Wednesday , June 10 2020

Moving Public Folders from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

Moving public folders is simple if your mail flow is fine between Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010

Cause all the mails are replicated via Email from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

To Add replica and remove Replica from PF folders you can Use

  1. ExFolders
  2. PFDAVadmin (Windows Server 2003 with .net 1.1)
  3. Scripts like AddReplicaToPFRecursive.ps1
  4. Exchange System Manager (Exchange 2003)

If your Public Folder Database Size is too Large I won’t recommend to use scripts because it will add replicas for all the mails

which might create a PF Storm and get your mail flow down . so use tools like Exfolders or Use Exchange System Manager and add replicas , Folder by Folder and Proceed further

Do some basic Checks , that your Email flow is fine between Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010

If this works you are good to proceed

For Small PF Database you can go ahead and use Scripts

This will add replica of public folders on Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2010.

Open your Exchange Management Shell , Browse your prompt into the Scripts folder

and you can run this command

.\AddReplicaToPFRecursive.ps1 -TopPublicFolder "\" -ServerToAdd "Exchange2010"

Hold On,,,Wait for sometime. Because your PF emails are Less priority Emails it will take sometime to replicate

You can check the PF database size on both the ends and verify , It won’t be the exact same

cause the database structure is different

Once that completes . Dismount your PF database in your Exchange 2003 and Try to access data from your Exchange 2010 Mailbox

This verifies Your data has been replicated fine

Now you can run this script ,

CAUTION : Be cautious , Before doing this . make 100 % sure that your PF database is replicated fine to the Exchange 2010 , You can verify by turning off Exchange 2003 or Dismounting Exchange 2003 PF database

Once the replica is added and data has been replicated over to finish of the PF migration

we got to move the replica from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010.

Open your Exchange Management Shell , Browse your prompt into the Scripts folder

and you can run this command

.\MoveAllReplicas.ps1 -Server "Exchange2003" -NewServer "Exchange2010"

Great !! your PF migration is done !!

One more Last Step

Moving Folder Hierarchies

You got to move this so that your Public Folders will be completely migrated to Exchange 2010

Open your Exchange System Manager

Right click on Exchange Administrative Group –> New –> Public Folders Container


Now you Can See Public Folders Container (Folders)

Expanding First Administrative Group you can see “Public Folders”


Now Click and Drag “Public Folders”  from

First Administrative Group (Folders) to Exchange Administrative Group (Folders) container


Great !!

Your PF Folders are completely migrated


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. excellent article. very interesting to read. i really love to read such a nice article. thanks! keep rocking.

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  4. Hi you have a good weblog over here! Thanks for sharing this interesting information for us! If you keep up this great work I’ll visit your site again. Thanks!

  5. Hi, thanks for this post, and thanks for all your other ones. They have been of immense help.

    What would you consider as “too large” for public folder move using scripts?

  6. Thank you Sath for the response. Do you have a recommended method for migrating Public folders across forest?

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      Recommended method is to use interOrg tool to migrate Public Folders Eddie. But its a time consuming one.

      I don’t have an article explaining that . yet !

  7. I was getting ready to do the last step, “Moving Folder Hierarchies”, but I can’t expand the Folders on the 2003 server. So I’m assuming one of my previous Powershell commands moved the hierarchy, cause I can’t do it via your drag-and-drop method. I’m hoping it’s safe to continue the decommission process of the 2003 server without doing this final step.

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      if you would have ran Move all replicas..It would have moved it for you Cameron. Technically it done !! but — Turn off you exchange 2003 server and make sure PF is accessible.,. then you are safe !!

      • Hi Manoharan,

        one clarification with you, while I made replica before starting with moving PF, using PF management console in exchange 2010 I only see Internet Newsgroup and Internal Communication. Is that ok, or I need to wait more time for replication in order to sync everything ?

  8. Had an issue when I tried the last step – to move folder hiararchies.

    When trying the step below, only “folders” folder created, there is no “public folders” underneath. When I right click on the folder -> New -> Public folder TREE, it gave me an error that “Exchange system manager version 8.0.30535.0 or greater is required to edit this object.”

    Open your Exchange System Manager

    Right click on Exchange Administrative Group –> New –> Public Folders Container

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      You can use ADSIEDIT to do it. Configuration Paritition . Browse to Exchange Admin* Group

      You can create one . below and move it manually !

