How to Backup IMAP to PST Manually?

Summary: Whether you are a self-employed individual or using Outlook for business purposes, taking backup of IMAP-based Outlook data is a wise thing to do. Many situations insist that we have to maintain a copy of data such as deletion of Outlook profile, mailbox corruption, etc. This blog will describe the solution for How to backup IMAP to PST. In addition, we also discuss the working procedure of IMAP email backup software that allows you to save IMAP emails as PST files.

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In computing, IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. Mainly it is in the form of Internet standard protocol used by email clients to retrieve mailbox emails from a mail server over an internet protocol suite(TCP/IP). It includes features that enable users to access your email wherever you are or from any device efficiently.

The crucial fact behind that is when you read an email message using IMAP: You aren’t storing it on your computer; instead, you’re reading it from the specific email service. Further, by IMAP-based email client, you have an option to view your mailbox data from several devices. Still, just like any other digital data, it is also vulnerable to various threats. Thus, taking a scheduled backup of crucial data is required. But do you know how to perform the backup IMAP to PST manually? Before moving to the solution part, let us look at the reason to convert IMAP to PST file.

Why Need to Backup IMAP Emails Using MS Outlook?

  • To back up the Outlook mailbox into a local drive, we need to save IMAP emails as PST.
  • There is the possibility that the internet connection did not get established, so to access IMAP emails locally, users need to download them.
  • Users want to backup IMAP emails in PST format so that their mailbox data is prevented and secured from unnecessary threats.
  • To access IMAP-based email client data in Office 365, users want to backup IMAP to PST.
  • If you are searching for a solution to transfer IMAP-based email clients to other email solutions, you will have to download IMAP to PST.

Here we have mentioned some reasons that lead to the scenario of backing up IMAP-based emails into PST. Now, move forward to the steps of manual & professional solutions to migrate IMAP to PST.

Read here: What to do if IMAP Sync Deleted Messages from Server

How to Backup IMAP to PST?

In Outlook 2010 and its onwards version, while you configured IMAP, it makes a local replica of the mailbox data in OST file format that stores all the essential mailbox data like emails, appointments, tasks, contacts, calendars, and notes. However, one can easily continue their work with Outlook mailboxes without any hassle.

This file lets their users work with mailbox data whether the connection gets established or not, so one of the best security of the mailbox data is to backup it continuously into a local drive. To-do-that check this 3-best method:

  1. Use Import and Export Method
  2. Change IMAP Settings to POP3
  3. Export IMAP Data to PST Using an Expert Solution

Method 1: Backup IMAP Account Configured with Outlook

Backup IMAP to PST using the Import/Export option of Outlook 2016 2013 is the best method compared to others. By performing this, the OST file gets converted into PST format. Follow the steps to perform the process:

  • Start Outlook 2016, 2013, and opt for the File tab.
  • In the opening menu, select Open & Export and go to the Import/Export option.
  • open import export option
  • Here, you will find an Import and Export Wizard, choose the Export to a file and click Next.
  • click export to a file
  • After that, select Outlook Data File (.pst) and tap the Next button.
  • select outlook data file
  • Opt with the IMAP folder you want to backup.
  • In addition, you can also include subfolders and apply the filters.
  • Then proceed with the Next option.
    Note:- Using this method, you will backup only one mailbox at a time.
  • click next
  • Click on the Browse button to select the destination folder and choose the required option for duplicate emails.
  • Finally, click the Finish button to start the backup of IMAP emails into PST format.
  • click finish

Method 2: Change IMAP Settings to POP3

If you do not perform the backup using the first method, save IMAP-based mailbox emails into PST by changing the Outlook account settings from IMAP to POP3. To-do-so, you will do it manually using the correct server settings. After completion of the simple steps, your IMAP data will automatically get saved in PST files.

By performing these above methods, you will take the backup of IMAP mailboxes into PST manually. But sometimes, there are some complications and limitations in the manual solutions; losing data if an issue occurs, saving a specific folder at a time. Thus, it is better to opt for an expert solution and backup IMAP mailbox folders with ease.

Method 3: Backup IMAP to PST Files- Alternate Solution

Sysinfo IMAP Backup Tool is an efficient solution that allows you to perform the IMAP to PST Migration free. The software is competent enough to save multiple emails into Outlook PST without any data loss. Some salient features of IMAP to PST Migration Tool Free are:

  1. Allows users to backup IMAP mailboxes to PST format instantly.
  2. Offer feature to download the bulk IMAP mailbox emails into Outlook PST.
  3. It converts IMAP to PST, MSG, OST, CSV, MBOX, EML, EMLX, HTML formats.
  4. Using this utility, you can also free up the server space of the IMAP account.
  5. Enables you to migrate IMAP emails to Computer,Gmail, Office 365, Thunderbird, AOL, Hotmail, etc.
  6. Feature to exclude duplicate emails from the chosen IMAP folders.
  7. Option to filter emails between specific date ranges.
  8. The Software is compatible with all the versions of Windows OS.

Steps to Backup IMAP Emails Using MS Outlook

  • Run the IMAP Backup Tool as an administrator.
  • Enter IMAP Email Address, Password, Host ID, and Port No to Sign In.
  • Now, select the folders from the tree structure you want to backup.
  • After that, choose PST from the Saves/Backup/Migrate As options.
  • Enable the required features and assign the location for the output folder.
  • Here, you can also define the resultant folder name.
  • Click the Convert button to start the backup of IMAP emails into PST.
  • Wait for a while and save the report of the conversion too.


Configuring the IMAP-based email account with Outlook is a simple method to manage your mailbox emails. But it is always recommended to take the schedule of backup of mailbox emails into a local drive. Hence, use the above-defined manual or professional ways and backup IMAP to PST files instantly.

About The Author:

As a content writer, I specialize in Email Migration, Data Recovery, Email Backup, and File Management. I have been writing professionally for two years now. There is so much information available in this field that I am intrigued by the newer technologies and techniques.

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