How to Move Exchange Mailboxes with Exchange Admin Center


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In an environment where most people are on Exchange 2016 or higher, you might need to move your mailbox. This is typically done by creating a new server and moving the mailbox database files along with it. However, there’s another option if you’re using Exchange Admin Center: simply export the entire content of the mailbox into .pst file.

The “new-moverequest” is a command in the Exchange Admin Center that allows users to move mailboxes. The command can be used with or without the Microsoft Exchange Management Shell.

How to Move Exchange Mailboxes with Exchange Admin Center

Moving user mailboxes is a typical occurrence for Exchange administrators, and it involves a few processes that you may not be aware of. You’ll learn how to make requests to migrate Exchange mailboxes from one database to another in this lesson.

Let’s get this party started!

How to Use PowerShell to Move Exchange Mailboxes


If you want to follow along with all of the examples in this tutorial, make sure you have the following items before you start:

  • In an Active Directory environment, Exchange 2013/2016 or 2019 is operating.
  • Logged in as a domain user with the Mailbox Move and Migration Privilege permission on a domain-joined machine
  • On a mailbox server, the Exchange Mailbox Replication Server (MRS) and Exchange Mailbox Replication Proxy services are running.
  • A mailbox that is both a source and a destination – This tutorial will utilize an Ex01-DB source mailbox database and an Ex02-DB destination mailbox database.
  • A mailbox – The User1 user mailbox will be moved in this lesson.
  • Database Availability Groups (DAG) enabled Exchange Server (Optional) – This lesson will have enabled, despite the fact that it is optional.

How to Set Up Database Availability Groups in Exchange 2019

Getting Ready for the User Mailbox Transfer

Before moving a mailbox, you should do a few activities to confirm that the mailbox is present on the desired database and that the source and destination databases are in good condition.

Getting Access to the Database of User Mailboxes

Let’s start by determining which database the example mailbox is stored in. In the Exchange admin center, go to:

  1. Select Recipients from the drop-down menu.
  2. Locate the selected user User1 in the Mailboxes tab and double-click on it. A window with mailbox attributes will display.

Identifying the necessary userIdentifying the necessary user

  1. Select More Options from the drop-down menu. The Mailbox Database should be visible from here. This is the database in which this user’s mailbox is kept.

The current location of the user's mailboxThe current location of the user’s mailbox

Examining the Source and Destination Databases for Health

Once you’ve figured out which database a mailbox is stored in, double-check that both the source and destination databases are in good shape. You won’t be able to make the move if you don’t.

To check the status of both databases, navigate to Server —> Databases. In this view, all the available databases will be listed as you can see below.

Locating All Useful DatabasesLocating All Useful Databases

It’s critical that the Mounted status be visible in both the source and destination databases.

For a greater degree of availability, you should always transfer mailboxes to a DAG-ready mailbox database.

The Mailbox Move Operation may take a lot of bandwidth in certain circumstances if some nodes are in a DR, which may cause some services to be disrupted. Before you relocate, think about the size of your mailbox.

Making a Request for a Move

A local move request in Exchange is used to relocate a mailbox across databases, and it’s time to get started! To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In the Exchange Admin Center, click on Recipients —> Migration.
  2. To begin a new relocation request, click the + icon.
  3. Select Move to a Different Database from the dropdown menu, as shown below. A new popup window titled New Local Mailbox Move will appear.

Transferring the user to a different databaseTransferring the user to a different database

  1. Add User1 by clicking +. Next should be selected.

Holding the CTRL key while selecting the required users allows you to create multiple user accounts.

Database of User MailboxesDatabase of User Mailboxes

  1. In the screenshot below, you’ll be prompted for a batch name. Any name will suffice, however for the sake of this lesson, User1 Move will suffice. There are a few possibilities underneath the name:
    • If you have an archive mailbox, you should move that as well. This option will migrate the user mailbox and archive to the database location specified in the Target Database and Target Archive Database settings.
    • Only transfer the main mailbox, not the archive mailbox: This option only moves the primary inbox, not the archive mailbox. This is an excellent choice if the primary mailbox database is on a slow storage tier and should be migrated to a faster tier, but the archive mailbox database should remain on its current storage tier.
    • Only move the archive mailbox, not the main mailbox: This option will simply relocate the archive mailbox, leaving the main mailbox untouched. This is the polar opposite of Move main mailbox exclusively, leaving archive mailbox alone. The archive mailbox will be transferred in this instance.

Regardless of the option chosen, the owner of the mailbox being transferred will be able to access all mailbox contents and will not be inconvenienced. It is suggested that the mailbox database and archive database be stored on distinct storage tiers. On, you can learn about storage best practices.

  1. Select the mailbox database to relocate to in the Target Database. It’s EX02-DB in this scenario.
  2. Select the destination mailbox database for the user’s archive mailbox in the Target Archive Database field.
  3. Keep in mind the Bad Item Limit. This parameter specifies the maximum number of corrupted items that may be skipped during the relocation. Calendar, Email, or a non-item like permission might be among these things. The Local Move Request will fail if the number of bad items exceeds this quantity.

Request for a new mailbox moveRequest for a new mailbox move

  1. The Start the Batch box displays when you click Next.
  2. You may now choose from a number of choices for the migrating batch. These stages are entirely up to you, with explanations provided for each choice.

Who may get the migration report if there is a move request?Who may get the migration report if there is a move request?

  1. To begin, choose New.

Editing the Request for a Local Move

You may adjust the Bad item limit once the transfer request has begun.

All active move requests are shown under the Migration tab. Click the pen symbol to alter the bad item limit. The usual mailbox move properties page will appear next. As seen below, you may alter the Bad item limit here.

Using Exchange Admin Center to make changes to a relocation requestUsing Exchange Admin Center to make changes to a relocation request

Filling out a Request for a Local Move

The migration process will look like this if you choose Manually start the batch later on the migration batch page earlier and once the migration progress hits 95%. It will be in a Synced state, which means it is nearly finished and is only waiting for you to finish it.

Only 95% of the mailboxes will be synced if you use Move Request.Only 95% of the mailboxes will be synced if you use Move Request.

Viewing the Request for a Local Move and Obtaining a Report

You can simply track the progress of the move request after it has started. On the migration tab, you’ll see all of the current move requests with the status Syncing, as seen below.

To learn more about a specific relocation request, click on it and then on the View details link on the right, as shown below.

Viewing SpecificationsViewing Specifications

More information and a link to Download the report for this person may be found on the details page. This report is a text file that gives verbose facts about the move request and, if relevant, why the transfer failed.

It's possible to download a report for the move request.A report for the move request may be downloaded.

What a Bad Decision Looks Like

Things don’t always go according to plan. When this occurs, the request will be marked as Failed, as illustrated below. Here’s an example of a failed transfer due to the fact that the User1 mailbox was already in the EX01-DB destination database.

Migration ErrorsMigration Errors

Removing a Request for a Local Move

You may delete a move request from the list after Exchanges has completed it. To do so, pick the move request from the migration tab’s list and delete it by clicking the dustbin.

Removing a request for a moveRemoving a request for a move

An current relocation request may be canceled. Exchange Server will not delete any mailbox data; instead, it will abort the transaction, leaving the mailbox’s hosting database intact.

The “move mailbox from on premise to office 365 powershell” is a how-to guide that will show you how to move mailboxes in Exchange Server with the help of Exchange Admin Center.

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