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Public folders in Exchange Server is a designated place where a user can put the information to share it with the team members. Instead of manually sharing it with each member, public folders make it easier and faster since they are available in the Outlook hierarchy. If the administrator turns the public folder into a mail-enabled folder and makes it a member of distribution groups, then any email in the distribution group will also reach the public folder. To help you understand public folders & PST export, we will assist you with two simple methods to export public folders to PST.

What is saved in the public folder?

The public folder is a unique place to save emails, documents, eForms, and user posts. All such information is saved in the public folder mailbox, but it’s not copied to other public folder mailboxes in other accounts. As all the associated members of the public folder can access the same information, replicating the data is not required. The user should not note that the information present in the public folder is not available in Exchange searches to protect its integrity.

There is a simple and easy way to backup Exchange Public Folder: save the Public Folder in the PST file using Outlook.

Export the Public folder to PST using Outlook

To easily export Exchange public folders to PST using Outlook, carefully go through the steps below:

  1. Start Outlook and click the File option in the menu. Then click the Open & Export option.
    Open & Export
  2. Choose the Import/Export option.
  3. Select the option Export to a file and click Next.
    Export to a file
  4. Choose the option Outlook Data File (.pst) and click Next.
    Outlook Data File
  5. Select the public folders for export and click Next.
    public folders
  6. Click on Browse to specify the location for saving the PST file and select Finish.
    Give location to save PST file

After exporting to the PST file, you can go to the location and see the PST file there.

Export Public folder to PST using Exchange Server

The above method to export public folders to PST is perfectly suitable when the public folder size is limited. But, if you want to export Exchange public folders to PST at a large scale, the process is complex. So, when you need to save the public folder data in the PST file, then use the Kernel for Exchange Server application.

It can repair the corrupt Exchange databases but also access public folders from any on-premises account and migrate to PST files.

Here is its procedure to export the public folder data to a PST file:

  1. Run the software. Click the icon Public Folder in the source area.

    Click on public folder

  2. Select the option Live Exchange (on-Premises). Click Next.
    Select Live Exchange
  3. Choose the option ‘Connect Public Folder.’ Input Exchange Server Name and Mailbox Name. Then click Next.
    Connect Public Folder
    Note: If a Windows Security pop-up prompts, input the login credentials and click OK.
  4. The public folder connects with the software. Click Finish.
    Click finish
  5. Here, you can see all the folders in the public folder, their items, and also their clean preview. After checking the data, click the PST File icon (in the destination area).
    click the PST File icon
  6. If you want to save in an existing PST file, click the second option of Existing PST file; click Create new PST file. Click Next.
    Create new PST file
  7. Browse the PST file’s saving destination and provide a new name to it. You can also choose to protect it by password giving a password value. Click Next.
    Browse saving destination
  8. The tool creates a new PST file. Click Finish.
    creates a new PST file
  9. Transferring data from the public folder to PST is quite simple. Select the messages, right-click them and choose Copy Message(s).
    Select the messages
  10. Go to the PST section, right-click and click Paste Message.
    Go to the PST section
  11. After successful migration, the tool provides a migration report depicting the status of the messages. Click Cancel.
    migration report
  12. You can see the messages in the PST file precisely like they are in the public folder.
    messages in the PST file
MVP Reviews

“It is a handy tool for Exchange administrators for performing multiple tasks, especially for fixing database corruption and site loss issues. It also has features for backup extraction and eDiscovery. With its simple interface and advanced features, it deserves a 4.6 rating out of 5.”

Kingson Jebaraj

Kingson Jebaraj
(Microsoft MVP)
United Arab Emirates

“Exchange Server, being a business-critical application, needs extreme care in its maintenance and operation. So, Exchange administrators often require professional tools to meet compliances and face data loss situations. The tool meets all these requirements excellently.”

Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar
Microsoft MVP


Using Exchange mailbox recovery, you can export public folder to PST file. It provides multiple destinations like Office 365, Exchange Server (hosted), another public folder, or an Outlook profile for saving your public folder. The tool works not only for a healthy public folder, but you can also repair a corrupt public folder EDB file and save its contents. We hope our blog has given you expert insights to export Exchange public folders to PST as easily as possible.


Q – What is the maximum number of public folders that could be migrated in a single Exchange 2010 to 2016 public folder migration?

A – The maximum no. of public folders that can easily be migrated from Exchange 2010 to 2016 public folder migration is 500,000. But you have to make sure that the Exchange 2010 server is running Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 or later.

Q – Where are public folders in Exchange 2010?

A – To know the location of the public folders in Exchange 2010, go to the right pane & right-click on the Organization Forms. Then, navigate to properties & from the General tab, you can know the location of the Public Folder Database.

Kernel for Exchange Server