Option 1 – Back up Microsoft 365 emails using email forwarding
Option 2 – Back up Microsoft 365 emails using export option
Option 3 – Back up Microsoft 365 emails using IMAP settings – auto archiving
Step 1: Go to the Outlook toolbar, select Settings and click on View all Outlook settings.
Step 2: Select Mail > Forwarding.
Step 3: Select Enable forwarding checkbox, enter the email address to which you want to forward your mails, and click Save.
Note: Select Keep a copy of forwarded messages checkbox if you want a copy of the original mails to remain in your mailbox.
There is no exclusive forwarding option available in desktop Outlook. However, individuals can use the Rules and Alerts wizard to forward emails to another account.
Step 1: Launch Outlook desktop app. Navigate to File -> Info.
Step 2: Click on the option Manage Rules & Alerts. This will open a new Wizard to set up Rules and Alerts.
Step 3: Click on the New Rule option. This will open another pop-up window where you can create a rule.
Step 4: Choose the option Apply rule on messages I receive, available under the section Start from a blank rule.
Note: The next section is to set conditions for forwarding emails. For instance, you can create a condition to forward only the emails which are received from a set of people.
Step 5: Click on Next without selecting any condition as we are backing up the entire mailbox.
Step 6: Next, check the box, forward it to people or public group and then click on the link people or public group under step 2. Click Next.
Step 7: Next, enter the email address to which a copy of your emails will be forwarded to backup Outlook emails and click OK.
Step 8: Click on the Next button without selecting any checkbox as we do not need to create an exception in the forwarding rule to backup the entire mailbox.
Step 9: Review the settings and click on the Finish button.
Note: This Import/Export wizard is only available in the desktop version of Outlook and not in the web versions.
Step 1: Launch Outlook desktop application.
Step 2: Select the File option in the menu bar.
Step 3: Navigate to Open & Export and select the option Import/Export. This will open the Import/Export wizard. Note: If you have an older version of Outlook, the steps to find the Import/Export Wizard dialog box might be somewhat different. On Outlook 2007, choose Import and Export; On Outlook 2010, select Open-> Import; On Outlook 2013 / 2016 / 2019 / Office 365, choose Open & Export->Import/Export.
Step 4: Choose the option Export to a file and click on Next.
Step 5: Click Outlook Data File (.pst) and then click Next.
Step 6: Next, select the desired folder – for example, Inbox – that has to be exported and click Next.
Note: You can apply Filter to further refine what you export. Also, you can export the entire mailbox by clicking on your email account at the top and checking the option Include the subfolders.
Step 7: In the next screen, click on the Browse button to choose the location in which you want to store the exported email(s)
Step 8: In the same window, choose one of three options regarding duplicate files.
Note: Usually, you’ll want to choose Replace duplicates with items exported. If this is the first time you’re exporting the email account, or if this is a new export file, there won’t be any duplicates to worry about.
Step 9: Click on the button Finish. The selected folder –Inbox – will be exported as a .pst file and will be kept in the specified location. Note: The files will be exported in .pst format. You may be prompted to set a password for this .pst-file. If you don’t want to set a password, leave the field blank and click Ok. Close Outlook and copy the exported file to a safe location. In this way, your Outlook emails will be saved in a PST file on the hard drive. This PST file can be imported into any Outlook or Microsoft 365 account.
Step 1: Launch Outlook Desktop application.
Step 2: Click File-> Options.
Step 3: Click on the option Advanced -> AutoArchive Settings.
Step 4: Click on Run Auto Archive every and choose the frequency of the archiving. By default, it will be set for 14 days. You can change it according to your need.
Step 5: Click on Clean out items older than option and set a time period to move your files from Inbox to the Archive folder.
Step 6: Click on the option Move old items to: and type a file name for the archived items to be transferred to, or click Browse to select from a list. Click OK.
Note: How to determine the age of an item
When does the aging period start for:
1) An email: The received date/time or the time when you last changed or saved the email, , whichever is later. Marking a message as read or unread is an example of a message change.
