Exchange 2013 – Public Folders – Architecture -Part 1

Let us the Discuss the architecture changes and improvements made to Public Folders.


For Starters – Mostly Public Folders are used to have a common place for Employees to share their Critical Data.

Like- Sales info,Pay Slip generation, Common Documents etc..


Improvements Made to Public Folders in Exchange 2013 :

1.Moving Public Folders to Mailboxes (No More Public Folder Databases)

2.Introducing high availability for Public Folders (Public Folders will be a part of DAG)

3.Flexibility of Moving Public Folder Mailboxes to Different Databases

4.Public Folders Can be managed through ECP – (Exchange Control Panel) or Called as EAC (Exchange Admin Center)

5.Every Public Folder can be hosted in a different Mailbox (Improving more high availability for sensitive Data)

6.Enhancing office 365  with Public Folders.

7.More Flexibility of Public Folders Restoration

8.Future Migration will be more simpler.(It won’t be time consuming as like Previous Versions”)


“No more waiting for Public Folder replication”


and more.


Note : Users Cannot Access or Manage Public Folders using OWA or Office 2013 Yet


Architecture Change :



Firstly ,Public Folders will be stored in Public Folder Mailboxes.All the Public Folder Mailboxes will have a Copy the Hierarchy and not all the content

All Clients Connects to their own Public Folder mailboxes. improving scalability and performance sharing can be done between servers.All the Contents of the Public Folders are stored in their respective Mailboxes. So Exchange administrators have to Plan their Public Folder mailbox Size and start splitting the content so that they can Manage well.

First Public Folder mailbox which is created will be the “Primary Hierarchy” which be the Root Public Folder Mailbox

There is only one Writeable Copy when it comes to Create Public Folders in Mailboxes. So that no Conflicts will occur with other pubic Folder mailboxes.

If the Writeable Copy fails . it will look for the passive copy of it (When its a member of DAG.)


To identify the Public Folder Mailbox which is owning the “Primary Hierarchy” – using PowerShell – IsrootPublicFolderMailbox will be True


Get-Mailbox –PublicFolder | Where-Object {$_.IsRootPublicFolderMailbox –eq “True”}



Like Creating a Public Folder Mailbox for Every Team. And its totally Depends on your Environment.

Every Public Folder Mailbox Creates a Disabled Active Directory Account – So If you are planning to Create More Public Folder Mailboxes. I would suggest you to Create a Dedicated Organizational Unit . So that you can avoid Deletion by Admins. Even Restoring becomes bit easier




As you could see it lists all the Public Folders – Where it denotes Which Mailbox it Belongs to




You can understand the Flexibility, Where you have a Root Mailbox hosted in a Public Folder mailbox and have the Subfolder hosted in dedicated mailboxes


In my Example.

Where Departements is a Root Folder.


Where its SubFolders HR,Transport,Security Can be hosted in different Public Folder Mailboxes.





In the Next Parts we would explore more

Exchange 2013 – Public Folders – Creating and Managing -Part 2

Exchange 2013 – Public Folders – Features -Part 3

About Satheshwaran Manoharan

Satheshwaran Manoharan is an Microsoft Office Server and Services MVP , Publisher of Specialized in Office365 / Microsoft Exchange / Virtualization , Sathesh is an Messaging Expert supporting/Designing/Deploying many medium size businesses to large enterprises when it comes to Corporate messaging and Virtualization Infrastructure

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  1. Good one!!!

  2. Cool stuff….
    Why Microsoft didn’t gave access to public folder in OWA.

    I can access public folders from Outlook 2010 but not from OWA or Outlook 2013 🙁

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      It same happened while Exchange 2010 RTM is released . Hoping for the same in Exchange 2013..with Sp1 we should get access via OWA and office 2013

  3. Its possible to access public folder in owa 2013

  4. I have sharepoint 2013 and Exchange public folder in Office 365 .. how we ca index all the public folder ?

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