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Saturday, March 2, 2024

How to Recreate Public Folder Master hierarchy in Exchange 2013

At times in Exchange 2013, If you remove the Public Folder Mailbox which holds the Master hierarchy abruptly, Or deleting Using Adsiedit.msc , It doesn’t get removed properly

Where as a result of that master hierarchy goes disappeared. Even if you Create Public Folders it will create as Secondary hierarchy

So in the First place. We need to find the Hidden Master hierarchy

Running the Below Command , It will show Which mailbox is the Master hierarchy

Get-OrganizationConfig | Format-List RootPublicFolderMailbox


Get the ExchangeGuid Value from RootPubicFolderMailbox

Now Run

Get-Mailbox –PublicFolder | FL Name,ExchangeGuid

Now you can see which Public Folder holds the Master hierarchy


If you are seeing it , Its Good , Its available

But if you are not seeing the ExchangeGuid on this list . It means something went wrong.

As Changing the Master hierarchy is bit Tricky and Tweaking the architecture. We won’t know what its going to mess up

If you are in the starting phase, I would recommend to Remove all the Public Folders and Public Folder mailboxes

and Start from scratch

Removing all Public Folders

Get-PublicFolder –Recurse | Remove-PublicFolder


Removing all PublicFolder Mailboxes

Get-Mailbox –PublicFolder | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder


Now open Adsiedit.msc – Connect to


Choose Configuration


Expand Configuration –Services – Microsoft Exchange – “Your Exchange Org Name” (Properties)


Find “MsExchDefaultPublicFolderMailbox”


Cick on Edit and Click on Clear

Choose Ok and Ok again


Now the Master hierarchy goes empty

Now create a PF mailbox

New-Maibox PF1 –PublicFolder

Which becomes the master hierarchy

Satheshwaran Manoharan
Satheshwaran Manoharanhttps://www.azure365pro.com
Award-winning Technology Leader with a wealth of experience running large teams and diversified industry exposure in cloud computing. From shipping lines to rolling stocks.In-depth expertise in driving cloud adoption strategies and modernizing systems to cloud native. Specialized in Microsoft Cloud, DevOps, and Microsoft 365 Stack and conducted numerous successful projects worldwide. Also, Acting as a Technical Advisor for various start-ups.

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  1. Thanks for publish some valuable info on the hellish nightmare that is Public Folders, but this only takes me half way. I followed your instructions, but the mailbox is still listed as “RootPublicFolderMailbox”, but the Guid disappears after going through this process. ECP still lists a faulty PF mailbox, I can’t delete it, and if I create a new one (which I can) I can’t delete that either.

    The key to my issue is that the PF mailbox appearing in the ECP is NOT identical to the one listed in AD. Long story short, I couldn’t get mail enabled PF’s to work, so I deleted the PF mailbox and created a new one. Somehow that only updated parts of the Excange server, while AD still tries to locate the old one. While some problems were solved (PF address finally appeared in GAL), nothing else worked – and then I were unable to do ANYTHING.

    Any ideas how I can delete ALL references to Public Folders – both in AD and on the Exchange server?

  2. Never mind! I had actually skipped the final part of the puzzle: Creating a NEW public folder from Shell. After doing that, the old (faulty) PF magically appeared as “secondary”, allowing me to delete it. Wonderful!

    So now on to getting the folders working… Grrr.

  3. I’m this close to shooting myself, fortunately I only have a stapler within reach – and that won’t do it.

    I’m now back at square one, after discovering that the *old* PF mailbox still had some references stuck somewhere. I deleted the old mailbox and followed your guidelines yet again and I’m back at the initial problem: Mail Enabled Public Folders don’t accept e-mail. I’ve now fiddled around with it for two full days, and I’m constantly getting “‘550 5.1.1 RESOLVER.ADR.RecipNotFound; not found'”. Any ideas?

  4. It appeared to be a replication problem between our 4 DC’s. The PF “user accounts” were registered on a remote DC, so I had all sorts of issues trying to connect the dots. Now I’m stuck with a folder that *is* mail enabled but *isn’t* mail enabled (due to a double registration), so I’m having issues deleting it – but I have higher hopes today and I’m confident I’ll work it out somehow. Thanks again, Satheshwaran!

  5. I know this is an old article, but it was the only remotely helpful thing I could find when trying to resolve this issue, so hopefully I can help someone else who may see this.

    I was able to resolve this problem a different way. Since I was using Exchange Online, I was not able to use ADSI edit.

    Essentially what happened is when I tried to delete the Public Folder Mailbox, it removed the name but kept the primary hierarchy buried in there. It was working, but had no name, so I could not see it in the web GUI.

    I ran the following command to set a name to the mailbox:

    set-mailbox -publicfolder -identity originalnameofmailbox -name newnameformailbox

    Huzzah, it showed up in the web GUI!

    Running the following command will show the public mailbox with the new name and old alias:

    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder


    Name Alias ServerName
    —- —– ———-
    newname originalname blahblahblah

    One more command to run to change the alias:

    set-mailbox -publicfolder -identity newnameofmailbox -alias newnameofmailbox

    That should do it!

  6. Hi,

    I am sure, there is a mistake in your blog:

    Did you ever test to remove public folders in the absence of Primary Hierarchy PF Mailbox. When primary hierarchy pf mailbox is delted, then you cannot remove public folders using this command:

    Get-PublicFolder –Recurse | Remove-PublicFolder

    The reason is obvious, primary pf mailbox (With writable pf hierarchy) is not present anymore), so PFs wont be removed and command would throw the error like this:

    [PS] C:Windowssystem32>Get-PublicFolder -Recurse | Remove-PublicFolder
    Couldn’t find the public folder mailbox.
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [Get-PublicFolder], ObjectNotFoundException

    So I have to recreate Primary PF Mailbox, with little differeent way , mentioned here: http://exchangegeek.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/how-to-recreate-primary-hierachy-public-folder-mailbox-in-exchange-2013/

    Hope this help someone.


  7. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However
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  8. “If you are in the starting phase, I would recommend to Remove all the Public Folders and Public Folder mailboxes”..

    after a bad migration…

    my first public mailbox is too large, what can I do to change it?

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