2) A calendar meeting, event, or appointment: The date when you last changed and saved the item, whichever is later. Recurring items are not Auto Archived. Only Calendar items that have already happened will be archived, regardless of the last save date.
3) A task: The completion date or the date when you last changed and saved the task. Tasks that are not marked complete are not Auto Archived. Tasks assigned to other people are archived only if marked complete. (Source: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/autoarchive-settings-explained-444bd6aa-06d0-4d8f-9d84-903163439114)
You can view the Archived emails by clicking on the Archive option.
Note: Only those who have subscribed to the Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 plans have access to the eDiscovery tool.
Case: A way to organize data and restrict the held data to a certain set of users.
Hold: Protects important data from modifications or deletions.
Search: Lets the administrator search for specific email among the held data.
Export: Exports discovered data as a PST file.
Search and Export options are used to search and export the data that has been held by the user. This comes in handy when you need to recover deleted Outlook emails.
Step 1: Log in to Microsoft 365 admin center.
Step 2: Navigate to the Admin centers section on the left pane -> Click on the Security option.
Step 3: You will be redirected to the Admin Center page for Security and Compliance. Navigate to eDiscovery and select the eDiscovery option from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Next, click on the button Create a case to hold the user data.
Step 5: Enter the Case name and Description Click on Save.
Step 6: Next, click on the Open button, to go to the case created.
Step 7: In the redirected page, navigate to Holds -> +Create.
Step 8: Enter the Hold name and description. ClickNext.
Step 9: Click on Choose users, groups, or teams to choose the user accounts to be preserved, and click Next.
Step 10: In the new window that opens, search for users to be added. Select the desired username and click Choose-> Done. This will take you back to the Create a New Hold page.
Step 11: Click Next. Click on the Add Conditions option to filter the emails using conditions like sender name, receiver name, sent date, and so on – only if needed. Click Next.
Step 12: Review your hold settings and click on the button. Create this hold to complete the process.
There are third-party tools designed solely for backup purposes. One among the cloud backup solutions is SysCloud backup solution.
SysCloud offers a fully automated cloud to cloud backup and restore service which uses a trusted cloud storage platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store data.
With SysCloud, IT administrators can backup and restore data in just a few clicks. Moreover, administrators can define retention rules that allow you to back up data for an unlimited period.
The following are the advantages of using third-party tools like SysCloud to back up your Outlook emails:
Account Deletion Keep a safe copy of organizational data even after the user accounts are deleted. This happens mostly during employee exits, thus saves on license costs.
Access Data During Outages Access your Outlook via the online backup service even when Microsoft 365 suffers an outage, which is not very uncommon.
Backup with Attachments Take a backup of all your emails along with the attachments.
Saves Time Save time in managing backup for large teams.
Added-Security Gain added data security with increased admin control and in-built protection for ransomware attacks.
Automatic/ Scheduled Backup Request a daily backup schedule (daily once/daily thrice) when you sign up with SysCloud. Once configured, backups are automated.
Step 2: Log in to Office 365 using your admin credentials.
Step 3: Navigate to Backup in the menu bar and select Start Backup from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Choose if you want to back up the entire domain or specific users and teams. Click Next.
Step 5: Locate the respective domain and click on Add Users & Teams.
Step 6: Select the users you want to back up and click on Confirm.
Step 7: Click Next to select the apps to be backed up.
Step 8: Since we are backing up only Outlook emails, choose Mail among the listed apps.
You can see the progress of your backup in the Archives & Restore page. Once the backup is set up, SysCloud will automatically back up the Outlook emails for the selected users everyday. Now you have a second copy of your data safely stored on the cloud and you can retrieve it whenever needed. This article explores in-depth about the different ways in which you can backup Outlook emails. But backup is just one part in securing your business data. At the end of the day, the reason we backed up was so that we could recover permanently deleted Outlook emails with all the folder structure intact. Learn how to do this in our article How to Recover Permanently Deleted Outlook Emails in Office 365
1) Does Microsoft back up your emails?
