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Summary: This article discusses the importance of migrating public folders from on-premises Exchange Server, particularly from Exchange Server 2010 to 2016, due to end-of-support issues. It outlines key considerations, provides steps for the migration process, and suggests using an automated tool like Kernel Migration for Exchange for a smoother transition.

Organizations that continue to rely on on-premises Exchange Server are still leveraging public folders for seamless data sharing. Public folders offer an effective means of centralizing files, archives, and essential information, fostering collaboration both within teams and across the entire company.

Exchange Server administrators frequently find themselves facing the task of migrating public folders from one server to another. This necessity arises from a range of factors, including system limitations and the need to stay current with the latest Exchange versions. In the case of migrating from Exchange Server 2010, it’s imperative to consider an upgrade to a more recent version. This urgency stems from the fact that Exchange 2010 has already reached the end of its support life cycle, rendering it devoid of any further security patches, bug fixes, or service pack updates.

Today, we are here to guide administrators through the process of migrating public folders from Exchange 2010 to 2016, ensuring a smooth and seamless transition.

Things to Know Before Migrating the Public Folders

Prior to embarking on an Exchange migration for public folders, it’s crucial to consider the following key points:

  • 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

Batch migration is executed through the utilization of ‘MigrationBatch’ cmdlets, supplemented by ‘PublicFolderMigrationRequest’ cmdlets when troubleshooting is required. Additionally, to facilitate the migration process, you’ll be required to employ 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

Upon successful migration of the public folders, the status will reflect the presence of all the public folders. This outlines the procedure for migrating public folders from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

  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

Once the migration of public folders is successfully completed, the status will reflect the presence of all public folders. This represents the procedural steps involved in migrating public folders from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

Not every user can easily undertake the aforementioned process due to its inherent complexity. Additionally, migrating from Exchange Server 2013 to 2016 can be a daunting task. Therefore, an automated solution for migrating public folders becomes a necessity. Among the plethora of Exchange Migrator tools available, Kernel Migration for Exchange stands out as exceptional. It boasts intelligent algorithms that facilitate swift migrations. This tool empowers users to execute a wide array of Exchange Migrations across diverse environments with ease.

This versatile tool not only facilitates pre-migration analysis and post-migration tasks but also generates comprehensive end reports. It boasts compatibility with virtually every Exchange Server version, from 2019 and 2016 to 2003, ensuring seamless migration. With this solution, you can effortlessly transfer all your public folders. Moreover, if you’ve encountered issues with manual Office 365 migration due to recipient discrepancies, our software can step in, allowing you to accurately map the mailboxes before initiating the migration process.

Kernel Migration for Exchange

Wrap Up

Migrating Exchange public folders represents a crucial undertaking for businesses aiming to transition to a more advanced version. The migration process adheres to a well-defined methodology for handling public folder transfers. Nonetheless, the manual method can be somewhat challenging. This article provides an insightful exploration of both manual and automated techniques for migrating your public folders from Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016.

Kernel Migration for Exchange