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Understanding Mailbox Import and Export Requests

Exchange 2010
 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2011-04-28

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) introduces a new method for importing and exporting mailboxes. Using the MailboxImportRequest or MailboxExportRequest cmdlet sets, you can import data from or export data to .pst files. After you initiate a mailbox import or export request, the process is completed asynchronously by the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication service (MRS). MRS resides on all Exchange 2010 Client Access servers and is the service responsible for moving mailboxes, importing and exporting .pst files, and restoring disabled and soft-deleted mailboxes.

For information about how to perform mailbox import and export requests, see Managing Mailbox Import and Export Requests.

Contents

Reasons to Import or Export Mailbox Data

Limitations to Importing and Exporting Mailbox Data in Previous Versions of Exchange

Advantages to Using Import and Export Requests

Permissions

Considerations

Importing Mailbox Data

Exporting Mailbox Data

There are several reasons why you may want to import or export mailbox data:

  • Satisfy compliance requirements   You can export mailbox content to a .pst file for legal discovery purposes. After the export is complete, you can import the content to a mailbox used specifically for compliance purposes.

  • Create a point-in-time snapshot of a mailbox   By creating a snapshot of specific mailboxes, you avoid having to retain an entire backup set for a mailbox database.

  • Move a user's .pst file into his or her mailbox or personal archive   Microsoft Outlook users can save their e-mail locally as .pst files. Using the New-MailboxImportRequest cmdlet, you can move data from a user's .pst file to his or her mailbox or personal archive. This is an easy method for transferring e-mail from a user's local computer to Exchange servers. To learn more, see Understanding Personal Archives.

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Exchange Server 2007 and the release to manufacturing (RTM) version of Exchange 2010 use the Import-Mailbox and Export-Mailbox cmdlets to import and export .pst files. There are limitations to using these cmdlets:

  • You must install Outlook on an Exchange server dedicated to importing and exporting mailbox data. As a result, you must purchase both an Exchange and an Outlook license solely for this purpose.

  • The .pst file must reside on the server dedicated to importing and exporting mailbox data.

  • The import or export operation is performed by the related cmdlet, and content in the .pst file moves through the dedicated server. Therefore, you can't shut down the session until the import or export is complete.

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The following are advantages to using import and export requests in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • A .pst provider is included in Exchange 2010 SP1 that can read and write .pst files.

  • Import and export requests are asynchronous. The process is performed by MRS, which takes advantage of the queuing and throttling frameworks.

  • The .pst files can be imported directly to a user's personal archive.

  • Multiple .pst files can be imported or exported at the same time.

  • Import and export cmdlets can be run against any Exchange 2010 SP1 server in your organization.

  • The .pst files can reside on any shared network drive accessible by your Exchange servers.

  • The following types of .pst files are supported by Exchange 2010 SP1:

    • Unicode and ANSI files created by Office Outlook 2003

    • Unicode files created by Office Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010

    • Unicode files created by the Exchange 2010 SP1 New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlet

    • ANSI files created by the Exchange Server Mailbox Merge wizard (ExMerge)

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You must have the correct permissions to import or export mailbox data. By default, none of the role groups include the Mailbox Import Export role. You must add the Mailbox Import Export role to a role group. If you try to run the import or export cmdlets without the correct permissions, you receive an error stating that the cmdlet doesn't exist.

For details, see Add the Mailbox Import Export Role to a Role Group.

noteNote:
After you add the Mailbox Import Export role to a role group, you must restart the Exchange Management Shell.

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Before you import or export mailbox data, consider the following:

  • To import or export mailbox data, a network shared folder accessible by your Exchange servers must be set up. You must also grant read/write permissions to the Exchange Trusted Subsystem group so that group can access the network share where you import and export mailbox data. If you don't grant this permission, you receive an error message stating that Exchange is unable to establish a connection to the target mailbox.

  • The maximum .pst file size supported by Outlook is 50 gigabytes (GB). Therefore, we recommend that you don't import a .pst file larger than 50 GB. You can create multiple .pst files for mailboxes larger than 50 GB by specifying specific folders to include or exclude or by using a content filter.

  • Import and export requests are performed by MRS, which also processes move requests and mailbox restore requests. All requests are queued and throttled by MRS. To learn more, see Throttling the Mailbox Replication Service.

  • Importing and exporting mailbox data may take several hours depending on file size, network bandwidth, and MRS throttling.

  • Data can't be imported to a public folder or public folder database.

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Use the MailboxImportRequest cmdlet set to import data from a .pst file to a mailbox or personal archive. The following is a list of options you can specify when importing mailbox data from a .pst file:

noteNote:
The mailbox to which you import the data must exist. You can't import data to a user account that doesn't have a mailbox.
  • You can import data to a different user account than the one from which it was exported. For example, you can export data from john@contoso.com and import it to legaldiscovery@contoso.com.

  • You can import items to only the user's personal archive by specifying the IsArchive parameter.

  • If associated folder messages exist in the .pst file, you can import them using the AssociatedMessagesCopyOption parameter. Associated messages contain hidden data with information about rules, views, and forms. If they exist in the .pst file, all messages from the transport dumpster are imported.

  • You can include or exclude specific folders using the IncludeFolders or ExcludeFolders parameter.

  • You can exclude the Recoverable Items folder using the ExcludeDumpster parameter. By default, an import request includes the user's Recoverable Items folder if it's present in the .pst file.

Use the following cmdlets for mailbox import requests.

 

Cmdlet Description Topic

New-MailboxImportRequest

Start the process of importing a .pst file to a mailbox or personal archive. You can create more than one import request per mailbox. Each request must have a unique name.

Create a Mailbox Import Request

Set-MailboxImportRequest

Change import request options after the request is created or recover from a failed request.

Configure Mailbox Import Request Properties

Suspend-MailboxImportRequest

Suspend an import request any time after the request is created but before the request reaches the status of Completed.

Suspend a Mailbox Import Request

Resume-MailboxImportRequest

Resume an import request that's suspended or failed.

Resume a Mailbox Import Request

Remove-MailboxImportRequest

Remove fully or partially completed import requests. Completed import requests aren't automatically cleared. You must use this cmdlet to remove them.

Remove a Mailbox Import Request

Get-MailboxImportRequest

View general information about an import request.

View Mailbox Import Request Properties

Get-MailboxImportRequestStatistics

View detailed information about an import request.

View Mailbox Import Request Properties

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Use the MailboxExportRequest cmdlet set to export mailbox data to a .pst file. You can export one mailbox or several mailboxes, but only one request is written to each .pst file at a time. The following is a list of options you can specify when exporting mailbox data to a .pst file:

  • You can export personal archive data using the IsArchive parameter.

  • You can filter the messages that are exported using the ContentFilter parameter. You can filter by message content, attachment, senders, recipients, Inbox category, importance, message type, message size, and when the message was sent, received, or expired. For more information, see Filterable Properties for the -ContentFilter Parameter.

  • You can specify folders to include or exclude using the IncludeFolders or ExcludeFolders parameter. If exporting data from an Exchange 2010 mailbox, you can also exclude the Recoverable Items folder using the ExcludeDumpster parameter.

  • You can export associated messages using the AssociatedMessagesCopyOption parameter. Associated messages contain hidden data with information about rules, views, and forms. By default, associated items aren't copied to the .pst file.

Use the following cmdlets for mailbox export requests.

 

Cmdlet Description Topic

New-MailboxExportRequest

Start the process of exporting data from a primary 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

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