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Email: Moving Archived Mail from a PST File to Office 365

The University’s migration of faculty and staff electronic mailboxes to Office 365 is bringing many new benefits to Pitt email users. One feature that most users will appreciate is the increased amount of storage space for saved mail. These instructions cover how to move saved messages from local mail archives (PST files) to your online Office 365 mail storage space on the Microsoft cloud.

All My Pitt Email users that have been migrated to Office 365 Mail are allocated at least 50 gigabytes of storage space on the Microsoft cloud. This represents a significant increase in available space when compared to the default storage allocation of the older, on-premises Microsoft Exchange service (Enterprise Exchange). Enterprise Exchange started users with 500 megabytes of storage (a half gigabyte) and then required Help Desk tickets to acquire additional space. These were usually doled out in single gigabyte increases.

Because of these storage limitations, many users chose to store their old mail messages locally, in PST archive files on their primary PC or laptop. This solution is functional but not very secure. Unless you store your archived mail folders on a server or manually back them up yourself, you run the risk of losing your old messages if your hard drive fails.

For this reason, users that have had their My Pitt Email account migrated to Office 365 should consider moving their archived files back to their default “inbox,” where they will be easily available and regularly backed up by Microsoft.

 

Web Mail Users

If you only access My Pitt Email on the web and have never run into any email quota problems with your Pitt email account, then you won’t need to read this page. These instructions are aimed at faculty and staff who primarily use an Outlook email client on a PC or laptop and have had to create a locally-stored mail archive for some reason.

 

The PST File

The PST file is a mail archive file created by Microsoft for its family of “Outlook”-branded mail applications. These applications include the Entourage mail client for the Macintosh and the web-based Office 365 Mail (the “Outlook” tile in the Office 365 environment). The format of PST files is proprietary, designed to only be opened by Microsoft mail applications. A PST file will be set off by the extension “.pst” if listed on a file inventory. If you look at a PST file’s properties on a Windows system, it will be listed as an “Outlook Data File.”

 

Locating Your Mail Archive Folder

If you are not sure whether or not you have mail stored in archive files, you will need to open your Outlook email client and look at the inventory of folders on the left side. For Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016, you will need to make sure that the Home tab is selected.

If your version of Outlook is accessing a locally-stored archive file, it will be listed under the other folder entries (Inbox, Sent Items, Drafts) and set off with its own triangle icon. If you would like to make sure that a listing is a PST file on your local system, click once on the name so that it is highlighted. Then right click to bring up the secondary menu. If “Data File Properties” is listed as an option, then the file that you have selected is a PST file.

Data File Properties

 

If you need to know the location of the file on your system, click on the Advanced button on the Properties box. The location of the PST file in your local file system will be listed under “Filename.”

Advanced Data File Properties and File Path

 

 

Importing Mail From a PST File

If you have mail stored in a PST file, you can easily import those messages into your My Pitt Email Inbox archive with a few steps. How you go about doing this will depend on how you access your mail.

Importing Mail from a PST file using the Office 365 Web Mail Interface

Importing Mail from a PST file using the Office 365 Web Mail Interface

You will need to install and configure an Outlook email client application on a laptop or PC if you need to upload archived mail messages from a PST file to Office 365 Email. Even if you prefer to use the Office 365 webmail interface to manage your Pitt email, you will have to set up a mail client on a laptop or PC at least once if you need to move mail from a PST archive to your online inbox. This is because the standard Office 365 mail interface (Outlook Online) does not feature a PST mail import function.

If you have a dedicated faculty or staff PC in a University office, then you probably have a version of the Microsoft Office suite installed. This suite should include a desktop application version of Outlook (Outlook 2010, Outlook 2011 for the Mac, Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016). If you find a version of Outlook is already installed on your system, set it up for managing your My Pitt Email following the instructions in the Read Your Email with a Client (like Outlook) web page.

If you don’t have Outlook installed, you may have to install it yourself. Instructions for installing a current version of Outlook are available in the Installing Office 365 ProPlus web page.

Instructions for importing mail from a PST file from various versions of Outlook are available in the sections below.

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2007

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2007

 

Import and Export under File
  1. Click on the File tab and select Import and Export.

