PST Capture Tool 2.0 for Office 365


PST Capture 2.0 is used to discover and import Outlook Personal Folder (.pst) File Format files into Exchange Server and Exchange Online. PST Capture helps an organization that wishes to gain more control over their email data repositories by placing them into Exchange. By optionally installing PST Capture Agents on target machines, administrators can determine where .pst files are located and who their file owner is via the PST Capture Console. Administrators can import .pst files via Import Lists to Exchange Server or Exchange Online. Data can be directly imported into the primary mailbox or associated archive mailbox.

PST Capture tool that allows you to hunt down PST files on client computers across your network. After it finds PST files on users’ computers, the tool consolidates the PST files to a central location, and then easily injects PST data to primary or archive mailboxes on your on-premises Exchange Servers or Exchange Online.

What’s new in PST Capture 2.0?

PST Capture 2.0 includes the following improvements:

  • Support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Updated profile generation code to use Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP).
  • Fixed Exchange Online import failure issue when PST Capture is not installed on an Exchange server.
  • Removed User Interface limit of 1,000 users when performing an import to Exchange Online.
  • General performance improvements

Download PST Capture 2.0 from the Download Center (, check out the PST Capture documentation ( and then go get those PSTs!

How to install and configure it to work with an on-premise Exchange environment and Office 365


The PST Capture Tool is made of the Console (which includes the Central Service) and one or more Agents. First, let’s start by downloading the tool and installing the PST Capture Console.

  1. In the folder where you downloaded the .msi files for the PST Capture tool, double click PSTCapture.msi. This opens the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Setup wizard.
  2. On the Welcome screen, click Next.

Figure 1: Console Installation - Welcome

3. On the End-User License Agreement screen, tick the “I accept the terms in the License Agreement” box and then click Next.


Figure 2: Console Installation - End-User License Agreement

4. On the Destination Folder screen, chose the folder where you want to install the PST Capture Console and then click Next.


Figure 3: Console Installation - Destination Folder

5. On the Service account screen, specify the user name and password for the service account that you want the Central Service to use to import PST files (refer to the Permissions table in the first article of this series) and then click Next.


Figure 4: Console Installation – Service Account

6. On the Ready to install Microsoft Exchange PST Capture screen, review your installation choices and then click Install.
When the installation completes, click Finish to close the Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Setup wizard.


Figure 5: Console Installation Completed

You should now see a new Microsoft Exchange PST Capture Service service installed:


Figure 6: PST Capture Service

As I mentioned before, you can manually specify the file names of PSTs to import, thus overcoming the need for an agent. However, one of the main purposes of this tool is to help with the discovery of e-mail data (in this case PSTs) in your organization. After all, do you know exactly where all the PSTs are on your network?


Before we start looking for PST files and importing them into Exchange, let’s first have a look at the available configuration options by clicking on Tools and then Settings in the main window:


Figure 7: PST Capture Console main window

The first options screen available refers to Online Connection Settings - how we connect to Office 365:

  • Username: this is the username the tool will use to import PSTs to your mailboxes. Remember, if importing to Office 365, this account must be assigned the Organization Management role and if importing to Office 365, Exchange Online Administrator permissions
  • Password: type the password for the account mentioned above
  • Grant delegate access to this mailbox: this option allows the PST Capture to grant the specified user account Full Access permissions to the mailboxes to which PSTs will be imported to (be aware that these permissions are not removed after the import!). If you don’t select this option, you will need to grant Full Access permissions manually
  • Server: this is the server the tool will connect to for importing PST files. To determine what your server is in Office 365, login to Outlook Web App and then click in Options > See All Options > Account > My Account > Settings for POP, IMAP, and SMTP access
  • The above is an Office 365 server: select this option if you are importing data into mailboxes in Office 365. If you are importing into BPOS, clear this check box.
  • Check password and connectivity: use this to verify that you can successfully connect to Office 365. If all goes well as in the screenshot below, the OK button will be enabled

Figure 8: Settings – Online Connection

On the Message Import Settings screen, we can specify whether to import PSTs to a new folder at the root of the mailbox, or to another folder of our choice. We can also chose a name for the folder or create it with the same name of the PST file. Finally, we decide what to do in case a folder or subfolders already exists:


Figure 9: Settings – Message Import

Next, we have Archive Mailbox Settings which allows us to select where to import PSTs to. By default none of the boxes are ticked and, as such, PSTs are imported to the user’s “normal” mailbox. I am guessing most organizations will use this tool so they can import PST files directly to users’ archive mailboxes so I ticked the first box. This way, PSTs will only be imported if users are enabled for archiving (probably not the best option, but it will allow us to test the behavior of the tool when a user is not enabled for archiving):


Figure 10: Settings – Archive Mailbox

In Non-mail Items Settings we decide if we want to import non-mail items, meaning calendar items, contacts, tasks, notes and journal items. If in the Message Import Settings page I hadn’t selected the Create a subfolder for each PST file check box, non-mail items will be placed in their respective folder. For example, contacts will be placed in the Contacts folder and meetings in the Calendar folder.


Figure 11: Settings – Non-mail Items

To specify where all PSTs should temporarily be kept while being imported, as well as the maximum size of the folder that will hold them, we use the Staging Area Settings screen. The maximum size for the folder doesn’t have to be huge as after every successful or failed import, PSTs are automatically deleted.


