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How to Download IMAP to PST File Format Step by Step?

Jaspreet Singh | Modified: April 4th, 2023 | 8 Minutes Reading

The easiest way to download IMAP to PST file along with attachments would be by using an expert’s recommended solution. In this blog, we will explain an expert solution along with a manual solution for better comparison. Weigh the advantages & disadvantages of the methods & choose the right one  to export IMAP to PST.

Take a look at this user query & find out the different scenarios faced by users:

User Query: My IMAP account is full with messages that are crucial for my work and I cannot afford to lose them at any cost. I need to know how I can download IMAP email to PST so that I can keep these messages at a safe place.

Wondering why a lot of users prefer exporting their email data to PST? Well, that’s because Outlook, being a product of Microsoft, is a highly trusted & preferred email client used for backups by large enterprises.

Because of the popularly known brand name, a majority of vertical prefers using Microsoft’s services rather than moving to another client.

About the working methods, we will be learning about the techniques in the upcoming segments.

Let’s jump right into it!

Instantly Download IMAP Email to PST Professionally on Mac

For doing this, try the Safe and Secure IMAP Backup Tool on any of the prior or latest versions of Mac OS. This software is embedded with various features that allow users to download IMAP data to PST without any data-loss or corruption issues.

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Moreover, using this self-operated tool you can easily access your entire IMAP emails along with attachments into Outlook PST file. So, you can easily save IMAP emails locally in .pst format on your computer machine. In fact, later you can simply just import this PST file for a successful migration into other supported email clients.

Let’s take a look at the steps of the tool and later on find out about the features in the next section.

Guide to Export IMAP Emails to PST File Format

You need to download this software on any version of your Mac machine to get started with this task. After installing it, run the tool and follow the step by step guide given below-

1. First of all, just choose the domain you have your account on. Enter the credentials for your account & the IMAP server ID & Port Number to login.

backup imap email to pst

2. To start the process to download IMAP to PST, choose the export type as PST and click on the Advance Settings option.

advance settings

3. Now, set the Date-Filter and mark the Split PST Option to divide the large PST files into smaller parts for the resultant file.

download imap email to pst

4. Just after that, click on the Change button to set the destination for end location. Mark the Maintain Folder Hierarchy & Delete after Download options.

delete after download imap emails

5. Finally, press the Start Backup button to initiate export IMAP to PST file format process with all attachments.

start process

Several Features of the Software to Export Data Without Failure

As you can see, there are several functions discussed in the working of the tool to download IMAP to PST file. A few more are here-

  • This tool provides facility to download email data from all supported IMAP accounts on Mac system.
  • Furthermore, this software provides an option to easily extract emails into various file formats supported by other email clients.
  • Option to delete email from mailbox after downloading all data through Delete after download.
  • In addition, you can download IMAP messages based on a selected time-period using the date-filter with attachments.
  • Similarly, this tool maintains folder hierarchy option to keep the folder structure same. As a result, you get the same folder hierarchy that was there before exporting.
  • Split Outlook PST File option, which helps to split large PST files in MB or GB size into output files as required.
  • Also, it provides an incremental backup feature which is very helpful for downloading newly arrived IMAP emails after the first export process.

Export IMAP Email to PST on Mac Using Manual Method

To start with this process, you need to make sure that your IMAP account is configured with the Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013 desktop application.

If not, configure it first and view all the data on Outlook’s interface. Synchronization may take a lot of time so you will have to wait.

Once all the data is visible on the interface, start with the following steps:

1. Launch Outlook 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013 on your desktop and navigate to the File menu.

2. From the extended menu, choose the Open & Export option and hit Import & Export.

download imap email to pst

3. Download IMAP to PST by clicking on the Export to a file option from the Import/Export wizard.

download imap email to pst

4. Choose the Outlook data file (.pst) option and click on the Next button to move further with the process.

choose pst

5. After that, navigate to the location of the files in the Browse field and include the sub-folders as well if required.

download imap email to pst

6. Just in the last step, tap on Finish to export IMAP to PST file format on desktop.

This method is easy to learn but has a few limitations associated with it, let’s check them out.

Disadvantages of Using Manual Method 

  • Increased risk of data-loss due to severe inconsistency errors
  • If you export IMAP to PST manually, selective migration feature is not provided through this method.
  • In addition, you will be able to export data from one mailbox folder at a time.
  • Also, this technique isn’t great because it requires you to repeat the process for each folder IMAP downloads to PST in bulk.
  • Since bulk migration is not supported, using this method will consume a lot of time and energy of the user making it an even more complicated and lengthy process.
  • There are high chances of getting improper exports and human error can lead to data loss.

Frequently Asked Questions by Users

Q- How to export IMAP to PST file quickly?

Steps to download IMAP to PST-

  1. Download the tool on Mac PC.
  2. Login with the IMAP Enabled Account.
  3. Select PST format from Export.
  4. Hit Start Backup to begin the process on PC.

Q- Does IMAP in Outlook create a PST file in updated versions?

No, you get an OST file with the newer versions of Outlook 2021,2019, 2016, 2013 when setting up with an IMAP server. However, all the previously Outlook below 2010 versions would automatically setup a PST file when setting up an IMAP account.

Q- Can I download IMAP emails locally with attachments?

In case, your IMAP server account mailbox is full or is approaching the storage limit then in this case you can easily just take out the messages by downloading them to an offline location on your computer. For this, you can either go for the manual method or use the above mentioned software to take out multiple emails.

Q- How do I export my IMAP emails to Outlook 2013?

Export IMAP email to PST in Outlook-

  1. Pick File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  2. Then, Export to a file > Outlook Data File (.pst).
  3. Just select the folder you want to export > Next.
  4. Choose a location and name the file and then hit Finish.

Q- Why is Microsoft Outlook creating OST instead of PST file?

It generally happens, when you add a POP3 account in Outlook 2010 or later versions, then Outlook creates a PST file. But, the OST file is created when you sign in your Outlook application using an Exchange, Office 365 (Microsoft 365), Outlook.com or IMAP email account.

Q -How do I import a PST file into IMAP enabled Outlook application?

  1. Firstly, at the top of your Outlook just select File.
  2. Afterwards, Open & Export > Import/Export.
  3. Now, select Import from another program or file > Next.
  4. Then, choose Outlook Outlook Data File (.pst) > Next.
  5. Lastly, just browse to the .pst file you want to import, you’re done.

To Sum It Up

You should always be aware of the ways to download IMAP to PST as the need may arise any time. Hence, for the same, we have explained the manual and an expert solution in this article. However, the recommended software is for all Mac based users. On the other hand, the manual method has some limitations attached and can lead to damage or data-loss situations. Therefore, automated software is a better proposition as it provides the guarantee of data security while exporting IMAP emails to PST file with attachments.