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Recovering mailbox databases from Exchange 2016 can be very challenging if you don’t have backups or copies of the mailbox database. Usually, every user is not capable of restoring a mailbox database in Exchange 2016 as it requires in-depth knowledge of Exchange features and retention policies. However, Microsoft offers a reliable facility to recover mailboxes from Exchange 2016 – Recovery Database.

Recovery Database (RDB) is a unique database that enables users to mount the restored mailbox database and extract data from it as a part of a recovery operation. With RDB, you can recover mailboxes from a backup or a copy of the database without interrupting user access to the data.

You’ll have to use the New-MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet to extract data from the recovery database. After retrieving the data, you can restore it to the existing mailbox or a new folder.

Pre-requisites for using RDB for mailbox recovery

Before starting the Exchange 2016 mailbox recovery with RDB, there are some things that you need to know:

  • You need Organization Management permissions to perform this procedure.
  • The database and log files with recovered mailboxes must be copied or restored to the RDB folder structure.
  • You might have to use Eseutil /R to restore databases in a clean shutdown state.

After knowing these things, you can use Exchange Management Shell to recover the data using the Recovery Database.

Exchange Management Shell to recover mailboxes using the Recovery Database

Follow the below steps to recover data using Recovery Database:

  1. Copy the recovered database and its log files to the location that you’ll use for the recovery database.
  2. Now, use Eseutil to put the recovered database in a clean shutdown state:
    Eseutil /R Exx /l <RDBLogFilePath> /d <RDBEdbFolder>
  3. Create the recovery database and give a unique name to it. Use the name of the database file for the EdbFilePath parameter and the location for the LogFolderPath parameter.
    New-MailboxDatabase -Recovery -Name <RDBName> -Server <ServerName> -EdbFilePath <RDBPathandFileName> -LogFolderPath <LogFilePath>
  4. Now, restart the Microsoft Exchange Information store service with the following command:
    Restart-Service MSExchangeIS
  5. Mount the recovery database using the below command:
    Mount-database <RDBName>
  6. Using the below command, verify whether the mounted database contains the mailbox you want to restore or not:
    Get-MailboxStatistics -Database <RDBName> | Format-Table -auto
  7. After verifying the restored mailboxes, use the New-MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet to restore the mailbox to the production mailbox. You can use the below command to perform this action:
    New-MailboxRestoreRequest -SourceDatabase -<Database Name> -SourceStoreMailbox -<MaiboxGUID> -TargetMailbox -<MailboxName>
  8. You can check the status of mailbox restore using Get-MailboxRestoreRequest. When the restore process is complete, remove the restore request with Remove-MailboxRestoreRequest.

Using this technique, you can restore the database of Exchange 2016. But, the steps involved in this manual process are very complicated. First, you’ll have to create an RDB, restore the database, and then use a cmdlet to extract data from it.

Also, there is no guarantee that this process will work to restore the Exchange 2016 mailboxes. So, what is the exact and effective solution to recover Exchange 2016 mailboxes?

Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery

It is recognized as one of the most amazing tools for recovering the mailboxes of Exchange 2016. This tool allows users to convert EDB to PST file and migrate Exchange data to multiple platforms, such as Office 365 and Live Exchange. Also, the advanced features enable users to restore and migrate specific data from the Exchange Server based on item type, date, exclude folder, etc.

The EDB file can be found on your machine where you’ve installed Exchange 2016. This file holds all the data of your Exchange, including the permanently deleted mailboxes and items. Now, restore Exchange mailboxes to live Exchange with EDB Recovery.

  1. Install the recovery software on your system and launch it. Click the Offline EDB icon.
    Install the product
  2. Select Offline EDB File as the source and click Next.
    Select Offline EDB
  3. Choose the EDB file from your system by clicking the Browse (…) button and click Next.

    Note: You can search for EDB files on your system using the Search button.
  4. Now, select a specific mode for scanning the Exchange 2016 EDB file and click Next.
    Select Scanning Mode
  5. The EDB file will be visible on the upper left-hand side of the tool.
    Source List
  6. Now, add Live Exchange as a destination by selecting Add Destination (or by clicking the Live Exchange icon) and click Next.
    Select Destination- Live Exchange
  7. Enter the login information and other details for live Exchange Server and click Next.
    Add Credentials - Add Exchange Server name
  8. Select the mailboxes to which you want to migrate the data and click Next.
    Select mailboxes for migration
  9. The live Exchange mailboxes will be added to the tool; you can see the mailboxes in the bottom left-hand side of the tool.
    Destination List
  10. To restore mailboxes from EDB to live Exchange, right-click on the root folder in the source and select Copy All Mailboxes.
  11. Now, go to the destination, right-click on the root directory and select Paste Mailboxes.
  12. The software will ask you to select specific mailboxes; then click Next.
    Select specific mailboxes want to migrate
  13. You can use advanced filters to include/exclude items depending on their item type, date range, etc. Then click Next.
    Apply Filters
  14. Map the mailboxes when the Mapping Wizard appears on the screen and click Next.
    Map the mailboxes
  15. The process will take some time, based on the size of the mailboxes. A notification will appear on the screen once the process is complete, as shown below. Click OK first, and then click Finish to end the process.
    Migration completed

As you have seen, Exchange Server Recovery is one of the easiest methods to restore mailboxes from Exchange 2016.


Restoring mailboxes from Exchange 2016 can be daunting if you don’t know the exact process to recover the mailboxes. Also, the manual technique is unreliable as it doesn’t guarantee precise recovery. So, you can use Exchange Mailbox Recovery to recover Exchange 2016 mailboxes.

Kernel for Exchange Server
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