How to Restore Exchange Database File?

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam | Published On - 21 Sep 2022 |

Read time: 6 minutes

Microsoft Exchange’s native data protection uses native Exchange features to protect the database and mailbox without using any external assistance. But the Widows Server Backup has a plug-in that takes the Exchange-aware backups in VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Services) volumes.

There is a plug-in known as ‘Microsoft Exchange Server Extension for Windows Server Backup’ and it is installed and configured automatically in the Server. The Windows Server Backup plugin runs this service and takes the backup. Both Backup and Restore jobs require the same number of steps and information from the user side. If you have taken a backup earlier and want to restore the mailbox, then there are some basic points that you must remember related to Windows Server Backup tool.

  • You can only recover Exchange data when you restore the data. The original location of the data or another place can be used to recover it. The recovery procedure, which includes unmounting any current databases and replaying logs into the restored databases, is handled automatically by WSB and the plug-in if you restore the data to its original place.
  • The Exchange recovery database (RDB) is not supported by the restoration process. If you need to use an RDB, you must first restore the data to a different location before manually copying or moving it into the RDB folder structure.
  • All the backups of previous databases must be restored together when restoring Exchange data. One database alone cannot be restored.

The process to restore the database is straightforward and simple. Here are the total number of steps-

  1. Start Windows Server Backup as the Administrator.Start Windows Server Backup
  2. On the left-hand pane, go to Windows Server Backup and choose Local Backup.go to Windows Server Backup and choose Local Backup
  3. Right-click on Local Backup and select the Recover option. The Recovery Wizard will the Recover option
  4. Before starting recovery, you must mention that if the backup is present on the current server or any other network location. Click This Server and Next.Click This Server
  5. Select the Date and Time for the Backup. Click Next.Select the Date and Time
  6. There will be various options for recovery – Files and Folders, Hyper-V, Volumes, Applications, and System State. Choose your option for recovery. In the example, we have chosen Files and Folders. Click Next.Click Next
  7. Using the available tree, choose such files and folders that you wan to restore. Then, click Next
  8. The Specify Recovery Options will ask you to select the Recovery destination. It will also ask to you manage the restore tasks for such items that are already present in the recovery destination. Click Next.Click Next
  9. Confirm the restore task for selected file. Click Recover.Click Recover
  10. After a successful restore job, the recovery process will change to ‘completed.’ At last, click Close

You can verify the restore job by going to the target location; check that the imported items are present. You can also check Event Viewer, and the restore event will be logged in the Application Event log.

There are certain constraints related to the Windows Server Backup tool:

  • Shared Network share
    Although you can transmit backups to a network share, the software only keeps one backup, wiping out the previous backup after each successful backup. Due to their need for file versioning and data retention, many businesses will find this option to be useless, essentially a deal-breaker.
  • Encryption
    Windows Server Backup encryption is not enabled by default.
  • Unavailability of selective Backup/Restoration
    Windows Server Backup will run a full backup of SQL or Exchange. Ideally, you should run a test to determine how long recovery will take actually. You won’t be able to restore single mailboxes or tables; instead, you’ll only be able to restore the full Exchange store.


Windows Server Backup is a safe option for backup. WSB also takes significant time to restore the data, and there are no features to apply some filters there. If the database becomes corrupt or inaccessible, then only a professional Exchange Server software can repair and restore it to live Exchange. Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery is such software that removes corruptions from Exchange database (EDB) files and recovers their data to make them useful again. There are enough filter options to select specific data only.