      Create the “Folder Hierarchies” under the Exchange Administrative Group
      1. Right click on Exchange Administrative Group
      2. Select New Object
      3. Select msExchPublicFolderTreeContainer for the class and click Next
      4. Enter the following for the value: Folder Hierarchies, click Next
      5. Click Finish

  9. Hi there,

    I have a question about public folders 2003 -> 2010

    Is replicating public folders the same thing as moving them? I am at the stage now where user mailboxes are going to be moving to 2010. There is about 500 of them and I anticipate the whole thing will be done in a week.

    My question is should I just move the public folders now from 2003 to 2010 or setup replicas? I’m concerned that users from both systems will need the public folders. If I simply move them now to 2010, will users of 2003 be able to access them?

    Assuming I can just move them, I presume your instructions above will suffice?

    Thank you

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      Hi Tom,

      You have to setup Replicas.

      And wait for some days . And You will equal content on Exchange 2003 and Exchange 2010,

      Then only when you decide Exchange 2003 to be removed.

      Moving of Public Folder will be your last step of your migration. !

      Thank you.

      Moving it upfront . will give issues to 2003 users

  10. Hi, you can dismount pf db as first test. Then, after a bit of days and you are sure, update pf hierarchy from 2010 and move hierarchy from 2003 to 2010, remove connectors between 2003 and 2010, etc…


    Hi, I’m in the process of moving public folders from Exch03 to Exch201 and have some clarifications. As I have understood the replication process between public folders working in a multi-master environment, I still need some deep understanding. Okay, the task is to ensure that we don’t lose any PF when I remove the last Exch03 where there’s a lot of PF residing. From testing I can verify that the the Outlook clients are looking at Exch2010. The way I tested this is by creating a test PF from Outlook and it did reflected on Exch2010. Looking Exch03 for a couple of days, the test PF never reflected.

    Please verify on this. Does it mean that Exch2010 is not replicating to Exch03? If yes, then if I remove the PFs from Exch2003 without moving the replicas to Exch2010, like plainly removing them. Will that delete/remove the PFs on Exch2010. I have a feeling that it don’t because the PFs I’m deleting at Exch03 are all replicas and therefore removing it should not affect the PFs at Exch2010. Please confirm on this.

    Thanks and more power!

  12. Wow.

    Thanks so much for this website.

    The migration isnt as complicated as its put out to be.

    Your guide shows step by step how to do it and makes it really great to understand.

    Best guide I have seen.

    Thanks for the help 🙂

  13. Not sure if this is still ‘live’ but I’m trying to remove Exchange 2003 and I thought I had done everything correctly but I have 1 issue and 1 possible issue.

    Specifically, I thought I had completed all steps and removed exchange but the procedure I followed didn’t include the creation of the public folder container in Exchange 2010. The databases were deleted after replication of PFs and all mailboxes were moved so I’m not sure what, if anything, is necessary to ‘fix’ the issue.

    Secondly, Exchange 2003 is still showing up in AD since I’m now attempting to migration from 2010 to 2013 so something did NOT remove properly even though everything has been running fine. Would this have anything to do with that?? I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to find something specific about what to remove so BPA no longer shows it and Exchange 2013 will continue with the install.

    • Satheshwaran Manoharan

      Am adding a link of different article.
      If all removed safely.
      You can remove the server object from Servers Container.
      Follow the article. Last part you got navigate to CN=Administrative groups. Servers . You should see your Exchange 2003 Server name. remove it .

      If thats the only Exchange 2003 server in that servers container. you can remove the servers containers as well.

      Please make sure you play safe. Take a system state backup before doing anything.
      If you are unsure. please get tech help from us. Don,t get into trouble.

      Thank you.

  14. Nice article, it is really good instructions to move public folder from exchange server to any exchange server. I test this LepideMigrator for Exchange tool from that allows to move public folder. From exchange server. This tool helps to move a public folder mailbox to another database on another exchange server.

  15. Hi Manoharan,

    one clarification with you, while I made replica before starting with moving PF, using PF management console in exchange 2010 I only see Internet Newsgroup and Internal Communication. Is that ok, or I need to wait more time for replication in order to sync everything ?

  16. It was really helpful to use your site upgrading exchange 2003->2010. However, most of tech are installing exchange 2010 on Windows 2012R2 OS. I had ran into issue when installing pre-requisites. Can you please update the article to install exchange 2010 on windows 2012R2 instead windows 2008.


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