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Move users between message stores (Exchange Enterprise Edition only)

Moving users between message stores is not that hard. Here's how.

Why would you want to move users between different mail storage quotas you've granted to various users over the years? Maybe you've run out of disk space on your mail server. Or maybe you want to more easily administer the myriad of different mail storage quotas you've granted to various users over the years. You could also decide to break users up on to servers in different geographic locations to provide for better fault tolerance.

Whatever reason you have, while moving users might sound a little intimidating and worrisome at first, once you do it, you'll wonder what all the fuss was.

You can move users between information stores using either the Exchange System Manager or Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC).

  • From the Exchange System Manager, go to Servers > (your Exchange server name) > First Storage Group (or whatever storage group houses the account you want to move) > (Mailbox store that presently houses the user’s mailbox).
  • Make sure to expand the mailbox store so you see the three options Logons, Mailboxes and Full-Text Indexing.
  • Choose the Mailboxes option and right-click the mailbox for the user you want to move. From the resulting shortcut menu, choose Exchange Tasks. This starts the Exchange Tasks wizard, which guides you through the process.

If you want to use ADUC instead:

  • Locate the user in ADUC.
  • Right-click the user account and choose Exchange Tasks. This opens the same wizard. If you like, you can select multiple accounts at the same time so you can perform this operation in a single step.

(Note: In both tools, you can select multiple accounts at the same time so you can perform this operation in a single step.)

  • On the Available Tasks page of the wizard, choose the Move Mailbox option. Even though it says that the mailbox is moved to a different server, that’s actually not quite accurate as this process can be used to move the mailbox to a different store on the same server.
  • On the resulting screen, choose the server and mailbox store to which you would like to move this mailbox and click Next. You can opt to schedule this task, or to run it immediately. Make sure to allow Exchange to create a failure report in case there is a problem.

When you’re finished, Exchange provides you with a summary of the successes and failures so that you can take the appropriate steps.

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