No, Microsoft does not back up your emails and they recommend backing up your Microsoft 365 data including emails using third-party apps. It is stated in their terms of service.
2) Does exporting Outlook emails delete them?
3) How do I download all emails from Outlook 365?
4 How can I back up Outlook emails to an external hard drive?
Step 1: Open Microsoft Outlook and log in > Click File-> Open & Export->Import/Export.
Step 2: Select Export to a File option in the Import and Export Wizard and then click Next.
Step 3: Click Outlook Data File (.pst) -> Next. Select the desired folder to be backed up and click Next.
Step 4: Click Browse. Select the external drive from the list of storage devices and then create a name for your backup file. Click OK.
Step 5: Click Next->Finish. To secure your mails, enter a password when prompted-> Click OK. Otherwise, click Cancel.
5) How do I move my Outlook emails to a new computer?
Step 1: Open MS Outlook and click File -> Open & Export->Import/Export.
Step 2: Select Import from another program or file -> Next.
Step 3: Click on Outlook Data File (.pst) -> Next.
Step 4: Click on Browse to navigate to the PST file location-> Click Next
Step 5: Select folders that you need to import. Click Finish to complete the import process.
6) How can I restore my Outlook backup?
There are different ways in which you can restore your Outlook backup. Learn how to do it in our in-depth article on recovering Outlook emails.
Microsoft is not responsible for backing up your data and they recommend backing up your Microsoft 365 data using third-party apps. Don’t take our word for it; here is an extract from their Services Agreement (Section 6.b).
WE STRIVE TO KEEP THE SERVICES UP AND RUNNING; HOWEVER, ALL ONLINE SERVICES SUFFER OCCASIONAL DISRUPTIONS AND OUTAGES, AND MICROSOFT IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DISRUPTION OR LOSS YOU MAY SUFFER AS A RESULT. IN THE EVENT OF AN OUTAGE, YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO RETRIEVE YOUR CONTENT OR DATA THAT YOU’VE STORED. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU REGULARLY BACKUP YOUR CONTENT AND DATA THAT YOU STORE ON THE SERVICES OR STORE USING THIRD-PARTY APPS AND SERVICES.
User errors: According to Data Center Knowledge, 70 percent of data loss incidents are caused by user errors or accidental deletions.(a)An employee in your organisation might accidentally delete important mails while trying to free up storage space(b) A careless click on a phishing email could expose Outlook credentials resulting in account takeover and data loss.
Data Loss from Ransomware Attacks: Bitdefender’s Mid-Year Threat Landscape Report 2020 announced a seven-fold spike in the number of ransomware attacks in 2020 when compared to 2019. In the event of a ransomware attack, Outlook users who do not have an off-site backup could lose critical emails.
Business Continuity: According to CRN, on 7th October 2020, Microsoft servers suffered outage for the third time in 10 days. The incident follows a five-hour outage on September 28 and a four-hour outage on October 1.Backing up your emails can help you access them even if Outlook is not available in the event of an outage which is not very uncommon.
Internal Threats: Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum explains that the massive shift to a work from the home model (as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) may cause employees to become disgruntled or resentful due to lowered remuneration, reduced promotion opportunities and uncertainty about the future.A disgruntled employee could permanently delete critical business emails with attachments.
Limitations of Native Retention Settings: The native retention settings offered by Microsoft do not serve as an effective data recovery option. This is because the retention copies are:(a) only stored for 30 days in a separate hidden folder within the users account, beyond which it is permanently lost.(b) stored along with your live account data. In the event of a ransomware attack, all your Microsoft 365 data is compromised, including the retention copies. Having an independent backup of your data stored off-site is an effective bulwark against such data loss incidents.
Legal Compliance and Litigation Purposes: Most companies are required to comply with several state and federal regulations. A backup strategy can help in supporting compliance requirements.