Many times in my blog posts, I’ve discussed Microsoft Exchange Server and its database file called Exchange database (EDB). Sometimes Exchange Server users need to import their mailbox content to Outlook’s PST file. But it’s not at all easy. Just because Exchange Server stores mailbox content in EDB files and Outlook client doesn’t support EDB file format. In such a situation, the only possible way to import email messages from Exchange Server to Outlook is by converting EDB to PST format.
You can also read this post How to Repair EDB File of MS Exchange Server?
The truth says that you can’t import the EDB files to Outlook directly as it may harm your files or you may lose your data. Now the question arises here how to do that. Generally, people recommend 3rd party paid software utilities for converting EDB to PST format. Such professional solutions are, no doubt, extremely effective. But as they are paid solutions, most of the users don’t seem to be much interested in them. Around 60 to 70% users always look for free solutions or any manual approach that requires no cost.
Luckily you have Microsoft that provides you the ExMerge.exe utility to handle problems and issues which take place in Exchange Server database. The primary function of this utility is to take out the emails from normal as well as corrupted database files (EDB) of Exchange Server and to save them into PST format of MS Outlook. Some advantages of ExMerge.exe utility are:
- You can use ExMerge.exe for single mailbox, multiple or all the mailboxes stored in the Exchange Server;
- It can be used for importing data from PST files to an Exchange Server;
- You can avoid duplication of messages as ExMerge.exe can help you avoid exporting the same contents of a mailbox twice to the same PST file.
- It can be used as a “brick-level backup” solution that backs up a single mailbox instead of an entire database.
To convert EDB to PST, start with ExMerge.exe installation
To install the ExMerge.exe utility on your system, you must have MS Exchange Server 2003 installed on your system along with the admin tools of Exchange 2003. First, you need to download the ExMerge.exe from the Internet. Click on the ExMerge icon shown below to go to the download page:
On the download page, click on the Download button to start downloading the executable file. Once the executable file (.exe) is downloaded successfully, install it by running it as administrator and then configure it. Once it is configured on your system, log in to your Exchange Server account with Exchange Administrator rights.
Things you need to know before using ExMerge.exe:
- Make sure you must have full permissions on all the selected mailboxes to be merged.
- Besides this, make sure that the computer in which you are going to run ExMerge.exe, has Microsoft Outlook Client and Microsoft Exchange Administrator programs installed. As Microsoft does not support installing Exchange Server components and Outlook on the same computer, you should not install Outlook on the Exchange Server.
- Being an Exchange administrator, you would have no rights to open the mailboxes if you’re using Exchange Server 2000. To overcome this issue, go to the Security tab of the mounted mailbox store in the recovery storage group. You will find the Exchange Administrators Group with explicit deny rights for “send as” and “receive as”. Overwrite it to give them full access and inherit the rights down to each mailbox itself.
Use ExMerge.exe to Convert EDB to PST
Once you successfully install and configure the ExMerge.exe utility on your system, you’re ready to run it for EDB to PST conversion. Launch the ExMerge.exe utility, login to your Exchange Server and follow the steps shown below:
Step 1: Launch the ExMerge.exe on your local server.
The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Merge Wizard will open. Click Next to start the operation.
Step 2: Now select the procedure you would like to perform: either One Step Procedure or Two Step Procedure.
You need to select Extract or Import (Two Step Procedure).
Step 3: Now select the step you would like to perform: either Step 1 or Step 2.
You need to select the Step 1: Extract data from an Exchange Server Mailbox option. Click Next to continue the process.
Step 4: Here you need to enter the name of Microsoft Exchange Server from which you would like to extract data.
Fill all the information and then click Next to continue the process.
Step 5: Now select the database (in case if multiple databases are there in Exchange Server) from which you want to extract data.
Select the database and click Next to continue.
Step 6: Now select the mailbox(s) you wish the program operate against.
Click Next to continue the process.
Step 7: Here you need to select a folder for the new PST file. Click Change Folder.
Click Next to continue the process.
Step 8: It’ll take a couple of minutes to complete this process.
Finally, click Finish.
By following all the steps shown above, you can easily convert EDB to PST without having any trouble.
If you want to know how to convert PST to EDB, refer to this post How to Import PST Files to Microsoft Exchange Server?
If you’re using MS Exchange Server 2007, you can’t run ExMerge.exe utility directly on Exchange Server machine. Also, it may take an ample time to complete the operation successfully.