Lost my mind! How to move my desktop Outlook 2016 PST folder and contents to Office 365

New Contributor

Look for some help. I have been at this for over 20 HOURS! I have over 15K emails covering 15 emails accounts, on my desktop Outlook 2016. 


I signed up for Office 365 (mistake?). The sole purpose was to access my emails (old and new) from anywhere on any device. 


I cannot find a single valid DIY on how to move my exisit emails over to Office 365. Does this not exist? I see some paid software that allows for this. 


Any real tangible help would be appreciated. Thank you. 

10 Replies
Hi Lee. Do you know much about how you connect to each of your email accounts?
Do these words sound familiar? POP, SMTP, IMAP? Do you download your email to your pc but also leave a copy online in your email accounts? If you download your email, it's stored in a file called a Personal Archive (a .PST file.) This is one guide you can follow to import your downloaded email from a .PST file to your Office 365 mailbox. https://support.office.com/en-us/article/import-email-contacts-and-calendar-from-an-outlook-pst-file...

If you still plan to keep each of your 15 email accounts, you might be able to connect them into one mailbox in Office 365. This next support article shows you how to connect an email account from a different provider, to your Office 365 mailbox. https://support.office.com/en-us/article/connect-email-accounts-in-outlook-on-the-web-office-365-d70...

Try those two articles. If it doesn't fit your situation, Meetup the conversation going on this thread.

Thank you Darrell, I suppose I should have elaborated further. I do have a PST file, I have no idea what to do with it.  My IT guy at works simple says take my Outlook pst file and import it into Office 365. There is no option. When I go into Office 365 and choose Outlook there is no such import ability. 


This pst file contains all of the information from my Outlook desktop account including 15 email accounts, email, calendar, etc.  These are of course downloaded on there. 


I gather from your answer that Microsoft does not support this. 


I will look into canceling my Office 365 subscription and just install Outlook onto all of my devices. I figured Microsoft was a little more advanced that this. 




Hi Lee. Microsoft does support your scenario. It's just not a user friendly way to achieve.
What Office 365 subscription are you using? Is it just the desktop software or does it include a mailbox too? (Business or Enterprise subscription.)
Are you using Outlook on your desktop (eg Outlook 2016) to download your email? You can use the Import feature. You just need to know where the PST files are and follow the steps. Make sure you have connected to your new Office 365 mailbox first. Select that mailbox before you try to import from the PST files.
When you wrote "There is no option. When I go into Office 365 and choose Outlook there is no such import ability." it sounds like you're using Outlook on the web.

Darrell,  I am using Office 365 Home.   I suppose the confusion lies in that I want my emails on the cloud with Office, yet there is no option to import. Instead what you are describing is a desktop solution? I have Outlook 2016 installed on my pc. I know where my pst file is as I exported it from Outlook.


So, if I have my exported pst file from Outlook 2016, what do I do with it? 


Thank you




I understand now. Office 365 Home subscription comes with up to 5 cloud based mailboxes, from Oulook.com.
Is Outlook on your desktop connected to your Outlook.com mailbox? Is the Outlook.com email address the one you intend to use for your future email communications? Our do you intend to keep using all 15 other email accounts?

I intend to use all 15 email accounts. I am guessing most people only use 1 email account in their lives, or so it appears. 

Looking at o365 Home, it shows I can install 5 instances of O365, but I never saw it only supported 5 emails accounts.  In fact while I am paying $9.99 per month, I now see it is  $7.99 per month, and that O365  Bus Prem supports online Outlook. What a mess. 


Now, I can create  multiple email accounts on Outlook.com, I just cannot move my existing emails and calendars to it. Have to start from scratch. 



I'll be right with you. Just starting a fire. I'm in New Zealand and it's an early Winter morning.
I'm not explaining myself very well and yes, I agree with all the choices and similar names, it is confusing.
O365 Home includes 5 *new* mailboxes.
But in your case, you want to keep your existing 15. You want to access them all from one place online. But you still want to be able to send and receive email as each individual account.
To achieve this you're going to use one of the Outlook.com email accounts that are included in your subscription.
You're going to sign into that Outlook.com account and use a feature called Sync mail. With Sync mail, you'll sign into each of your 15 existing email accounts, connecting them to your Outlook.com account. Outlook.com will then behave like Outlook on your desktop, regularly downloading a copy of new messages delivered to your 15 email accounts.
How does that sound Lee? Will that achieve what you want?

This is the support article, showing you how to connect your 15 email accounts to Outlook.com. https://support.office.com/en-us/article/add-your-other-email-accounts-to-outlook-com-c5224df4-5885-...

You might need to manually set up the account (server) settings for each. That's when you start using POP or IMAP incoming server settings for each of your 15 accounts.