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Remove Public Folder Databases

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-03-19

You can remove a public folder database using the steps in this procedure. Links to detailed topics will help you complete the task.

The process for removing a public folder database requires several steps. Because this process is different if you're removing the last public folder database in your organization, consider the following scenarios before you begin:

  • Removing a public folder database from a Mailbox server   If you want to remove a public folder database from a Mailbox server, you must first move the data within the public folder database to a public folder database on another server, and then you remove the public folder database.
  • Removing the last public folder database from the organization   If you want to remove the last public folder database in your organization, you must first make sure that your organization doesn't contain any servers running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or earlier. In addition, if you remove the last public folder database, only users running Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or Microsoft Office Outlook Web App will be able to connect to your Exchange organization.
    Dd876883.important(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:
    Don't remove the last public folder database if your organization uses public folders to distribute organizational forms or to replicate free/busy information to or from another Exchange organization.

Migrating public folders from Exchange 2003 to Exchange Server 2010? If so, you can use either Exchange System Manager in Exchange 2003 or the Exchange Management Console (EMC) in Exchange 2010 to move Exchange 2003 public folders to an Exchange 2010 server.

Looking for other management tasks related to public folder databases? Check out Managing Public Folder Databases.

To remove a public folder database from a Mailbox server, perform the following steps.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
If you have a mixed Exchange 2003 or Exchange Server 2007 and Exchange 2010 organization, we recommend that you perform these procedures against an Exchange 2010 server. For more information about performing public folder management tasks in mixed environments, see Understanding Public Folders.

You can't delete a public folder database that contains data. To remove data from a public folder database, delete any unnecessary public folders. For detailed instructions, see Remove Public Folders. To determine which public folders are unnecessary, see View Public Folder Item Statistics.

After you delete any unnecessary public folders, you must move the remaining folder replicas in that database to a public folder database on another server.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
Depending on the number of public folders, the amount of information in the database, and the replication interval, this process may take several hours to complete.

For detailed instructions, see Move Public Folder Content from One Public Folder Database to Another Public Folder Database.

Dd876883.important(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifImportant:
Don't remove the public folder database until public folder replication has completed.

If the public folder database you're removing is being used as the default public folder database by any mailbox databases, you must configure another public folder database as the default public folder database.

This example identifies the public folder databases associated with all mailbox databases.

Get-MailboxDatabase | ft Name,PublicFolderDatabase

For more information about how to change the default public folder database, see Change the Default Public Folder Database for a Mailbox Database.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
If you successfully perform Step 1 through Step 4 and you receive an error message stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains replicas, you may need to wait several hours for public folder replication to finish.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Public folders" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. In the console tree, navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox.
  2. Click the Database Management tab.
  3. In the result pane, select the public folder database that you want to remove.
  4. In the action pane, click Remove. A message appears confirming that you want to remove the database. Click Yes.
    Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
    If you haven't moved the public folder replicas to another server, or if you haven't removed all the public folders in the public folder database, you'll receive an error stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains public folder replicas.
  5. A warning appears, indicating that the database was successfully removed and reminding you to manually remove the database file. The default location for these files is <Exchange Installation Path>\V14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Public folders" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. This example removes a public folder database named PFDB01:
    Remove-PublicFolderDatabase -Identity "PFDB01"
    
    Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
    If you haven't moved the public folder replicas to another server, or if you haven't removed all the public folders in the public folder database, you'll receive an error stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains public folder replicas.
  2. A message appears asking you to confirm that you want to perform this action. Enter Y.
  3. A warning appears, indicating that the database was removed and reminding you to manually remove the database file. The default location for these files is <Exchange installation path\v14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>.

When you remove a public folder database, the Exchange database (.edb) file for the database and other files associated with the database aren't automatically deleted. You must delete the public folder database files manually. The default location for these files on an Exchange 2010 server is <Exchange installation path>\v14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>. The default location for these files on an Exchange 2007 server is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\Mailbox\<storage group name>\<public folder database name>.

To remove the last public folder database from an organization, perform the following steps.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
If you have a mixed Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 organization, we recommend that you perform these procedures against an Exchange 2010 server. For more information about performing public folder management tasks in mixed environments, see Understanding Public Folders.

If any offline address books (OABs) are configured for public folder distribution, you can't remove the last public folder database in your organization. For instructions about how to reconfigure OABs, see Managing Offline Address Books.

You can't delete a public folder database that contains data. To remove data from a public folder database, delete any unnecessary public folders. For detailed instructions about how to remove all the public folders in a public folder database, see Remove Multiple Public Folders from a Public Folder Database.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
If you successfully perform Step 1 and Step 2 and you receive an error message stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains replicas, repeat Step 2 of the procedure Remove Multiple Public Folders from a Public Folder Database. In addition, you can verify that all public folders have been removed by running the Get-PublicFolderStatistics cmdlet. For more information about this cmdlet, see Get-PublicFolderStatistics.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Public folders" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. In the console tree, navigate to Organization Configuration > Mailbox.
  2. Click the Database Management tab.
  3. In the result pane, select the public folder database that you want to remove.
  4. In the action pane, click Remove. A message appears confirming that you want to remove the database. Click Yes.
    Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
    If you haven't moved the public folder replicas to another server, or if you haven't removed all the public folders in the public folder database, you'll receive an error stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains public folder replicas.
  5. A warning appears, indicating that the database was successfully removed and reminding you to manually remove the database file. The default location for these files is <Exchange Installation Path>\V14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Public folders" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. This example removes a public folder database named PFDB01:
    Remove-PublicFolderDatabase -Identity "PFDB01"
    
    Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
    If you haven't moved the public folder replicas to another server, or if you haven't removed all the public folders in the public folder database, you'll receive an error stating that the public folder database can't be removed because it contains public folder replicas.
  2. A message appears asking you to confirm that you want to perform this action. Enter Y.
  3. A warning appears, indicating that the database was removed and reminding you to manually remove the database file. The default location for these files is <Exchange installation path\v14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>.

When you remove a public folder database, the Exchange database (.edb) file for the database and other files associated with the database aren't automatically deleted. You must delete the public folder database files manually. The default location for these files on an Exchange 2010 server is <Exchange installation path>\v14\Mailbox\<public folder database name>. The default location for these files on an Exchange 2007 server is C:\Program Files\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\Mailbox\<storage group name>\<public folder database name>.

Dd876883.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
When the last public folder database in the organization is removed, the default public folder database for all mailbox databases is automatically set to null.
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