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Connect a Disabled Mailbox

 

Topic Last Modified: 2012-11-13

You can use the EAC or the Shell to connect a disabled mailbox to an Active Directory user account. When you disable a mailbox, Exchange retains the mailbox in the mailbox database and switches the mailbox to a disabled state. The Exchange attributes are also removed from the corresponding Active Directory user account, but the user account is retained. The mailbox is retained until the deleted mailbox retention period expires, which is 30 days by default, and then it’s permanently deleted (or purged) from the mailbox database.

Until a disabled mailbox is permanently deleted from the Exchange mailbox database, you can use the EAC or the Shell to reconnect it to the original Active Directory user account.

To learn more about disconnected mailboxes and perform other related management tasks, see the following topics:

  • Estimated time to complete: 2 minutes.
  • You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the "Recipient Provisioning Permissions" section in the Recipients Permissions topic.
  • Run the Get-User cmdlet in the Shell to verify that the Active Directory user account that you want to connect the disabled mailbox to exists and that it isn’t already associated with another mailbox. To connect a disabled mailbox to a user account, the account must exist and the value for the RecipientType property has to be User, which indicates that the account isn’t already mailbox-enabled.
    For on-premises Exchange organizations, you can also verify this information in Active Directory Users and Computers.
  • Run the following command to verify that the disabled mailbox that you want to connect a user account to exists in the mailbox database and isn’t a soft-deleted mailbox.
    Get-MailboxDatabase | Get-MailboxStatistics | Where { $_.DisplayName -eq "<display name>" } | fl DisplayName,Database,DisconnectReason
    
    To be able to connect a disabled mailbox, the mailbox has to exist in the mailbox database and the value for the DisconnectReason property has to be Disabled. If the mailbox has been purged from the database, the command won’t return any results.
  • For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the procedures in this topic, see Keyboard Shortcuts in the Exchange Admin Center.
tipTip:
Having problems? Ask for help in the Exchange forums. Visit the forums at: Exchange Server, Exchange Online, or Exchange Online Protection.

The following procedure shows how to connect a disabled user mailbox. You can also reconnect disabled linked mailboxes and disabled shared mailboxes to the corresponding user account.

  1. In the EAC, navigate to Recipients  > Mailboxes.
  2. Click More More Options Icon, and then click Connect a mailbox.
    A list of mailboxes that are disconnected on the selected Exchange server in your Exchange organization will be displayed.
    noteNote:
    This list of disconnected mailboxes includes disabled mailboxes, deleted mailboxes, and soft-deleted mailboxes.
  3. Click the disabled mailbox that you want to reconnect, and then click Connect.
  4. In the window that asks if you’re sure that you want to reconnect the mailbox, click Yes.
    Exchange will reconnect the disabled mailbox to the corresponding user account.

Use the Connect-Mailbox cmdlet in the Shell to connect a user account to a disabled mailbox. You have to specify the type of mailbox that you’re connecting. The following examples show the syntax for reconnecting user, linked, and shared mailboxes.

This example connects a user mailbox. The Identity parameter specifies the disconnected mailbox in the Exchange database. The User parameter specifies the Active Directory user account to reconnect the mailbox to.

Connect-Mailbox -Identity "Jeffrey Zeng" -Database MBXDB01 -User "Jeffrey Zeng"

This example connects a linked mailbox. The Identity parameter specifies the disconnected mailbox in the Exchange database. The LinkedMasterAccount parameter specifies the Active Directory user account in the account forest that you want to reconnect the mailbox to. The Alias parameter specifies the alias, which is the portion of the email address on the left side of the at (@) symbol, for the reconnected mailbox.

Connect-Mailbox -Identity "Kai Axford" -Database MBXDB02 -LinkedDomainController FabrikamDC01 -LinkedMasterAccount kai.axford@fabrikam.com -Alias kaia

This example connects a shared mailbox.

Connect-Mailbox -Identity "Corporate Shared Mailbox" -Database "Mailbox Database 03" -User "Corporate Shared Mailbox" -Alias corpshared -Shared
noteNote:
If you don’t include the Alias parameter when you run the Connect-Mailbox cmdlet, the value specified in the User or LinkedMasterAccount parameter is used to create the email address alias for the reconnected mailbox.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Connect-Mailbox.

To verify that you’ve successfully connected a disabled mailbox to a user account, do one of the following:

  • In the EAC, click Recipients, navigate to the appropriate page for the mailbox type that you reconnected, click Refresh Refresh Icon, and verify that the mailbox is listed.
  • In Active Directory Users and Computers, right-click the user account whose mailbox you disabled, and then click Properties. On the General tab, notice that the E-mail box is populated with the email address for the reconnected mailbox.
  • In the Shell, run the following command.
    Get-User <identity>
    
    The UserMailbox value for the RecipientType property indicates that the user account and the mailbox are connected. You can also run the Get-Mailbox cmdlet to verify that the mailbox exists.
 
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