Importing PSTs to Online Archive

Copper Contributor

Hi guys,


Is there an easier user friendly method to importing PSTs into an Online Archive than using the Import wizard in the Outlook client? We had planned to have this done automatically, but COVID-19 has put a delay on it, but I'd like to potentially give user's an opportunity to do it themselves if they want, which will speed up the automatic process when we're able to perform it.


The Import wizard in Outlook is good, but it takes time and stops the use of the Outlook client. I'm wondering if there's something else that can be done in the background, perhaps a script of sorts that can be run?


Any help would be appreciated! 

4 Replies



I'm always quite nervous about the idea of users trying to do this sort of thing themselves.  Where are the PST files stored please?  Are they on each users device or on a network share?  If they are on the network in a central location, then you are able to use the Import PST feature from the M365 Security and Compliance Center to upload your PST files to Azure storage, and then map them to the correct user mailboxes or their online archives.  The process is detailed here -


I really favour this method myself. Although I appreciate that if the PST's are scattered across multiple user devices then this is not a practical option for you.




Thanks for the response, appreciated. The PST files are stored on the user's hard drives. We recently moved to Outlook in the cloud, with a substantial mailbox increase, so some user's have manually moved their PST files into their main mailbox anyway. Our plan was to ingest them into the Online Archive for the user, to get the PSTs away from being solely on their hard drive - and therefore a single point of failure - but also to not unnecessarily consume their 99GB mailbox.


Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we can't really afford to do this over our VPN, so I have been looking at other options to help users as much as possible. We've recently launched OneDrive and the Known Folder Move, so PSTs not syncing to OD is bringing up an error message when booting up Outlook for the first time. It's easy to remediate, but wouldn't have been an issue had we managed to do the migration prior to the launch of OneDrive as originally planned.


For PSTs hosted on a central location, we have already migrated them to their respective user's Online Archive using the method you've proposed to great success.


I suppose what I'm getting it as I want an optional method to promote to the business should they want to do it themselves, but isn't quite as reckless / sluggish as manually dragging a folder into their main mailbox, as they currently might be doing as an alternative. 



I see where you are coming from.  Unfortunately, I know of no way to do this other than the drag and drop and the Outlook import/export wizard that you have already mentioned.



I've done the importing PSTs part but will they show up anywhere in my online archive mailbox?  How do find emails in those PST files?