The Exchange Server 2010 RTM version did not have the ability to locate the archive mailbox on a different mailbox database than the user’s primary mailbox.  However Exchange Server 2010 SP1 added this feature, making it possible to create dedicated archive mailbox databases.

Moving archive mailboxes follows a similar process to moving other mailboxes, by using Move Requests.

How to Move the Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox of a Single User

To move an archive mailbox start the New Local Move Request wizard.

Start the Exchange Server 2010 New Local Move Request wizard
Start the Exchange Server 2010 New Local Move Request wizard

Select the mailbox database to move to, and also choose the option to move the archive mailbox only.

Choose the destination for moving the archive mailbox in Exchange Server 2010
Choose the destination for moving the archive mailbox in Exchange Server 2010

Complete the new Move Request and wait for it to finish processing.

You can also intiiate the Move Request from the Exchange Management Shell.

[PS] C:\>New-MoveRequest -Identity "Alan.Reid" -ArchiveOnly -ArchiveTargetDatabase "Archive Mailboxes"

DisplayName               Status                    TotalMailboxSize          TotalArchiveSize         PercentComplete
-----------               ------                    ----------------          ----------------         ---------------
Alan Reid                 Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0

You can view the status of the Move Request in the Exchange Management Shell.

[PS] C:\>Get-MoveRequest

DisplayName                                    Status                    TargetDatabase
-----------                                    ------                    --------------
Alan Reid                                      Completed

When the Move Request is complete you can clear it.

[PS] C:\>Remove-MoveRequest "Alan Reid"

Confirm
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Removing completed move request "Alan Reid".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [?] Help (default is "Y"): y

The user mailbox properties will now reflect the new location of the archive mailbox.

Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox Database attribute
Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox Database attribute

How to Move the Exchange Server 2010 Archive Mailbox of Multiple Users

Since we already know how to identify which users have archive mailboxes enabled, we can use a similar Exchange Management Shell command to move all archive mailboxes to a different database.

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox | where {$_.ArchiveDatabase -ne $null -and $_.ArchiveDatabase -ne "Archive Mailboxes"}

Name                      Alias                ServerName       ProhibitSendQuota
----                      -----                ----------       -----------------
Paul Cunningham           Paul.Cunningham      ex2              unlimited
Alannah.Shaw              Alannah.Shaw         ex2              unlimited
Bozena.Kirton             Bozena.Kirton        ex2              unlimited
Diane.Jones               Diane.Jones          ex2              unlimited
Helen.Cail                Helen.Cail           ex2              4.688 GB (5,033,164,800 bytes)
Julian.Morozgalska        Julian.Morozgalska   ex2              unlimited
Maggie.Hengist            Maggie.Hengist       ex2              unlimited
Nicola.Clare              Nicola.Clare         ex2              unlimited
Sabi.Smith                Sabi.Smith           ex2              unlimited
Trevor.Reece              Trevor.Reece         ex2              unlimited

By piping that output to the New-MoveRequest cmdlet we can create Move Requests for all of those archive mailboxes with a single command.

Note: this is a long command line and you will need to scroll across to see the entire command.

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox | where {$_.ArchiveDatabase -ne $null -and $_.ArchiveDatabase -ne "Archive Mailboxes"} | New-MoveRequest -ArchiveOnly -ArchiveTargetDatabase "Archive Mailboxes"

DisplayName               Status                    TotalMailboxSize          TotalArchiveSize         PercentComplete
-----------               ------                    ----------------          ----------------         ---------------
Paul Cunningham           Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Alannah Shaw              Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Bozena Kirton             Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Diane Jones               Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Helen Cail                Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Julian Morozgalska        Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Maggie Hengist            Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Nicola Clare              Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Sabi Smith                Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0
Trevor Reece              Queued                    0 B (0 bytes)             0 B (0 bytes)            0

When all of the Move Requests are completed don’t forget to clear them.

[PS] C:\>Get-MoveRequest | where {$_.Status -eq "Completed"} | Remove-MoveRequest

Confirm
Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Removing completed move request "Paul Cunningham".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [?] Help (default is "Y"): a

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for Practical365.com.

Comments

  1. Ilir Daka

    What if actual Online Archive DB is corrupted and is dismounted? I tried and it fails, I want to change Online Archive Database for users form corrupted one to new one!

  2. Joe

    Hi Paul,

    Is there a way to check the move stats for a archive mailbox move?

  3. Malik

    Hello Paul,
    Thank you for the great posts.
    I have a customer who enabled in place archive for about 50 users, now they bought new 3rd party archiving solution.
    My ask, do we have any script to move all archive content from archive database back to their original Mailbox/database .. This is Exchange 2013..

  4. Sam

    How to move the archive database to a new exchange 2016 server, it is the same as moving the mailbox database?

  5. Jon Skelton

    Good article on how to move an archive.
    However, and this is very important, when you move the personal archive it leaves a copy of it on the original DB, as Soft-Deleted. I found this out when after moving almost 200 users, they showed up in both DBs. I found this article.
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd298174.aspx#SoftDel

    Soft-Deleted Mailboxes
    When mailboxes are moved from an Exchange 2010 SP1 database to any other database, Exchange doesn’t fully delete the mailbox from the source database immediately upon completion of the move. Instead, the mailbox in the source mailbox database is switched to a soft-deleted state. Mailbox data can be accessed during a mailbox restore operation using the MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet set. The soft-deleted mailboxes are retained in the source database until either the deleted mailbox retention period expires or you use the Remove-StoreMailbox cmdlet to purge the mailbox.

    1. hmd

      thanx, this information was ery useful!

  6. Romel Nicandro

    Hello All,
    Anyone have a one line PowerShell command that will move primary mailbox and their archive to a new database. I’ve been looking and have not found one. Would greatly appreciate it if you can share.

    1. Paul Cunningham

      Have you looked at the documentation on TechNet for the New-MoveRequest cmdlet?

  7. Boothey

    Hi Paul can you move the Archive back to the primary. for Mailbox moves to office 365

  8. Armando

    We are in the process of migrating to a hosted Exchange. We are stuck with an archive mailbox of approximate 75 GB is there a process to import that mail back into the primary mailbox without going through PST ?

  9. Tina

    We recently installed a new Exchange Server. I moved my archive mailbox to the new server, but now I need to move my regular mailbox to the new server as well. However, I no longer have the Move option available on my mailbox. What to do now?

    1. Paul Cunningham

      Clear/remove the existing move request (the one that you already completed).

  10. Ismail Abdille

    Hi Paul,

    Firstly great article! I just wanted to know if it is possible for one user to be able to have 2 online archives? if yes, how would I go about doing that?

    thanks

    Ismail

  11. PS

    i’m migrating from a single ex2010 to (yet) single ex2013 and i’m looking for any information about migrating a personal-archive- enabled- mailbox. can you give some advice (like revert archive back to mbx or move mbx including archive to “single” mailbox on 2013)?

Comments are closed.