Read time 10 minutes

Summary: Extracting Exchange mailbox data from EDB to PST is often carried out by professionals to prevent data loss or to keep it as a backup file. Explore all the possible methods, such as Exchange Admin Centre, Exchange Management Shell, and ExMerge, to extract EDB files. However, all these manual methods have some limitations, which can all be eliminated once you utilize the automated approach.

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 section in the Exchange Admin Center.
  2. In databases category, click on the New (+) button to create a new one.
  3. In the database creation wizard, provide a name to the database.
  4. Choose the corresponding server.
  5. Browse the location for saving the database file. You can change the default location.
  6. Click Save and it will prompt a warning to restart the Exchange Serve before accessing new EDB file.
  7. After restarting the server, you can see a new database in the databases category.

However, the Exchange database often gets corrupt due to various reasons like virus infections, hard drive failures, Exchange dirty shutdown errors, or system failures. This corruption can can damage your Exchange database and make mailboxes inaccessible. Therefore, the EDB file must be repaired immediately, or you should extract the Exchange database from the EDB file. You can 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 mailboxes 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 common manual methods to extract Exchange mailboxes from EDB files, and let’s deep dive into all of them:

#1. Using the Exchange Admin Center

To overcome the limitations of ExMerge utility and EMS PowerShell cmdlets, you can use the Exchange Admin Center to extract EDB files to PST. However, this method supports only recent Exchange versions like Exchange Server 2013, 2016 and 2019. Follow the 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

The mailboxes have been extracted to the desired location. Once the export process is finished, 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:

  • This process can only be performed with administrative privileges
  • It cannot recover corrupt mailbox data
  • This process can only be performed with administrative privileges
#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 file to PST.

Here, we will discuss how to extract EDB file 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, use the mailbox name you want to extract and enter the specific location where you want to extract EDB file. For example,

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox abcd@www.kernel21.com -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 –

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=2743

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

  1. The first screen shows 2 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 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, 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. Run the software.

    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.

Conclusion

Extracting Exchange mailbox data from EDB files is necessary for organizations, as it saves their Exchange data from any data loss. Also, extracting EDB file to PST allows you to migrate EDB mailboxes to Office 365 or keep the PST file as a backup. However, there are some limitations to manual methods. So, you should use a converter tool that enables users to convert EDB file to PST easily.