Can You use Outlook PST Files with Office 365?

PST is the email file extension of Outlook that stores the mailbox data items such as emails, contacts, calendars, events, attachments, etc. of Outlook. We can use PST files with Office 365 by importing it in the Exchange Online mailboxes of Office 365. To import the pst files to Exchange Online we have to choose Import service in Security & Compliance Center of Office 365, for using and transferring the PST files. But before importing we will also know the reasons to import PST files to Office 365.

Why Import Outlook PST Files to Office 365

There are some reasons to import, see them below:

1. If we import .pst files to Office 365 then it helps against data loss because Office 365 contains the high availability features of Exchange Online.

2. Office 365 is cloud-based that’s why users can access its data easily from any device and anywhere.

3. Importing PST files to Office 365 is helpful because it completes the address compliance needs of your organization.

  • It enables archive mailboxes and unlimited archiving to give the more spaces of mailbox storage because PST files are more space consuming.
  • Mailboxes also placed on Litigation Hold to retain all mailbox contents as well as deleted data and the real versions of improved items.
  • It also allows using eDiscovery cases to organize the legal investigations of organizations.
  • In the Security & Compliance Centre utilize the retention policies to command the mailbox contents is retained how long time and when it deleted after the expiry of the retention period.

These were some benefits to import PST to Office 365, and there are some other benefits too to import email data to Office 365. Now in the next part, we will know the methods to import PST files to Office 365.

How to Import Outlook PST Files to Office 365

There are two methods to move PST to Office 365, see them below:

Network Upload: For the temporary Azure storage location in the MS cloud upload the .pst files on the network and utilize the import service of Office 365 to import the PST data to mailboxes. To do this, see the steps below:

Step 1: Copy the shared access signature (SAS) URL and download the Azure AzCopy tool.

Step 2: Now upload the .pst files to Office 365.

Step 3: Make the PST import CSV file or mapping file.

Step 4: Make a PST import job in Office 365 to analyze the data in .pst files.

Step 5: Finally, filter the data items and start the PST import job.

Note Only step 1 have to perform at once otherwise from step 2 to 5 every time when you upload or import a batch of .pst files. Before you start this process you have to be assigned the Mailbox Import/Export preamble in Exchange Online.

Drive Shipping: In the BitLocker-encrypted hard disk, copy all the .pst files then ship the drive to Microsoft, “physically”. Once Microsoft obtained the hard drive, then the personnel of the data center uploads the data to a temporary Azure storage position in the MS cloud. Now use the import service to import the data to mailboxes in Office 365. To apply the import service, see the steps below:

Step 1: First, download the PST import utility and secure storage key.

Step 2: Next, copy all the .pst files to hard disk.

Step 3: Now, make the PST import mapping or CSV file.

Step 4: Make the PST import job to analyze the data in .pst files.

Step 5: Ship the hard drive to MS.

Step 6: Finally, filter the data items and start the PST import job.

Note Drive shipping cost to import PST files to Office 365 depends on per GB of data and the cost of one GB data is $2 USD. For instance, if a hard drive stores 1 TB of PST files, the cost will be $2,000 USD.

How importing PST files works?

You can understand the complete PST import process with the below-mentioned image. The image shows the whole workflow and tells the distinctions between Network Upload and Drive Shipping Methods.

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Note The PST files which are stored on the hard drive uploads to Azure within 7 to 10 working days after accessing the hard drive by Microsoft.


With the above-mentioned techniques, you can use Outlook PST files with Office 365. Follow the techniques carefully and you will be able to import .pst files to Office 365 to use with Office 365. Otherwise, you can also go for the third-party utility like Office 365 backup and restore tool.

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