How to perform an Exchange 2010 Export Mailbox to PST

In an earlier article we looked at the New-MailboxImportRequest command, so in this post we’re going to examine the sibling command New-MailboxExportRequest. It stands to reason that there would be an Export version of this command to enable admins to easily export mailboxes to PST for archiving or discovery purposes, and the New-MailboxExportRequest command has a similar pedigree to the Import command, evolving the Export-Mailbox command and Exmerge before it. It also follows a similar pattern with regards to permissions, defaults, and supporting commands to let you perform an Exchange 2010 Export mailbox to PST operation.

As an Exchange administrator, you will use the New-MailboxExportRequest command when you wish to export a mailbox (or an archive mailbox) to a PST file, for archiving or backup purposes, to create a fixed point in time copy, or in response to a discovery request. When you run an Exchange 2010 Export mailbox task, you do not change the existing mailbox, so a user can continue to work as normal.

Like its import sibling, the New-MailboxImportRequest command requires permissions that by default are not set. If you have already performed the following to support an import request, no need to do it again, otherwise while logged on as an Exchange administrator, assign the right to the appropriate security group using RBAC and the EMS. The command you will use looks something like this:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Name “Import Export Mailboxes” -SecurityGroup “MailboxAdmins” -Role “Mailbox Import Export”

Supporting cmdlets for the New-MailboxExportRequest command are listed in the table below, along with links to more information about each one on TechNet.

Cmdlet Description Topic
New-MailboxExportRequest Start the process of exporting a mailbox or personal archive to a .pst file. You can create more than one export request per mailbox. Each request must have a unique name. Create a Mailbox Export Request
Set-MailboxExportRequest Change export request options after the request is created or recover from a failed request. Configure Mailbox Export Request Properties
Suspend-MailboxExportRequest Suspend an export request any time after the request is created but before the request reaches the status of Completed. Suspend a Mailbox Export Request
Resume-MailboxExportRequest Resume an export request that’s suspended or failed. Resume a Mailbox Export Request
Remove-MailboxExportRequest Remove fully or partially completed export requests. Completed export requests aren’t automatically cleared. You must use this cmdlet to remove them. Remove a Mailbox Export Request
Get-MailboxExportRequest View general information about an export request. View Mailbox Export Request Properties
Get-MailboxExportRequestStatistics View detailed information about an export request. View Mailbox Export Request Properties

 

As mentioned earlier, an admin will use the New-MailboxExportRequest to take a mailbox or archive mailbox and copy the contents to a PST file. The most straightforward example of an Exchange 2010 export mailbox to PST command is this

New-MailboxExportRequest –mailbox joeuser –filepath \\server\share\exported\joe.pst [enter]

This will create a new PST file containing all objects from joeuser’s mailbox called joe.pst in the existing directory called exported. That’s an important distinction from the New-MailboxImportRequest; if the destination directory does not already exist, the export command will fail.

If you want to export the user’s online archive to .pst, use the –IsArchive switch, like this.

New-MailboxExportRequest –mailbox joeuser –IsArchive –filepath \\server\share\exported\joe.pst [enter]

The New-MailboxExportRequest command supports the same folder naming as the New-MailboxImportRequest does, meaning you can choose to export only specific folders instead of the entire mailbox. Use the –IncludeFolders switch and specify the name of the folder or folders you wish to export. Use the #name# syntax to get to well-known folders in other languages. These include:

Inbox

Sent Items

Deleted Items

Calendar

Contacts

Drafts

Journal

Tasks

Notes

Junk Email

Communication History

Voicemail

Fax

Conflicts

Sync Issues

Local Failures

Server Failures

Here’s an example:

New-MailboxExportRequest –mailbox joeuser –filepath \\server\share\joe.pst -IncludeFolders #Inbox#[enter]

Like the import version of this command, the EMS will maintain ten distinct commands, naming them automatically. You can name each unique command yourself using the –Name switch to run more than ten commands in a session. When a command is running on a specific PST, that file is locked, so do not attempt to run several exports to the same file concurrently.

To see the status of running exports, use this command:

Get-MailboxExportRequest [enter]

This will list all import requests and show a status of either InProgress or Completed.

To see details on a specific request pipe the output into the format-list command, like this:

Get-MailboxExportRequest RequestName | fl [enter]

Or to see more detailed statistics, including item counts, transfer rates, etc., use:

Get-MailboxExportRequestStatistics RequestName | fl [enter]

The New-MailboxExportRequest ten-count is per PowerShell session. If you close the EMS and then reopen it, the count is reset, but as long as you are in the same session, automatically named sessions remain up to the tenth, and then you can go no further until you either:

a)      Remove the completed ImportRequests, or

b)      Start naming them with the –Name switch.

To remove completed sessions, use the command:

Remove-MailboxImportRequest RequestName [enter]

With the New-MailboxExportRequest command, you can easily perform Exchange 2010 export mailbox operations to make archival copies or backups of mailboxes, offline former employees’ mail to long-term storage when necessary, or provide data in response to a legal, HR, or compliance request.

*Here are another couple of important safety tips. Accessing PST files stored on a network share from Outlook is not only explicitly unsupported by Microsoft, but it is a phenomenally bad idea. If you are providing these PSTs to someone within your organization, make sure they will be accessing the files locally and not over the network to a share. I suggest you burn them to disc and hand them the DVD. Also, ensure they are running the latest version of Outlook, as the size limits of PST files will come into play should a user try to open a larger PST using an older version of Outlook.