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Export Exchange Mailbox to PST 2013 from Mounted/Dismounted Database

To export a mailbox into PST in Exchange 2013, there is a set of EMS cmdlet called MailboxExportRequest. When request for a mailbox export to PST is initiated, it is processed by the Mailbox Replication Server that resides on CAS. The best part is while the migration takes place, the users will be able to access the mailbox except for the time when the mailbox is locked at the end of migration. Let’s talk about Exchange Server mailbox recovery and reasons to move them into PST.

Common Reasons to Move Mailbox to PST

  • For Compliance Purpose: At times, there can be requirement to move an Exchange mailbox to Outlook PST for legal discovery proceedings. The data can be migrated to PST file which can be imported into the mailbox involved in compliance activity.
  • Creating Point-In Time Snapshot: If mailboxes are saved as PST for a specific point in time, there would be relaxation to maintain a backup of entire database.
  •  Create an Archive of the Mailbox: Along with the advantage of archiving the mailbox locally, the idea of exporting mailbox into PST can also help to move the mailbox to different database or server.

Advantage of Using the Export Request:

Against different methods to export Exchange mailbox to PST 2013, it is recommended to opt for the PowerShell cmdlets because of following reasons:

  • There is a PST provider integrated with Exchange 2013 that enables reading and writing PST files.
  • At a time there is provision to export multiple mailboxes into PST file and access the mailboxes simultaneously.
  • The PST file can be saved on shared network from where it can be accessed by the Exchange Server.
  • The PST files created by export process is Unicode formatted that is supported by Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Things to Remember:

  • It is important that a PST file is created on shared network where the mailbox data will be exported. In addition to this, the Exchange Trusted Subsystem Group must have the read and write permissions. This will ensure that the group is able to access the PST file on network share. In absence of this right, an error message will be received on screen stating inappropriate rights to connect to target mailbox.
  • It is recommended to export a mailbox that is less than 50 GB in size. Reason being the maximum PST file limit that Outlook supports in 50 GB. If a mailbox is large in size, then individual PST files can be created for every folder in the mailbox by using the content filter.
  • The Export Request cmdlets can only be used to mailboxes and not for the public folders. Also, the data migration process is executed by MRS which might take time, depending upon factors like the bandwidth, size of file, or MRS throttling.

Alternate Technique to Export Mailbox to PST:

The PowerShell command discussed above will work on live Exchange environment. In scenarios where there is need to export mailboxes to PST where database is dismounted, surely a third party EDB to PST converter should be adopted.

Written By

I am a Software Developer Manager in an organization. Developed various software related Exchange Server Data Recovery.



  1. Walter

    May 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Hi Martin, Nice tips you shared in your article. I came to know too may technical terms and points to be consider while Exchange file to pst files. Thanks.
    I was looking for any automated tool and found an automated tool ]]. Hopefully it will help me to do my job.

    Thanks again,

  2. Sirkindo Diklo

    May 12, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Very nice information you have share with all MS exchange server 2013 users, I have one another tool for conversion EDB files into PST outlook file format. Kernel for EDB to PST conversion tool available with free demo version.

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