Migrate data from PST files

Google Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange

You can use Google Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange (GWMME) to migrate email, calendar, or contact data to Google Workspace accounts from Personal Storage Table (PST) files. You can also migrate email messages to Google Vault without adding the messages to users' Gmail inboxes.

Step 1: Set up GWMME

  1. Make sure your GWMME client machine is using a supported version of Microsoft Outlook. We recommend that your Outlook version is the same or newer than the one used to create the PST file.

    For details, go to GWMME system requirements

  2. Create a control CSV file for user accounts.

    For details, go to Migrating from PST files

  3. If you're migrating calendar events, you might need to create a mapping CSV file.

    For details, go to Create a mapping CSV file

  4. Complete the set up steps for GWMME.

    For details, go to Authorize GWMME for your account.

Step 2: Set up your PST folders

  1. For each PST file and folder, turn off password protection and allow read and write permissions.
  2. Prepare the PST folder structure:
    1. Set up a top-level folder.
    2. Within that top-level folder, create an individual folder for each user whose PST files you want to migrate.
    3. If you have one PST file for each user, we recommend that you name the individual folders the same as the primary email addresses in the legacy environment. For example, if your source environment email addresses are user1@example.com and user2@example.com, then name your individual folders user1@example.com and user2@example.com.
    4. Place the PST files within the individual folders.


      C:\PST (top-level folder)
      user1@example.com (user folder)
      Mail.pst (PST file)
      Archive.pst (PST file)
      user2@example.com (user folder)
      Archive.pst (PST file)

Step 3: Migrate your data

You can use the GWMME interface or the command line to migrate data from PST files.

Migrate using the GWMME interface

Step 1: Exchange server details

  1. Click Startand thenGoogle Workspace Migrationand thenGoogle Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange.
  2. For Server Type, select Exchange.
  3. Select the Specify a folder with PST files option.
  4. In the Folder with PST files field, specify the path to the top-level PST folder.
  5. Click Next.

Step 2: User and domain information

  1. In the Google Workspace domain name field, specify the new primary Google Workspace domain where the data will be migrated.
  2. In the Service account credentials file field, specify the path to the JSON credentials file created as part of the authorization process.
  3. In the Google Workspace admin user field, specify the full email address of your Google Workspace domain super administrator.
  4. Click Next to specify the migration settings.

Step 3: Migration settings

You can migrate to Google Workspace or to Google Vault. If you migrate messages to Vault, messages don’t appear in users’ Gmail inboxes.

Option 1: Migrate to directly to Google Workspace:

  1. Select the checkbox for each type of data you want to migrate: email, calendar, or contacts.
  2. In the File of accounts to migrate field, specify the path to the CSV file of user accounts you're migrating.
  3. Click Next.

Option 2: Migrate messages to Google Vault:

  1. Check the Email messages box as the type of data you want to migrate.
  2. Click Advanced Options.
  3. Check the Migrate to Google Vault box and click OK.
  4. Click Next.

If you select option 2, note:

  • Folder information is removed from messages before they’re migrated, so they won’t have labels in Vault
  • GWMME doesn't overwrite or check for duplicate messages previously migrated to Vault.
  • Google Vault retention rules determine how long the message is retained in Vault.

    For details, go to How retention works.

  • Target users must have the Gmail service turned on before you migrate. You can’t migrate content to Vault Former Employee (VFE) licensed users, because Gmail isn't turned on for these users.

For more information on Vault, go to Google Vault Help.

Step 4: Review migration settings

  1. Review the migration settings and optionally click Edit to make changes.
  2. Select your migration actions:
    • Migrate all data—Remigrates previously migrated data. When unchecked, previous items that were migrated successfully are skipped.
    • Save settings—Retains the current configuration for future use.
    • Run Diagnostics—Verifies the configuration before running the migration.
    • Estimate—Estimates the message count for the source users.
    • Migrate—Performs the migration.
  3. Click Next.
  4. If the authentication box appears, specify the username and password for the Exchange administrator account you're using to open your users' mailboxes.

    Tip: Selecting Remember my password bypasses this step in future migrations.

  5. Click Start to begin the migration process.
Use the command line to migrate

Specify the following commands to migrate using the command line. For details on commands, go to Run GWMME from the command line.

The example command is a continual single line. Any line breaks visible here are for readability only.

ExchangeMigration.exe --nouse_gui --pst_base_folder="PST top-level folder name" --filename="CSV file path containing user list" --service_account_json_path="json file path" --run_diagnostics

Optional arguments

  • --migrate_to_vault–Migrates messages to Vault and not users' Gmail inboxes.
  • --noenable_label_prefix–Prevents the PST file name being added as a prefix to labels and calendars in your destination account.


Messages missing or not migrated with the correct sender or recipient

A PST file might not contain the SMTP address for a message's sender or recipient. Instead, it can have the Exchange X.500 address. This issue can occur if no Global Address List (GAL) profile is created or the user has been removed from the GAL. To resolve the issue, go to Troubleshoot GWMME.

Calendars migrated as additional calendars

If you’re using an exported or archived PST file, it’s not possible to identify the primary root folder for calendar and contact data. Calendars are migrated as Other calendars in Google Calendar, instead of as a default calendar.

You can avoid this by using the command line to specify the --noenable_label_prefix argument. Running this command opens the GWMME interface and allows you to migrate normally, but without creating the prefixes.


"C:\Program Files\Google\Google Workspace Migration\ExchangeMigration.exe" --noenable_label_prefix

Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center