Importing PST files into an Exchange mailbox using PowerShell or Outlook

PST files are nothing new to IT admins as they’ve been round for years. But if you’re new to Exchange and PST files, what are they? It is a private storage desk that you’ve got hooked up to Microsoft Outlook and means that you can create folder buildings and drag-and-drop e mail out of your mailbox to the PST file. Many use PST files as a backup, and after they get too giant, they end up corrupting, or you can not open Outlook due to errors with the PST file. With many corporations transferring mail from on-premises servers to the cloud, PST files may be ingested and brought off customers’ machines. Mimecast, for instance, will ship you an encrypted drive you can copy all the corporate PST files to, and so they then will carry that mail into your archive, so that you all the time have it out there. The similar goes for when you’ve got a devoted Exchange Server retailer that’s used for archive mailboxes — they are often imported there or the customers can import the PST file to the archive mailbox that will likely be out there to them in Outlook. We will likely be having a look on the two strategies of importing PST files — with 1) Exchange Management Shell (EMS) and Exchange admin heart, and a couple of) with Outlook. (Be conscious that to allow archiving in Exchange, you want an Enterprise shopper entry license (CAL) for the consumer.)


For the 2 strategies of importing PST files we simply talked about, we have to create a shared folder with rights that the Exchange Trusted Subsystem can entry the files with no subject. In your atmosphere, it may be a file server, or when you solely have a small handful of PST files, you can too create it in your Exchange Server. Or, when you’ve got a devoted server used just for mail circulation, you’ll be able to create a folder referred to as PST or PSTFiles, which you should share. Then, beneath superior sharing, add the Exchange Trusted Subsystem with full entry.

Once you have got accomplished that, now you can copy over the PST files from customers’ machines and, since they are going to almost certainly have the e-mail handle because the PST title, it’s simply identifiable. When the copy is finished, you must decide on the place you need to import the PST files. This may be to the next places:

  • Target folder within the mailbox
  • To the archive mailbox
  • To the customers’ main mailbox

Before you’ll be able to carry out imports of PST files, you should guarantee that you’ve got the right permissions in Exchange to take action. By default, the mailbox import-export function doesn’t have any assigned function teams. Once this has been accomplished, and replication is full within the atmosphere, now you can proceed with the mailbox imports.

Importing PST files with EnergyShell

Here is one of some EnergyShell instructions you’ll be able to run, the primary being the goal folder.

New-MailboxImportRequest -Mailbox User1 -FilePath EX2016APSTFilesUser1.pst -TargetRootFolder "PSTImport"
The above command is comparatively easy. It imports the PST file from the server EX2016A and provides it to a goal folder, “PSTImport.”

The subsequent command you should use is geared toward importing the PST file into the customers’ archive mailbox:

New-MailboxImportRequest -Name "User 1 Import" -FilePath EX2016APSTFilesUser1Archive.pst -Mailbox User1 -IsArchive -IncludeFolders "#Inbox#" -TargetRootFolder "Recovered Files" -Priority High

You can run the final possibility as a easy import and never have to specify any goal folders, and it’ll import every part, the identical command as possibility one simply omit the -TargetRootFolder command.

Exchange admin heart and EMS

In the Exchange admin heart, you have got a pleasant GUI interface to do imports from. To get began, open up Exchange admin heart, and on the Recipients Tab on the left, click on mailboxes on the proper. Next to the refresh button, click on the three dots (…), and in that menu, click on on “Import PST.” The “Import from a .pst file” wizard will open, and right here you should specify the trail, which will likely be EX2016APSTFilesUser1.pst as an instance.

Click Next, and on the following window, you’ll be able to choose the mailbox to import to. You have the choice to pick out the next:

  • Import to this mailbox
  • Import to this mailbox’s archive

Continue with the pages after that, after which click on end.

For the highest two choices, the Exchange Management Shell and the Exchange admin heart, you should use EnergyShell to get the standing of the imports. Below are a couple of examples we are able to use within the Exchange Management Shell:


The possibility above will show all of the mailbox import requests. This contains mailbox imports which might be in a queued, failed, in progress, or accomplished state.

Get-MailboxImportRequest -Status InProgress -Database MailboxDB1

The above command will get all of the import requests which might be in progress for database “MailboxDB1.”

Bad merchandise limits

Just as with mailbox strikes, you’ll be able to set the import requests with a foul merchandise restrict in the event that they fail to import. To carry out this, you’ll be able to run the next command. (The instance under units the restrict to 5 for User1:

Set-MailboxImportRequest -Identity "User1MailboxImport" -BadItemLimit 5

Importing PST files with Outlook



Importing PST files into Outlook is fairly simple, nevertheless it does trigger Outlook to “cling,” so when you plan to make use of this methodology, then advise your customers to both use OWA for mail or wait until the method completes.

In Outlook, when you click on on the menu “File” after which choose the choice “Open & Export,” you’ll be able to then choose “Import/Export,” which is able to begin the wizard. The default possibility will likely be “Import from one other program or file,” choose this after which click on Next.

On the following web page, you’ll choose .PST, after which when you click on Next, it is possible for you to to browse to the placement the place the PST file resides, after which you have got the choice to permit duplicates or to not import.

There you have got the choices to import PST files. You may also do bulk imports from Exchange as effectively.

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