Roll back a public folder migration from Exchange 2016 to Exchange Online

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Summary: Follow these steps to return your public folder infrastructure to its pre-migration state in your Exchange 2016 on-premises organization.

If you run into issues with your public folder migration to Exchange Online, or for any other reason need to reactivate your Exchange 2016 public folders, follow the steps below.

Note that if you roll back your migration, you will lose any content that was added to public folders in Exchange Online post-migration, either through clients or via email for mail-enabled public folders. To save this content, you can export the post-migration public folder content to a .pst file, which can then be imported into the on-premises public folders when the rollback is complete.

  1. In your Exchange on-premises environment, run the following command to unlock your Exchange 2016 public folders (note that the unlocking may take several hours):

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFolderMailboxesLockedForNewConnections:$false -PublicFolderMailboxesMigrationComplete:$false -PublicFoldersEnabled Local 
  2. In your Exchange on-premises environment, revert the ExternalEmailAddress of any mail-enabled public folder that was updated by SetMailPublicFolderExternalAddress.ps1 (the script used in Step 8: Test and unlock public folders in Exchange Online of Use batch migration to migrate Exchange 2016 public folders to Exchange Online. You can refer to the summary file created by the script to identify the ones that were modified, or use the file OnPrem_MEPF.xml file generated earlier in the same batch migration process to get the original properties for all mail-enabled public folders.

  3. In Exchange Online PowerShell, run the following commands to remove all Exchange Online public folders and mailboxes:

    Get-MailPublicFolder -ResultSize Unlimited | where {$_.EntryId -ne $null}| Disable-MailPublicFolder -Confirm:$false 
    Get-PublicFolder -GetChildren \ -ResultSize Unlimited | Remove-PublicFolder -Recurse -Confirm:$false
    $hierarchyMailboxGuid = $(Get-OrganizationConfig).RootPublicFolderMailbox.HierarchyMailboxGuid
    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder | Where-Object {$_.ExchangeGuid -ne $hierarchyMailboxGuid} | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Confirm:$false -Force
    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder | Where-Object {$_.ExchangeGuid -eq $hierarchyMailboxGuid} | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Confirm:$false -Force
    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder -SoftDeletedMailbox | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder -PermanentlyDelete:$true
  4. Run the following command in your Exchange Online environment to redirect public folder traffic back to on-premises (Exchange 2016):

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersEnabled Remote
  5. See Configure Exchange 2013 public folders for a hybrid deployment for instructions on reconfiguring access to your on-premises public folders, so that your Exchange Online users can access them.