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Migrate Exchange 2007, 2010 Public Folders to Office 365
So, you are looking to complete a migration from Exchange to Office 365, you’ve managed to fairly easily migrate all of your mailboxes but now it’s time to migrate your organisations public folders and you can’t find any options in the UI to migrate them. I’ve got some good and bad news for you, the good news is that it is possible to migrate the public folders, the bad news is that if you don’t want to use 3rd Party Software this is going to be by far the most complicated stage of your Office 365 Migration. The reason that migrating public folders to Office 365 is such a pain is that Microsoft actually tried to kill off Public folders when they brought out Exchange Online, when it first launched, public folders were completely missing. After a fair amount of uproar Microsoft brought public folder support back, I’ll warn you now though, it’s a bit messy.
Download automated tool Kernel Migrator for Exchange to migrate Exchange Server 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 Public Folders to Office 365.
Save them all to C:\PFScripts feel free to change this location but make sure all the scripts are in the same place.
Update Exchange Server
Only the following versions of Exchange server are supported by these scripts
Exchange 2010 with SP3 and at least RU8
Exchange 2007 with SP3 and at least RU15
If you don’t have these versions of Exchange you will have to upgrade and unfortunately if you have Exchange 2003 you can’t migrate your public folders to Exchange Online.
Prepare Exchange Server
You need to follow the following steps on your Exchange server before attempting the migration, if you miss any of these the scripts won’t work properly.
Make sure no orphaned public folders exist in AD (i.e. there are AD Objects for public folders that no longer exists)
Check that the SMTP address for any public folder objects in Exchange match the AD Objects
Remove any duplicate public folder objects in AD (If you have performed say a 2003 to 2007 public folder migration before it's common to have something like "FolderName" & "FolderName54334533" in AD for the same public folder
Exchange Server Steps
Run the through the following steps on the Exchange Server that you are migrating the public folders from
We have to add the onmicrosoft domain for your 365 tenant to the Exchange server. To do this open the Exchange Shell as an administrator and type this
Once you’ve reset the migration status you have to wait for these settings to refresh in Exchange, this could take a couple of hours.
If you are using Azure AD connect you must remove public folder objects from the sync.
Open Azure AD Connect
Under Additional Task select Customize Synchronization options
Enter your credentials
On the Optional Features screen make sure the Exchange Mail Public Folders is unticked
Prepare Exchange Online
Now that the Exchange Server is ready to go it’s time to move onto setting up Exchange Online.
Make sure there are no pre-existing public folder migration requests, if there are delete them.
Check that there are no public folder mailboxes already in Exchange Online, if there are check for existing public folders. You will want to remove any public folders and public folder mailboxes before carrying on.
Generate the migration files
Time to dig out those scripts! Create a folder called C:\PFMigration and then open an Exchange Management shell change directory to the scripts directory (C:\PFScripts) now run the following scripts
Have a look through your folder to mailbox map file, if there are more than 1000 rows you will need to simplify your public folder layout.
Generate the Public Folder mailboxes in Exchange Online
Next, we need to create the public folder mailboxes in Exchange Online, these mailboxes are what actually host the content for your public folders. To do this it’s more PowerShell commands so open up the Exchange shell and run
We are getting there! But don’t say I didn’t warn you about this being a complicated process. At this stage, we can actually use the EAC to check in on the Migration Process
Login to EAC (Office 365)
Go to Mailbox -> Migration
Find the migration that you just created and click view details
Only 3 steps left!
Lock down the public folders on the old Exchange server
Now we need to stop users updating, editing and accessing the old public folders, we don’t want them to make any changes that won’t be synced. Depending on a few factors the migration process could take a while (how much data you have, Exchange performance, bandwidth etc..) and during this time Public Folders will effectively be offline, any mail that comes in for them will remain queued and users will have no access. You may need to make provisions for this. So back to the shell (old Exchange server).
Everyone will now have access to the public folders through outlook (assuming they had permissions to do so before the migration). Finally run this command
That’s it. Done.
If you do not want to go through this tiresome process, then you can always choose a much safer option - a third-party tool like Kernel Migrator for Exchange which conducts a flawless public folder to Office 365 migration. With this Exchange Migration tool, You can choose to run a pre-migration analysis to know the possible migration time. Also, it synchronizes source and destination data and migrates limits and permissions too.
To understand how Kernel Migrator for Exchange performs a swift migration, first download and install the application and then follow the given steps:
Start the Kernel Migrator for Exchange software application. Click on the Add Project option to add a project for the migration process. Enter a project name and click OK. A migration project will be created. Now click on Add Job for Public folders.
Provide a job name and click Next.
Enter the source domain (Exchange 2010) login details. Perform validation of the details with Validate option. With this tool, you can Use existing profile and also delegate owner rights to this user on public folder(s). After providing the complete information, click Next.
Select the public folders you want to migrate from the list and click Next.
In the next dialogue box, enter the target domain (Office 365 account) details like username and password. Here also, you can validate the details. If required, use the existing profile and finally click Next.
Users can filter the data with filters like Message classes, Date range, etc. After filtering, click Next.
Users can manage bad items and synchronization settings with the options provided. Then click Next.
Set the job notifications by providing the email address (if needed) and click Next.
Confirm the job details given in the summary and click Finish to start the migration.
Depending on the data to be migrated, the software will take some time for migration. Once the migration of Exchange public folders to Office 365 is completed, migration status will be shown as completed or successful.
Though there are some manual ways to migrate public folders to Office 365 from the older versions of Exchange, many Exchange administrators prefer professional Exchange migration tools over them. In this article, users get to know about how Kernel Migrator for Exchange migrates public folders. Also, this tool facilitates migrations between Exchange versions, from Office 365 to Exchange and between two Office 365 tenants.