Exchange Server 2013 mailbox databases can be excluded from the automatic mailbox provisioning load balancer, which distributes new mailboxes evenly across the available databases in an Exchange environment.

This can be performed using Set-MailboxDatabase, for example:

[PS] C:>Set-MailboxDatabase DB04 -IsExcludedFromProvisioning:$true

A bug currently exists in Exchange Server 2013 that prevents mailboxes from being manually moved to a database that is excluded from provisioning.

[PS] C:>New-MoveRequest "mary.friel" -TargetDatabase DB04 -Verbose

The database DB04 is excluded from provisioning. Please select a different target database for the move.
    + CategoryInfo          : InvalidArgument: (mary.friel:MailboxOrMailUserIdParameter) [New-MoveRequest], DatabaseEx
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : [Server=EX2013SRV2,RequestId=a4e02908-2888-488c-a295-ff95fe3b23cf,TimeStamp=18/09/2014 3
   :23:27 PM] [FailureCategory=Cmdlet-DatabaseExcludedFromProvisioningException] C18F48C0,Microsoft.Exchange.Manageme
    + PSComputerName        :

Normally manual mailbox moves to a database excluded from provisioning would be permitted. Microsoft has confirmed that this is currently a bug and are expecting to include a fix in an upcoming update to Exchange Server 2013.

In the meantime if you need to move mailboxes to the database you can use the “suspend” instead of “exclude” setting on the database. “Suspend” is intended for situations where an admin only temporarily wants to prevent new mailboxes from being provisioned on the database, but otherwise achieves the same thing.

[PS] C:>Set-MailboxDatabase DB04 -IsExcludedFromProvisioning:$false

[PS] C:>Set-MailboxDatabase DB04 -IsSuspendedFromProvisioning:$true

[PS] C:>New-MoveRequest "mary.friel" -TargetDatabase DB04 -Verbose

DisplayName               StatusDetail              TotalMailboxSize          TotalArchiveSize         PercentComplete
-----------               ------------              ----------------          ----------------         ---------------
Mary Friel                Queued                    128.9 MB (135,205,784 ...                          0

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


  1. Michiel


    I excluded a DB and added a reason using the “IsExcludedFromProvisioningReason” option. I’ve now included the DB again but I noticed the Reason I set originally isn’t cleared.

    Do you know how I can blank the Reason field again? And ideally also the “IsExcludedFromProvisioningBy” value? The DB currently is not excluded but it still shows my name!

  2. Chris Sutton

    Hi Paul,

    If i just use suspend, how long does it stay in that suspended state?
    Just looks like you would use that over excluded?



    1. Avatar photo
      Paul Cunningham

      Suspend will stay suspended forever until an administrator sets it back. Suspend is a way of signaling to other admins that the measure may be intended to be temporary instead of permanent, but it takes effect forever until manually reverted.

      1. Chris Sutton

        Thanks Paul,
        Perfect answer and solution.

        We’ve applied this and can confirm it works Exchange 2013 CU4

  3. Michael

    Does this only affect certain patch levels in Exchange 2013? We are running SP1, and never had a problem moving to excluded databases.

    1. Avatar photo
      Paul Cunningham

      Possibly. I only have CU5 and CU6 systems to test against, and it impacts both.

  4. Jeff Dailey

    Thanks! Just ran across this problem today.

  5. v-9basa

    beautiful !!!!!Thanks a lot…didnt thought to try that option though…once again thanks a lot for your time and help….

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