How to Backup and Restore Exchange Server Mailboxes

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  • Published on
    April 15th, 2014
  • Updated on
    September 8, 2022
  • Read Time
    6 minutes
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In this blog, we will know some manual and automated methods to backup and restore Exchange Server mailboxes. Follow to the end.

It doesn’t matter which kind of backup strategy you use (on-premise or cloud). Organizations and professionals today do not like to take risk of not having proper backups. Although in most cases, Exchange administrators perform a restore of the entire database from its backup, while there could be another example where restoring a single mailbox from backup is needed. In such situations what are the best methods to be followed? But before know the methods we will know some pre-requisites.

Some Pre-requisites before Backup and Restore

Generally, single mailboxes are not needed to be recovered from a backup since after being deleted, a mailbox can be found in ‘Disconnected Mailboxes‘ under ‘Recipient Configuration‘. From here, it can simply be reconnected and restored. Thus, the steps we want to explain, apply to a situation where a deleted mailbox has been purged from disconnected mailboxes.

Microsoft doesn’t provide a native and fully automated way to granularly restore Exchange 2010 mailbox. Hence, the following strategies can be used to restore Exchange database:

  • A combination of different PowerShell commands and Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 (DPM).
  • Automated backup-restore software like Windows Server Backup or Backup Exec 2010.

Convert Exchange database file (EDB) to PST format to enable individual data access through Outlook

  • The recovery procedures below assume that the readers are familiar with the backup and restore procedures and that a full backup of the database exists.

Now in the next part, we will know the manual methods as well as an automated tool for backup and restore Exchange Server mailboxes.

Backup Exchange Server Mailboxes With Windows Server Backup

Step 1: Open the Windows Server Backup and click on ‘Actions -> Recover’ to start the Recovery Wizard.

Step 2: Select the location of the backup. Click on ‘Next’.

Step 3: Select the date and time of the backup to restore from and click ‘Next’.

Step 4: Choose Recovery Type as ‘Applications‘ and click ‘Next’.

Step 5: Choose the Exchange as the application to recover and select not to perform a roll-forward of the database. Click ‘Next’.

Step 6: Select ‘Recover to another location‘, enter the path to a different folder from the location of the live mailbox database.  Click ‘Next‘.

Step 7: Click on ‘Recover‘ to start the restore. The process gets completed.

Step 8: Bring the restored database to a clean shutdown state with ‘ESEUtil Command‘.

Step 9: Create a Recovery database with EMS as shown in the previous method.

Step 10: Restore individual mailbox in Exchange server 2010.

Restore an Exchange Server 2010 Mailbox Database

For this presentation, the mailbox database has been dismounted and the database file deleted. The Exchange server is not able to mount the database because of the missing file.

It is necessary for the mailbox database to be recovered from the previous good backup, and we need to mark the mailbox database as restorable.

Follow the steps below:

Step 1: In the Exchange Management Console open the ‘Properties‘ of the mailbox database.

Step 2: Select the ‘Maintenance‘ tab and tick the box showing ‘This database can be overwritten by a restore‘ then click ‘OK‘.

  • You can also use the Exchange Management Shell to perform this task.

[PS] C:\>Set-MailboxDatabase “Mailbox Database EX2 01” -AllowFileRestore $true

Step 3: In Windows Server Backup click on Recover to start the Recovery Wizard.

Step 4: The previous backup is stored on the local server in this case. Click ‘Next‘ to continue.

Step 5: A calendar is displayed with all of the dates that backups occurred on highlighted in bold.  If more than one backup was taken on that date then there are multiple entries in the drop-down list. Select the backup that you want to restore. Click ‘Next‘.

Step 6: The recovery type for an Exchange 2010 mailbox database restore is Application. Select the type of recovery and click ‘Next‘.

  • After the backup Windows Server Backup detects the type of application and shows you a list. It offers the option to not roll forward the database once the restore has been completed. It means that the transaction logs that were written on the server since the time of the backup will be replayed into the restored database, bringing it completely up to date.

Step 7: If you don’t want to roll the database forward (ie you are trying to recover the database to a specific point in time) then tick the box. Otherwise, click ‘Next‘ to continue.

Step 8: In this example, we’re recovering a lost database, so we will be restoring it to the original location. If don’t want to overwrite an existing database then you can choose to restore an alternate location instead. Click ‘Next‘ to continue.

Step 9: When you’re ready to proceed click ‘Restore‘ to begin the recovery.

Step 10: The restore time will depend on the size of the mailbox database being recovered. When the restore is complete click on ‘Close‘.

Step 11: In the Application Event Log of the server we can see the recovery operation has taken place.

  • First, the restore is begun
  • Then the restore is completed successfully
  • The existing transaction log files are then replayed into the database to roll it forward
  • And finally the mailbox database is mounted
  • The mailbox database has now been recovered.

Restore Exchange Backup With SysInfoTools Recovery Tool

Sysinfo Exchange BKF Repair Tool is an efficient utility that uses an advanced recovery algorithm that helps users to recover the maximum possible data from corrupt BKF files of Exchange Servers in the shortest possible time. It supports all major operating systems of Windows and runs smoothly under them without any compatibility issues. Some prominent features of this tool as follows: Recovery of Vital Information, Preview Feature, Simplifies and Easy UI, Wide support, Option for Log File Creation, Automatic Update, etc.


We have suggested all the possible methods to backup and restore Exchange Server mailboxes and hope that the user will now be able to backup and restore mailboxes. Choose, what solution (manual or automated) exactly match your needs and keep your system performance on an optimal level.

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