shipping services to send the hard drive to the designated Microsoft data center.
  • Step 6. Now you can track the shipping progress using the details provided by the shipping company. Once, the files reach the Microsoft data center, then you can check the status in the Microsoft admin center. You will also receive a notification when the upload process is completed by Microsft. 
  • Step 7. In this last step, you should verify the PST data uploaded to Office 365. Remember, this process can take time, hence, you must be having some additional time to use this process over others.

Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the user to understand and implement the steps of the above manual method correctly. Additionally, if the user tries to perform the steps without any technical knowledge, then it can also lead to data loss issues. Thus, it is recommended to opt for an automated and reliable solution to import PST files to Office 365 account.

Limitations of Using Drive Shipping Method to Import PST Files to Office 365

There could be several limitations in using drive shipping for this operation. Below listed are some of the noteworthy shortcomings.

It could be a Time-Consuming Task

As, above discussed, this process involves physically shipping the PST containing hard drives to Microsoft Data Centers. It takes a significant amount of time to prepare, collect, and send PST files, especially for large amounts of data.

It has a Potential Risk for Data Loss or Damage

Drive shipping has always a risk of data loss or damage during transit. Moreover, there are various factors for the same, such as mishandling, accidents, or other unforeseen circumstances.

It could be Significantly Costly  

Drive shipping comes with a respective charge; Microsoft charges $2 per GB to import PST to Office 365 account. It also incurs additional costs for shipping, insurance, and handling of hard drive storage devices.

It can not be used for Multiple Imports 

This method might not be appropriate for organizations with frequent or large-scale PST imports, because of the time-consuming and costly process. The Drive Shipping method to upload PST to Office 365, is more commonly used for one-time or infrequent migrations.

It Lacks Real-time Data Synchronization

In drive shipping, we have to physically ship the hard drive to the Microsoft data center, which means there would not be any real-time synchronization between the on-premises data and the Office 365 environment during this shipment. Any changes made to the data during the shipping process will not reflect in the Office 365 accounts until the import is completed.

Must Read: How to Forward Multiple Emails from One Office 365 Account to Another

Method #4 – Alternative to Import PST to Office 365 PowerShell

The user can easily import PST to Office 365 account with the help of a reliable application such as Outlook to Office 365 Migration Tool. With this utility, one can easily import PST files including emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks to Office 365 in a hassle-free way. Moreover, the software also provides the option to include specific folders during the PST migration process.

One can also import the PST files to Office 365 account selectively with the help of the Date Filter option offered by the tool. Additionally, all the attributes associated with the emails, such as attachments, and metadata are maintained even after the migration process. The software is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Outlook.

Detailed Step By Step Software Guide to Import PST to Office 365 Online 

Step 1. Download, & Install the Tool

To begin the process, you can download and install the software from the below buttons. The installation file will be saved in your designated download folder.

Download Tool Purchase Now

Step 2. Platform Selection – Office 365 & Outlook

After successfully downloading the tool, it’s time to embark on the next step. Launch the tool, and you get to choose the platforms you wish to import. Select Outlook as the source platform and Office 365 as the destination.

Step 3. Choosing Workload & Applying Date Filter

Our tool allows you to manage your workload efficiently, and here’s how you can do it effortlessly. Once you’ve selected the required workload to import, then you will find the “Date Filter” option. Applying the date filter will enable you to import data of the specific time period that you want to import to Office 365.

Step 4. Source & Destination Platform Authentication

As part of our commitment to safeguarding your data and ensuring secure interactions, we have integrated a robust authentication system. In this step, you’ll be prompted to authenticate both the source and destination platforms. Rest assured, your privacy and confidentiality are of utmost importance to us, and this authentication process adds an extra layer of protection.

Step 5. Adding & Choosing Users  

Now comes the exciting part –  here you get three different ways to add Office 365 users to the software panel. Using any of them and adding users, respectively. 

  1. Fetch Users: It will automatically fetch users from Source.
  2. Import Users: This will import users through a CSV file.
  3. Download Template: This downloads a template to be used as a sample for creating a CSV file.

Once, you are done with adding users, then select and validate the required permissions.

Step 6. Initiating the Import Process

Once you’ve validated the users, simply locate the “Start” button and give it a satisfying click to import PST to Office 365. Brace yourself for an efficient and streamlined import experience ahead.


Also Read: How to Perform G Suite to Office 365 Migration: Step-By-Step Process

Final Words

Users import PST to Office 365 for numerous purposes as discussed in the above post. However, they were not able to find a reliable and instant way to implement this task. Thus, in this blog, we have introduced manual and automated solutions to import PST to Office 365. The user can opt for any method of their choice. However, to avoid data loss issues, it is recommended to opt for the above-mentioned tool.

Frequently Asked Question And Answers

Q. How do I import PST to Office 365?

A – There are three ways to import PST files to Office 365 account. The first is by using the PowerShell command. The second is through Outlook, and another is by using the above-mentioned tool.

Q. Is it possible to import PST files to Office 365 mailbox in bulk?

A – Yes, using PST to Office 365 above-mentioned tool, you can migrate multiple Outlook PST file data to O365 Online mailboxes in a few steps.

Q. Can I Import Outlook PST file data to Office 365 Online without Admin Credentials?

A – Yes, you can easily import Outlook file data to your O365 OWA without Admin credentials.

Q. Is it possible to Import Orphan PST files to my Office 365 Account?

A – Yes, you can use the PowerShell method as well as an automated approach to migrate Orphan Outlook PST to the O365 account.