Exporting your Office 365 mailboxes and Public Folders – Some tips and a useful tool

There are many reasons why exporting your mailbox content out of Office 365 may be necessary. Besides the obvious reason of backup and recovery, mails in Office 365 Exchange Online may need to be exported for the following reasons:

  • To prevent mailbox bloat and cut down costs of storing unwanted mails online.
  • To ensure availability of mails offline for:
    • Business continuity during breakdown / failures.
    • For forensic analysis of important mail content
    • For compliance and regulatory needs
  • For archiving, reuse and sharing mail items, folders and other user data.
  • For selective restore of certain Office 365 user mails that got accidentally deleted.
  • To remove sensitive content from Shared folders and Public Folders in Office 365.
  • For de-provisioning Office 365 users and moving their mail content offline.

So what does Office 365 offer to export mails?

For the most part and for some valid reasons too, Office 365 expects you to not have the need for exporting mail content. All the required features to retain, archive and restore mailbox content are built into Office 365 under various plans. However, every business organization is unique and the need to export mails will always arise due to some of the reasons mentioned above.

Additionally, Mailbox content such as mails, contacts, calendar items and tasks can also be downloaded as PST files via the import / export wizard in Outlook. However, you cannot query and export specific items based on conditions from Exchange Online even if you know exactly what you want to export. You cannot export mails ‘incrementally’ by scheduling the Office 365 mail export to trigger under certain conditions. For example, you cannot use the export feature to back up the received / sent mails incrementally every day.

The built-in export option using PST is best suited for exporting a small number of mailboxes in bulk. If you have large number of mailboxes whose contents have to be exported, then the PST export approach is almost impractical.

Organizations that have a business need to export mails from Office 365 require a third-party tool. The Vyapin Office 365 Management Suite has a powerful export tool to export Office 365 mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items from Mailboxes and Public Folders. Here is a quick look at useful features to export your Office 365 mailboxes and Office 365 Public folders using the product.

1. A dedicated item search window to export the mails which are necessary. For example, mails which are received on a specific date or only the mails which are marked as High importance.

Export Public Folders

2. Incremental export option that allows you to export only the latest mails instead of exporting mails which are archived already during each run. This feature allows you to export the mails which are created / modified after the last export time.

3. A Full Export option that allows you to perform a one-time export as per the rules set by you.

4. Schedule an export process to run at specified time intervals for exporting mails which are received / sent from last export time. This may be a daily, weekly or monthly process depending on the size of the organization or the number of mails sent or received per day.

For more information, please visit –  http://www.vyapin.com/products/office365