Public Folders Migration to Office 365 Using Best Possible Methods

Ashwani Tiwari | Modified: 2020-09-11T09:41:38+00:00 | Office 365|

Summary: In the below write-up, you will get a detailed explanation of how to migrate public folder to Office 365 in a seamless way. Here, you can either choose the manual procedure to migrate Exchange public folders or opt for effortless third-party utility. To make the job quick and efficient, it is suggested to go for the automated tool.

The public folders have been used for a long time, companies put their day-to-day operational data in it. The public folder is the prominent and trusted feature of Microsoft Exchange Server. With the help of this folder, users can share email and data files among the groups of users for centralized access. It works as a central data repository for team data. However, maintaining public folders that have a huge amount of data becomes problematic for organizations.

Like in Exchange 2010, where public folders saved along with the mailbox data. It takes up large mailbox storage to save the public folder hierarchy. On the other side, Public folders are officially supported by Microsoft Office 365. So, it is the best alternative for users to migrate public folders to Office 365.

Also, it provides the facility to auto-split public folders to another mailbox when it approaches the 100 GB limit. In this article, we will discuss the most used approaches by which users can easily perform the migration.

Top 3 Techniques to Export Public Folder to Office 365

There are three workarounds through which users can transfer some or all of the public folder mailboxes to Office 365. In two methods, users can manually import the public folders in O365. In the third solution, there is an expert software that can easily perform public folders migration to Office 365 in a few steps. Let’s start with each procedure in a detailed manner.

Use Batch Migration to Move Exchange 2007, 2010 Public Folders

First, users need to fulfill the essential requirement before starting the migration process:


  1. The Microsoft Exchange 2010 server must be running on Exchange 2010 SP3 RU8 or previous one. Also, in Office 365, users should be the member of the Organization Management or Server Management RBAC role groups.
  2. The user must be a member of the Organization Management role group in Microsoft Exchange 2010.
  3. It is suggested to move users mailboxes first to O365 for the users who need to use Office 365 Groups just after migration.
  4. The Outlook Anywhere must be enabled on MS Exchange 2010 server that hosts users public folder mailboxes.
  5. Any Public Folder that has a size greater than 2 GB, either remove the content of that folder or partition into multiple public folders.
  6. 1,000 Public Folder mailboxes can be created in Office 365.
  7. Outlook must be enabled on the legacy Exchange server.
  8. In this process, users need to use Exchange Management Shell in legacy Exchange servers. For O365, go with the Office 365 PowerShell.

Once the Exchange Server 2010 follows the above-mentioned condition, then start the process.

Migrate Public Folders to Office 365 Step-by-Step

The batch migration process consists of eight steps and it should be followed sequentially for successful migration;

Step 1: Get the Migration Scripts

  • The migration of Public folders requires different scripts during the process. So, the primary step is to download the scripts and their associated files from this site- “”.
  • Once the scripts saved to the local system, make sure that all the files are saved at the same place such as C:\PFtoOffice365\Scripts.
  • Next, download the below-mentioned files from Mail-enabled Public Folders-directory sync script:

Step 2: Prepare For Public Folders Migration

For the organization, below mentioned instructions are necessary to move public folders into Office 365.

  • Compile the public folders that you wish to transfer to O365. Make sure no orphaned PF mail objects remain in Active Directory. Also, there are no duplicate public folders objects available in the AD (or Active directory).
  • Modify the name of the public folder that contains forward slash or backslash. Otherwise, the public folders that have (\) or (/) may not get moved correctly.
  • In the Legacy Exchange server, just ensure routing to the mail-enabled public folders will present in O365 account continue until all DNS caches visited the internet to destination O365. To achieve this, run the below command.

Step 3: Create a CSV File for Process

  • In this section, we will make a .csv file. Further, this file provides input information for the migration scripts.
  • Execute the following script to create a folder-name-to-folder mapping file. Also, the comma-separated values file must contain the two columns: FolderName & FolderSize.

The above-mentioned script should always run by the administrator. In this command, ‘Folder to size map’ signifies name & path of the shared folder where you will be saved CSV file. FQDN of source server is equal to the domain name where public folder mailbox is hosted.

