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Microsoft Exchange Server is essential for organizations to manage daily emails and other collaborative activities. All the Exchange mailboxes and items such as emails, contacts, calendars, and notes are stored in EDB file format. So, the EDB files are crucial for the functioning of the server.

The Exchange Administrator can create a new database in the Exchange Admin Center with some simple steps –

  1. Go to the Servers>Databases in the Exchange Admin Center.
  2. In the databases category, click on the + button to create a new database.create a new database
  3. In new database creation wizard, provide a name to the database.provide a name to the database
  4. Choose the corresponding Exchange server version.Choose the corresponding Exchange server version
  5. Browse the location on your system to save the database file. You can change the default location.Browse the location to save
  6. Click the Save button which will prompt a warning to restart the Exchange Serve before accessing new EDB file.restart the Exchange Serve
  7. After restarting the server, you can see a new database in the databases category in the list of the databases in Exchange Admin Center.Exchange Admin Center

However, the Exchange database often gets corrupt due to various reasons like virus infections, hard drive failures, Exchange dirty shutdown errors, or system failures. The database corruption can damage your Exchange database and make mailboxes inaccessible. Therefore, repair the EDB file immediately or extract the Exchange database from the EDB file. You can use the command‘Run ESEUTIL’ for EDB Repair.

In this post, we will talk about the manual as well as automated approaches to extract Exchange mailbox data from EDB files. But, before that, let’s understand why you need to extract Exchange mailboxes from EDB files.

Reason to extract Exchange mailbox data from EDB

  • To access mailbox contents from orphaned or dismounted database files.
  • To access shared, archive, or public folders separately from the primary mailbox.
  • To transfer individual mailboxes to a new database or Exchange Server.
  • Accessing EDB files even without connecting to the Exchange Server
  • To access data when the Exchange database cannot be mounted
  • The log files on the system get deleted

The above scenarios clearly state that extracting Exchange databases from EDB files is crucial. Below are some of the most effective methods to perform this task.

Methods to extract Exchange mailboxes from EDB file

There are 3 manual methods to extract Exchange mailboxes from EDB files, and let’s dive deep into all of them:

#1. Using the Exchange admin center

Use the Exchange Admin Center to extract EDB files to PST, however, it supports only recent Exchange versions like Exchange Server 2013, 2016 and 2019. Follow the given steps to extract the EDB file using the Exchange admin center.

  1. Go to Exchange Online and open Exchange Admin Center. Now, select recipients and go to mailboxes. A list of mailboxes will appear on your screen.
    Open Exchange Admin Center
  2. Right-click on the mailbox you want to extract to PST, then choose the Export to a PST file option.
    Choose Export to a PST file
  3. The Export to PST dialogue box will appear on the screen. Now, browse and select the desired mailbox with the required option and click Next.
    Browse and select the desired mailbox
  4. Select a location where you want to save the Exchange mailbox data and click Next to continue.
    Select location to save databse
  5. In the next step, check the checkbox for email notification, provide the name of the mailbox to receive mailbox notification and click Finish.
    Migration completed

This completes the extraction of mailboxes to the desired location. Once the export process is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation message in the specified PST mailbox.

Drawbacks of using the Exchange Admin Center method to extract EDB files to PST:

  • It requires administrative privileges to execute
  • It cannot recover corrupt mailbox data

#2. Using Exchange Management Shell

Exchange Management Shell is another free method to extract Exchange mailboxes from EDB files in Exchange Server 2007 and later versions. EMS uses PowerShell cmdlets to convert EDB files to PST.

Here, we will discuss how to extract EDB files to PST in Exchange Server 2016.

Go to Exchange Management Shell and use the PowerShell cmdlet “New-MailboxExportRequest.” Use the below syntax for PowerShell cmdlets.

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox“<Mailbox name>” -FilePath” “<destination file path>”

Here, enter the mailbox name you want to extract and enter the specific location where you want to extract the EDB file. For example,

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox -FilePath \\NDRWEB76-PC2\PST Data\Himanshu_PST.pst

Limitations of using Exchange Management Shell to extract EDB files to PST:

  • It is necessary to have in-depth knowledge of EMS cmdlets
  • Cannot recover mailboxes from corrupt EDB file
  • The mailbox must be mounted on the Exchange Server

#3. ExMerge utility by Microsoft

ExMerge, the Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Merge Wizard, extracts the mailbox data from one Exchange Server’s mailbox and merges it into another mailbox running on a different Exchange Server. It copies the data from the mailbox as a separate PST file and then merges it into another mailbox.

Use ExMerge function on both single and multiple mailboxes, and it is smart enough to filter the mailbox content by various criteria. The tool will check the folders for duplicate items and skip them.

Download the free tool from the following URL –

The tool’s wizard-like interface shows multiple options on a single screen. Here is the process:

  1. The first screen shows two options, choose the first option, Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox.
    Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox
  2. Provide the Exchange Server name and click the Next button.
    Exchange Server name
  3. The Data Selection Criteria page offers useful filters for the whole data. The filter tabs are Data, Import Procedure, Folders, Dates, and Message Details. In each tab, there are multiple options to filter the data. Click Apply and start the process.
    Message Details

Limitations of using the ExMerge tool to extract Exchange mailbox data

  1. The tool fails to migrate PST files with more than 2 GB in size.
  2. It skips the corrupt email message present in the file.
  3. Unicode PST files are not recoverable using the ExMerge tool.
  4. Older versions of ExMerge do not support non-email like calendar, contacts, notes, tasks, journal, etc.

Extract data from any Exchange version EDB to PST

Kernel for EDB to PST Converter, an automated utility proves to be significant in allowing users to extract Exchange data from EDB files to PST. Not only that, but using its fantastic features, users can extract EDB data to PST based on specific requirements. Now, let’s see how this tool works to understand its functionality better.

  1. Download the software and open it on your local computer

    Launch the software

  2. Select Offline EDB file as the source type and click Next.
    Select Offline EDB as source
  3. Browse and select the EDB file that you want to extract to PST and click Next.
    Select EDB file that you want to extract
    Note: You can also search for EDB files using the search feature.
  4. Choose the suitable scanning mode to scan for any errors in the EDB file and click Next.
    Select scanning mode
  5. The EDB file mailboxes are added to the tool. You can check its mailboxes in the left pane of the tool. Now, right-click on the root directory of added EDB file and select Export Mailboxes to PST.
    Select Export Mailboxes to PST
  6. Select the mailboxes that you want to extract to PST. Browse a saving location, and then click Export.
    Browse a saving location
    Note: To convert mailboxes based on their date and item type, click Filters to apply specific filters.
  7. The extraction process will take some time based on the size of EDB files. Once it is done, a notification will appear on your screen displaying:
    Extraction process started
    Click OK to complete the process.
  8. A new window will appear on the screen displaying the mailbox details extracted to PST. Click OK to finish the process.
    Finish the process

This way, you can easily extract EDB files to PST using smart converter software for Exchange database files.


Being prepared for the database disaster saves you from regretting later losing significant data. This article provided different methods for extracting EDB files to save from data loss in the Exchange Server database. Manual methods to do this have their limitations and require technical knowledge and experience. For such circumstances, trusting on Kernel for EDB to PST is a wise choice to migrate EDB mailboxes to Office 365.

Kernel for Exchange Server
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