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Companies relying on on-premises Exchange Server still use public folders for data sharing. Public folders provide an excellent way to consolidate files, archives, and other common information between teams and the company.

Exchange Server administrators often need to migrate public folders from one server to another due to various limitations or upgrade to a newer Exchange version. When it comes to migrating from Exchange Server 2010, you need to upgrade to a newer version as Exchange 2010 has reached the end of its support life cycle. So, there will be no more security patches, bug fixing, and service packs.

Today, we will help you understand how you can migrate public folders from Exchange 2010 to 2016 as an administrator.

Things to Know Before Migrating the Public Folders

Before you begin Exchange migration for public folder, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:

  • The Exchange 2010 server must be running in the Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 or later.
  • You can migrate a maximum of 500,000 public folders to Exchange 2016 in a single migration.
  • You must be a member of the Organization Management role group in Exchange Server 2016 to perform the migration.
  • You need to be a member of the Organization Management or Server Management RBAC role groups in Exchange 2010.
  • Know about the limits for public folders before migration.
  • You need to move all user mailboxes to Exchange 2016 before the migration.
  • Once the migration is complete, you need to grant access to the anonymous users if you want external senders to send emails to the migrated mail-enabled public folders.
  • Public folder migration must be done in a single migration batch to migrate all your data. With Exchange, you can only create one migration batch at a time. If you try to create more than one migration batch, it will pop up an error.
Performing the Batch Migration

The batch migration is performed using the ‘MigrationBatch’ cmdlets and ‘PublicFolderMigrationRequest’ cmdlets for troubleshooting. Apart from that, you will need to use the following PowerShell scripts:

Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1: It allows you to create the folder name-to-folder size mapping file.

Export-PublicFolderStatistics.psd1: It is used by the Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1 script and should be stored in the same folder.

PublicFolderToMailboxMapGenerator.ps1: This script enables you to create the public folder-to-mailbox mapping file.

PublicFolderToMailboxMapGenerator.strings.psd1: This file is used by the above script and should be stored in the same folder.

Create-PublicFolderMailboxesForMigration.ps1: This script is used to create the target public folder mailboxes for the migration. It also calculates the number of mailboxes required to control the estimated user load based on the guidelines for the number of user logins per public folder mailbox.

Create-PublicFolderMailboxesForMigration.strings.psd1: This cmdlet is used by the above script and should be stored in the same folder.

You can download all these scripts from

Steps to Migrate Public Folders

Now that you know how to create a migration batch for the public folder, you can start with the migration. The migration process contains the following steps:

  1. Downloading the migration script
    Download all the scripts and supporting files to perform the migration.
  2. Preparing for the migration
    You need to have all the resources in hand to perform the migration. Get them by running the cmdlets like Get-PublicFolder, Get-PublicFolderStatistics, Get-PublicFolderClientPermission, Get-OrganizationConfig, etc.
  3. Generate the .csv files using the above scripts
    Run the ‘Export-PublicFolderStatistics.ps1’ script to generate the CSV files.
  4. Generate public folder mailboxes in Exchange 2016
    To create the target public folder mailboxes, you can use the PublicFolderToMailboxMapGenerator.ps1 script.
  5. Start the migration request
    After creating the migration batch request in the EMS, you can view the request and manage them in Exchange Admin Center.
  6. Lockdown the public folders on Exchange 2010 server to perform the final migration
    You need to lock the public folders on Exchange 2010 so that users cannot access them during the migration. After that, run the below command to lock the public folders for finalization.

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersLockedForMigration:$true
  7. Decide the final public folder migration (with downtime)
    Now, you can change the Exchange 2016 deployment type to Remote using the below command:

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFOlderEnabled Remote

    After completing that, complete the public folder migration by using the following command:

    Complete-MigrationBatch PFMIgration
  8. Verify and unlock the public folder migration
    After finalizing the public folder migration, you can check the migration status using the below command:

    Set-Mailbox -Identity -DefaultPublicFolderMailbox

If the public folders are successfully migrated, the status will display all the public folders. This is the process to migrate public folders from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

However, it is not feasible for every user to follow the above process, as it’s very complicated. It will also be tough to migrate exchange server 2013 to 2016. So, they need an automated solution to migrate the public folders. Although there are various Exchange Migrator tools that can be used to migrate the mailboxes, Kernel Migrator for Exchange is exceptional. It is integrated with intelligent algorithms that enable you to perform quick migration. With this tool, you can accomplish various types of Exchange Migrations in different environments.

It even allows you to perform pre-migration analysis and post-migration tasks while providing end reports. The tool supports almost every Exchange Server, including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and 2003. With this solution, you can easily migrate all the public folders. It also migrates from Exchange Server to Office 365, so if you manual Office 365 migration failed as the recipient is not a mailbox, then you can use the software and map the mailboxes correctly before starting the migration.

Kernel Migrator for Exchange

Wrap Up

Migrating Exchange public folders is an essential task for businesses that want to upgrade to a newer version. The process follows a specific approach for migrating the public folders. However, the manual approach is a bit tricky. This article highlights both the manual and automated approaches to migrating your public folders from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

Kernel Migration for Exchange
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