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Summary: To handle redundant mailboxes in an Exchange Database, consider disabling rather than deleting to preserve user info. Learn the steps for disabling a mailbox via Exchange Admin Center or PowerShell. Discover how to recover deleted mailboxes using Exchange Server tools or the Kernel for Exchange Server utility, ensuring data security and easy restoration. This process is user-friendly and efficient, simplifying mailbox management for Exchange Administrators.

Occasionally, you may encounter a scenario where two similar mailboxes coexist within the same Exchange Database. Typically, one mailbox is actively used while the other lies dormant, and you have the option to eliminate the redundant mailbox using the “remove-mailbox” cmdlet. It’s vital to note that when you delete a mailbox from the Exchange database, the associated user information is also removed from the Active Directory. Therefore, if your intention is solely to deactivate the user’s mailbox, you should opt to disable it instead.

Process to disable the user mailbox in Exchange database

Here is the brief procedure of disabling the user mailbox from the Exchange database:

  1. Log in to the Exchange Admin Center with the Administrator credentials.
  2. Under recipients, go to mailboxes, select the user mailbox to be disabled, click more (•••) and click Disable.
    Exchange Admin Center
  3. A warning message will appear. Click Yes.
    warning message appear
  4. The user mailbox will disappear from the list; and after the expiry of the retention period, the mailbox will be deleted permanently.
    mailbox deleted
Use Exchange Management Shell to disable a mailbox

You can disable a mailbox using Exchange PowerShell command:

Disable-Mailbox <MailboxName>

Exchange Management Shell

When you run the command, it will ask you confirm your action. After confirmation, it will delete the mailbox.

How to recover a deleted mailbox?

Within the Exchange environment, the accidental deletion of valuable mailboxes is a potential concern. Fortunately, Exchange Server offers built-in methods for recovering deleted data. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of a specialized professional tool capable of managing both healthy and corrupted Exchange data, securely storing it in an alternate location or another platform. This tool also proves invaluable for safeguarding mailboxes by creating backups before removal from the Exchange database.

Kernel for Exchange Server is a powerful utility designed to eliminate any form of corruption within the Exchange database, seamlessly restoring every mailbox and its complete contents. Below, you’ll find a straightforward guide on utilizing the Exchange recovery for this purpose:

  1. Run the software and click the Offline EDB option.
    Run the software
  2. Select the first option of Offline EDB file and click the Next button.
    Select EDB file
  3. Browse the EDB file from its location. If you are unaware of its location, then use the search button. After selecting the file, click Next.
    Browse the EDB file
  4. Select among Standard Scan or Deep Scan mode. Click Next.
    select mode
  5. The EDB file is successfully added as the source file. Click Finish.
    EDB successfully added
  6. After selecting the source EDB file, you can get the preview of any mailbox item with the help of the Preview button on the right. After checking the preview, click the PST file option on the destination pane.
    preview mailbox
  7. Select the option of Create new PST File. Then click Next.
    Create new PST
  8. Provide a location and a name to the PST file. Then click Next.
    Provide location for PST file
  9. A new PST file is successfully created and selected as the destination.
    PST file created successfully
  10. Now you can easily either copy-paste or drag-&-drop the messages from source EDB to the destination PST.
    copy and paste EDB file to PST
  11. After exporting the data, the tool provides a message containing complete export details.
    Export details list
  12. After exporting, you can see the messages in the destination folder.
    massage in destination folder


Managing undesired mailboxes in the database can present a significant challenge for an Exchange Administrator. Fortunately, these mailboxes can be removed without affecting the associated user accounts. Prior to deletion, you have the option to safeguard their data by effortlessly creating a PST file using the Exchange mailbox recovery tool. This user-friendly tool simplifies the entire recovery process, making it accessible even to individuals without technical expertise. Export EDB to PST file can be completed within a matter of minutes, streamlining the entire procedure.

Kernel for Exchange Server