User Manual

Public folder Migration in Hybrid Environment

During the Public folder Migration in Exchange and Office 365 hybrid environment, you will receive 'HoldForMigration' error when you try to create Public folder mailboxes on the target server. This is because in your target server the Public folder is configured as ‘Remote’ to enable users' to access the source server Public folder.

Error: An existing Public Folder deployment has been detected. To migrate existing Public Folder data, create new Public Folder mailbox using -HoldForMigration switch

Error HoldforMigration

Follow the below steps to resolve the above error:

Set the users on Office 365 to access on-premises Public Folders. If you are migrating the on-premises Public Folders to Office 365, configure the admin account to look at Office 365 folders by default while rest all other users access the On-Premises Public Folders.

  1. Unrestricted Execution Policy
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted


  1. Enter the User Name (SMTP) and Password of Office 365 account having Global Admin credentials.
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    $LiveCred = Get-Credential


  1. Create Session
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection


  1. Import Session
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    Import-PSSession $Session



  1. Look at the root Public Folder mailbox
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    (Get-OrganizationConfig).rootpublicfoldermailbox |fl


    Root Public Folder mailbox is locked for migration. All other Public Folders will also be unavailable.

  1. Look at the Organization Configuration
    Command: Copy & Paste it on PowerShell

    Get-OrganizationConfig |fl *public*


    PublicFoldersEnabled attribute is set to remote confirms that the Office 365 users are set to use the On-Premises Public Folders.
    Note: Make a note of the RemotePublicFolderMailboxes value. You will need this later to allow access to the On-Premise Public Folders.

  1. Steps to create the Public Folders on Office 365

    Remove all the existing Public Folder mailboxes on Office 365

    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder |Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder

    Note: Run the cmdlet twice because when there is more than one Public Folder mailbox, it is not possible to delete the primary mailbox before deleting the others.
    Warning: In a Hybrid scenario, where Public Folders are being used On-Premises, the Public Folder mailboxes on Office 365 should be empty and not have any data. Ensure that Public Folder mailboxes are empty, verify that they are empty before deleting them.

    Change the Organization Configuration to use Public Folders on Office 365

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersEnabled Local -RemotePublicFolderMailboxes $null

    Warning: This will break the connectivity to the On-Premises Public Folders for all users with a mailbox on Office 365. Plan a maintenance and update users.

    Now create a Public Folder mailbox, and assign root permissions to this Public Folder mailbox to the admin account being used for the migration. Click here to know how to create Public folder and assign users.

    Note: You do not need to create all the Public Folders on Office 365. Just create the top-level folders, EdbMails will create the rest, and migrate the permissions, during migration.

    Now revert the Organization Configuration, and restore the access to the On-Premises Public Folders

    Set-OrganizationConfig -PublicFoldersEnabled Remote -RemotePublicFolderMailboxes

    Make sure that the changes are applied

    Get-Mailbox |fl *public*

Public folder Migration steps in Hybrid Environment

  1. Step-1. Download and Install the EdbMails application

    a. Download and install EdbMails on your computer.   Download

    b. Double click the EdbMails setup (EdbMailsSetup.exe) to install the application.

    c. Follow the instructions that appear to complete the installation.


  2. Step-2. 'Login' or 'Start Your Free Trial' to access the application

    Click the 'Login' or 'Start Your Free Trial' button.

    Demo login EdbMails

  3. Step-3. Select 'Exchange Migration'

    Select the option 'Exchange Migration' and click the 'Continue'.

    Exchange Migration

  4. Step-4. Connect to Source Exchange Server

    Exchange Public Folder Migration

    1. For Public folder migration ensure that you have Public folder available on your source server.
    2. You can migrate Source Public folder to Target server Public folder. Or
    3. You can migrate Source Public folder to Target server Mailboxes.

    Login to Source Live Exchange

    Click here for the detailed steps on Exchange server login using EdbMails

    NOTE: For Public Folder migration ensure that you have selected 'Connect to Public Folder' option in the login screen during source server login.

    On successful login, you will be displayed with the Public folder hireharchy.

  5. Step-5. Perform Exchange Public Folder to Office 365 shared mailbox Migration

    Select the Exchange Public Folder for migration

    Select the Exchange Public Folder that you wish to migrate.

    Choose the migration type as 'Full migration' or 'Incremental migration'.

    Select Mailboxes

    Click the 'Migrate to Destination Office 365 [Incremental]' button to continue.

    Export Selected Mailboxes

    Login to Destination Office 365

    Login to the target Office 365 account. Click here for the detailed steps on Office 365 login using EdbMails

    On successful login, you will be displayed with the list of mailboxes along with shared mailboxes.

    Load Mailboxes from CSV

    After successful login, if the automatic mailbox listing has failed to retrieve all the mailboxes name then you can load all the mailboxes name using .csv file. However, if the listing is successful then you can ignore this step and continue to next step.

    Click here for the detailed steps on listing mailboxes using '.CSV' file

    Click the 'Continue' button.

    Load CSV

    Map Source and Target shared mailbox

    Map the source mailboxes to target Office 365 shared mailbox. Click here for the details.

    Start the Migration Operation

    Click the 'Continue' button to start the migration operation.

    mailbox mapping

    That's it! During migration operation, you can view the progress as shown below.

    Public folder Migration to Office 365 Shared mailbox

    Appropriate message will be displayed on completion of the migration operation.

    Click the 'View Log' button to view the migration operation log.

    Login to your Office 365 account to verify migrated items such as emails, calendars, contacts etc.

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