  2. Select the Import from another program or file option from the "Import and Export Wizard" box that should appear. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  3. Locate and select the Personal Folder File (.pst) option from the "Import a File" box that should appear. You may need to use the scroll bars to locate the listing. Select Next. Personal Folder File

  4. Use the Browse function on the "Import Personal Folders" box to navigate to the PST file's location on your PC or laptop. When you have selected the PST file using the Browse function, the path of the file should appear in the white field next to the Browse button. Click the Next button. Import Personal Folders
  5. If you would like all of the messages (including their organizing folders, if they are in folders) to be copied to your My Pitt Email inbox on the Office 365 system, then leave the default settings intact on the "Import Personal Folders" box and click the Finish button. Import Personal Folders into the same folder in
    If you would only like to move some of the folders from the archive, then you will need to select those folders in the "Select the folder to import mail from" section of the box prior to clicking Finish. To be on the safe side, you should transfer all mail to the Office 365 space and then do any organizing (moving into folders, deleting) after the messages have been successfully copied over.

  6. The messages will copy over and should appear under your Office 365 inbox.

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2010

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2010

 

  1. Click on the File tab and select Open.
  2. Click on Import. Import under Open

  3. Select the Import from another program or file option from the "Import and Export Wizard" box that should appear. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  4. Locate and select the Outlook Data File option from the "Import a File" box that should appear. You may need to use the scroll bars to locate the listing. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  5. Use the Browse function on the "Import Outlook Data File" box to navigate to the PST file's location on your PC or laptop. When you have selected the PST file using the Browse function, the path of the file should appear in the white field next to the Browse button. Click the Next button. File to Import
  6. If you would like all of the messages (including their organizing folders, if they are in folders) to be copied to your My Pitt Email inbox on the Office 365 system, then leave the default settings intact on the "Import Outlook Data File" box and click the Finish button. Import Outlook Data File
    If you would only like to move some of the folders from the archive, then you will need to select those folders in the "Select the folder to import mail from" section of the box prior to clicking Finish. To be on the safe side, you should transfer all mail to the Office 365 space and then do any organizing (moving into folders, deleting) after the messages have been successfully copied over.

  7. The messages will copy over and should appear under your Office 365 inbox.

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2013

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2013

 

  1. Click on the File tab and select Open & Export.
  2. Click on Import/Export. Import - Export under Open & Export

  3. Select the Import from another program or file option from the "Import and Export Wizard" box that should appear. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  4. Locate and select the Outlook Data File option from the "Import a File" box that should appear. You may need to use the scroll bars to locate the listing. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  5. Use the Browse function on the "Import Outlook Data File" box to navigate to the PST file's location on your PC or laptop. When you have selected the PST file using the Browse function, the path of the file should appear in the white field next to the Browse button. Click the Next button. File to Import
  6. If you would like all of the messages (including their organizing folders, if they are in folders) to be copied to your My Pitt Email inbox on the Office 365 system, then leave the default settings intact on the "Import Outlook Data File" box and click the Finish button. Import Outlook Data File
    If you would only like to move some of the folders from the archive, then you will need to select those folders in the "Select the folder to import mail from" section of the box prior to clicking Finish. To be on the safe side, you should transfer all mail to the Office 365 space and then do any organizing (moving into folders, deleting) after the messages have been successfully copied over.

  7. The messages will copy over and should appear under your Office 365 inbox.

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2016

Importing Mail from a PST file using Outlook 2016

 

  1. Click on the File tab and select Open & Export.
  2. Click on Import/Export. Import - Export under Open & Export

  3. Select the Import from another program or file option from the "Import and Export Wizard" box that should appear. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  4. Locate and select the Outlook Data File option from the "Import a File" box that should appear. You may need to use the scroll bars to locate the listing. Select Next. Import from another program or file

  5. Use the Browse function on the "Import Outlook Data File" box to navigate to the PST file's location on your PC or laptop. When you have selected the PST file using the Browse function, the path of the file should appear in the white field next to the Browse button. Click the Next button. File to Import
  6. If you would like all of the messages (including their organizing folders, if they are in folders) to be copied to your My Pitt Email inbox on the Office 365 system, then leave the default settings intact on the "Import Outlook Data File" box and click the Finish button. Import Outlook Data File
    If you would only like to move some of the folders from the archive, then you will need to select those folders in the "Select the folder to import mail from" section of the box prior to clicking Finish. To be on the safe side, you should transfer all mail to the Office 365 space and then do any organizing (moving into folders, deleting) after the messages have been successfully copied over.

  7. The messages will copy over and should appear under your Office 365 inbox.