Solve the mystery of the missing mailbox

Find out how can you locate a mailbox that's been in use for years but still isn't showing up in the information store.

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Some Exchange administrators get confused the first time they notice that a newly created mailbox isn't in the information store. This is because mailboxes must receive at least one message before they appear. However, what about a mailbox that's been in use for years but still isn't showing up? Since you can't move a mailbox that's not in the information store, this can be a real problem.

By design, Microsoft created the behavior of mailboxes not appearing in the information store until they receive a message. While this behavior may make Exchange look better in certain mailbox-creation benchmarks, it certainly doesn't help solve the mystery of the missing mailbox.

It's time to play detective and gather the facts. A mailbox appears in the information store only after a message destined for the mailbox actually touches the information store. If a mailbox was originally set up via the Exchange Administrator or System Manager to forward all messages to an external address, messages that are destined for the mailbox will never touch the information store, even after years of use.

The solution to this problem is straightforward. Open the mailbox in question, stop delivering messages to the forwarding address, and then send the mailbox a message. Now that the mailbox contains a message, it should appear in the information store.

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