Figure 12: Settings – Staging Area

The next option is similar to the –BadItemsLimit parameter when exporting or moving mailboxes in Exchange – it sets the limit of failed items to be skipped before the import process is cancelled. If this box is cleared, the PST Capture tool will try to import PSTs regardless of how many errors it finds.


Figure 13: Settings – Import Tolerance

Finally, we get to the General Settings screen. This is where we can change the default port that agents and the console use to communicate and how often the agents poll information from the Central Service. In my case I left the default values as I am testing this in a lab environment. In production I would probably increase the PST Agent polling interval to 15 minutes or more.


Figure 14: Settings – General


Comments (12)

  1. Anonymous says:


    I tried to connect but shows me this error :

    Cannot connect to user inbox on server . Error is the request failed. Error in the remote server (403) forbidden.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi CG,

    Did you receive a specific error message?

    Can you send the error message you receive when the process failed?

    Thank you in advanced

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Aahron, Sorry for my delay. Can you please provide me with the error message you received? Thank you in advanced

  4. CG says:

    Hi there, I have been wrestling with this application for nearly 2 weeks now and cannot get it to work!  I have checked and tested my connection details and all is fine, I have even added my username to the correct "role" (import and export role) via powershell and still no joy.  It ticks over and attempts to complete the import, it even creates the folders in the desired mailbox but fails to actually import the mail items.  Any thoughts????

  5. Joannav says:

    Hi Tecti,

    For this specific error you receive, please take a look here:…/pst-capture-tool-error-401-with-office-365.aspx



  6. Anonymous says:

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  7. Aahron says:

    I am having an issue with PST capture beginning the import process it wants me to set a folder and I chose set to file owner but the process does not begin and the .pst file does not say ready for import at the top, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Carlos says:

    Hi Joanna, is the PST capture tool 2.0 supposed to be able to import directly to archive mailboxes if the primary mailboxes are on-premises and the archive mailboxes are in Office 365 (Exchange Online Archivng)? We have a functioning hybrid environment
    but only are using EOA in the cloud. Any assistance is greatly appreciated!

  9. tom says:

    Joanna, My organization is about to cut over to Exchange Online, and we plan to use the PST Capture Tool to import PST files into our user’s online archives. I’m encountering an issue which others have as well, with no apparent resolution. I’m hoping you
    might be willing to help. The symptoms are that when you go to select an Exchange Online mailbox as the destination for a PST file, the mailbox list is empty (saying the central service is retrieving a list of mailboxes, try again later), or has just a few
    entries. For example, we have 250 user mailboxes and sometimes I only see 10 or 15 listed. In the log file, this seems to be the critical error: 18:46:11.801|Verbose|MSOnline365Helper |5 |There is a 10 min wait between session creation attempts. Will not try
    to create at this time Okay, so I close PST Capture and stop the central service and wait 10 minutes. After that, it connects okay and you see a list of mailboxes, but then, literally right in front of your eyes, the list of hundreds of mailboxes disappears
    and you only have 10 or 15 left. When things work, you see entries like this in the logs: 19:14:09.573|Verbose|MSOnline365Helper |8 |GetListOfMailboxes : Getting 1000 Mailboxes 19:14:24.810|Verbose|MailboxGetter |8 |BposHarvester: Mailbox harvest success –
    got 295 boxes And it shows them all in the GUI, only to have them vanish seconds later. I’ve repeated this on two different computers. I’m running the console service with admin rights, and have organizational admin rights to the tenant. Do you have any ideas
    on how to resolve this? Thank you very very much! Tom

  10. tom says:

    I have answered my own questions, perhaps identifying some issues the developers could address. First, it would be great if the installer checked for the presence of all prerequisites; I had 32-bit Outlook installed, which prevents any imports from succeeding.
    As to the main issue (not getting a list of mailboxes), here is how to fix it. First, you must be logged in as the same account that is running the PST Capture Service, or at least use runas to execute the GUI as that account. Second, if you get any sort of
    unexpected result in the list of mailboxes (no mailboxes or only a few), follow this procedure: 1. Close PST Capture GUI. 2. Stop PST Capture Service. 3. Stop Microsoft Online Services Sign-in Assistant Service. 4. Restart services in reverse order. 5. Wait
    2-3 minutes. 6. Open GUI with the service account credentials. Problem solved. Developers could probably do some work to fix some of this? Thanks!

  11. Steve B. says:

    Wow, has this ever been an exercise in frustration. The line below would lead me to believe that I’ve got the software successfully communicating with Office 365, but I still get no mailboxes returned in the GUI. I’m willing to consider that I’m simply
    missing something in the configuration, but I’ve put in so much time on this, I’m ready to move on to a paid solution that will actually work.

    Having said that, if anyone has an idea on why I may not be seeing any mailboxes, I’m all ears. To be clear, I have yet to have any mailboxes ever show up in any of my attempts to set a destination mailbox.

    09:22:56.882|Verbose|MailboxGetter |5 | BposHarvester: Mailbox harvest success – got 259 boxes

  12. Josh says:

    I tried importing a 4.4GB pst into a user’s archive mailbox and after 24 hours it failed with the error:
    Import error: Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040115
    Any idea if I re-run this import job it will skip the messages it already imported or will it overwrite what it’s already imported?

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