  • After that, run the following script to verify public folder mailbox limits in the user account. In O365, the DefaultPublicFolderIssueWarningQuota and DefaultPublicFolderProhibitPostQuota default value is 1.7 & 2 GB respectively.

  • Next, run the script to generate a public folder-to-mailbox mapping file. It is used to compile the exact number of public folder mailboxes in Office 365.

where Maximum mailbox size in bytes represents the highest value for the size that you wishes to select for the new public folder.

Now, follow the next step for the public folders migration to Office 365 mailbox.

Step 4: Generate Public Folder Mailboxes in Office 365

  • Execute mentioned cmdlets to make the target public folder mailboxes. Its function is to create mailboxes at the O365 account for each public folder that is mentioned in a .csv file

The “Mapping.csv” is the file created in the previous step.

Step 5: Begin the Migration Process

  • On the Exchange 2010 Server, run the following command to co-ordinate mail-enabled public folders from AD to O365.

where Credential is equivalent to Office 365 users name and password.

  • Find the various information that is required to execute migration request in the legacy Exchange server.

Check the user’s account who is devoted for Public Folder Administrator role using the following command.

Use the following script to find out mailbox server that needs to migrate public folders to Office 365.

Get the FQDN of Outlook Anywhere using below command.

  • In MS Office 365 PowerShell, utilize the information that was provided above to run the following commands.
  • In the legacy Exchange server, pass the credential value of the users that have administrative permissions.

  • Next, use ExchangeLegacyDN value and pass it into the following variable.

  • After that, use the ExchangeLegacyDN value of the public folder that got in the above steps and pass it to the below variable.

  • Take the hostname of Outlook anywhere and pass it to the mentioned variable.

  • At last, run the cmdlets in order to create a migration request in Office 365 PowerShell window.

  • Use the Command to initiate the migration.

Users can also check the status of the above requests using the mailbox migration page.

  • Launch Exchange admin center in Office 365.
  • Go to Mailbox >> Migration.
  • Choose the request that was created recently. Go to the Details pane and select View Details.

When the batch status displayed as Completed, you can move to the next step to carry out Exchange 2007, 2010 public folders migration to Office 365.

Step 6: Lock Down Public Folders

  • In this part, readers will know how to lock the Exchange 2010 public folders while the migration at its last synchronization. For this, use the below command in the legacy Exchange server and achieve the task.

Step 7: Big Time for Migration

  • To finalize the Microsoft Exchange 2010 public folder mailbox migration, run the following command.

At last, Exchange will perform the synchronization process between the legacy Exchange Server and Office 365. If it is successful, then the public folder mailboxes will be unlocked in O365. Also, the status of the migration batch will be modified to Completed.

Step 8: Cross-Check Public Folder Migration

  • In O365, you can run the following command to test the migration process was completed successfully or not.

Use Outlook PST Export to Move Public Folder to Office 365

  1. Download the PublicFolderToMailboxMapGenerator.ps1 script file from this link.
  2. After that, create a .csv in order to make public folder-to-mailbox mapping file.
  3. Next, make public folder mailboxes that you are required for migration.
  4. With the help of Mailbox parameter, use New-PublicFolder command to create a topmost public folder for individual public folder mailboxes.
  5. In Outlook, perform export and import of PST file.
  6. Finally, set the permissions on the public folders using the Exchange Admin Center.

Migrate Public Folders to Office 365 Using Expert Solution

It is evident from the above method that Exchange Administrator needs to follow long instructions to migrate Public Folders from Microsoft Exchange. Hence, it is a complex and time-taking process. In a case when the admin misses any step then the entire process becomes disturbed and sometimes not completed.

Manual ways are not the first choice for organizations to migrate thousands of public folders in the O365 account. It is recommended to consider a professional software SysTools Exchange Public Folder to Office 365 Migrator to export Exchange 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 public folders. This tool imports all Exchange database files including public folders directly to Microsoft Office 365 account. With this software, the users do not need to go through long steps of preparation. In a matter of minutes, users will get all the public folder mailboxes in Office 365 account.

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Public folders migration to Office 365 is a good option for organizations. Users can follow the above method and can migrate public folders in a seamless manner. As the manual way is lengthy and time taking, users can go with the automated tool. It is considered as the best utility to migrate public folders to MS Office 365 in the least downtime.

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