Manual Guide to Recover Deleted Public Folders in Exchange server

Updated On - February 18, 2023 by Henry Bray | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Exchange Server has ruled the email niche for over two decades. Several organizations use it to collaborate and store precious data. If you’re familiar with the Exchange server, you might have also heard about its public folder feature. In this write-up, I’ll describe a few ways to recover deleted public folders in Exchange Server. So, let’s begin.

In case you need to know what an Exchange Public folder is?

A Public folder is a shared folder that organizations use to share details or other documents within an organization. A public folder can be accessed by anyone in an organization and contains several precious emails, contacts, and multimedia. However, sometimes due to several reasons (mentioned below):

  • Deleted intentionally
  • Deleted accidentally
  • EDB file corruption
  • Exchange downtime
  • Sudden power failure
  • Abrupt shutdown of Exchange Server

These few of many causes can make your Exchange Public folder deleted or corrupted and raise a need to recover deleted folders in Exchange Server. So now let’s move to our main topic for which you’re here.

How to recover Deleted folder in Exchange Server?

The database for the public folder is called pub1.edb by default. Imagine that an Exchange administrator accidentally corrupts or deletes all of the pub1.edb public files contain potentially crucial data. Depending on the cause of the mistake, the pub1.edb file on the Exchange Server can sometimes be repair manually or with third-party software. And if we don’t have a current backup of the Exchange public folder database, we’ll never be able to retrieve that information back. Taking a manual backup of an Exchange database is a tedious process; therefore, many users simply don’t bother. This means that a recent backup could not be accessible. The legal and financial consequences for the Exchange organization might be catastrophic if public folders with critical information were lost by accident.

Restoring information from a previous public folder version is likewise impossible. Because the Server is no longer receiving replication signals, public folders will not be display even if the user has made a backup and restored it. Therefore, users should not rely on the backup but rather try some manual ways to restore lost public files.

Recovery of Exchange 2010 Information Using the ExMerge Tool

To examine and recover deleted public folder data in Exchange Server 2010, use the ExMerge utility (download here) offered by Microsoft and link the Public Folder from the File menu in ExMerge (follow File > Connect > Public Folders > Global Catalog). When the user selects the Show deleted folders menu item, the red text he sees represents deleted folders that can be restored by selecting the “Recover Folder” menu item from the context menu.

Exchange 2010 is required for this procedure and can be used to retrieve lost folders during retention periods, but you must follow the steps precisely to avoid making any mistakes.

If you know of any alternative manual method for retrieving a lost public folder in Exchange Server, please share it with us.

In order to restore deleted public folders, you can try the manual method described below by utilizing the Windows Server Backup tool (supplied by Microsoft) and the Exchange Management Console.

Note that emails in a Public Folder that have been soft-deleted will be kept for 14 days by default and then for another 30 days in a folder called Recoverable Items. For this reason, Exchange Public Folder data is automatically soft-deleted after 45 days, though the Exchange administrator can change this time. However, the information will be destroyed after that time frame has passed.

The Hands-On Approach to Restoring a Lost Exchange Public Folder

Use the Windows Server Backup tool to restore your Exchange Server’s backup before proceeding with this technique.

To complete these steps manually, the user must be an Exchange administrator or have access to the necessary permissions.

Follow these instructions to retrieve your lost public folder database:

  • Start by launching the Exchange Management Console and navigating to Microsoft Exchange>Server Configuration>Mailbox.
  • Find your Server on the list, click it, and then choose the public folder you wish to restore from the drop-down menu.
  • Dismount the public folder database by clicking the Dismount Database option in the right action panel.
  • Dismount the database, then in the same action panel, select Properties. Choose the radio button now. Select the Apply button to apply this change and allow the restoration to overwrite the database.
  • Windows Explorer, then navigate to the directory where the database backup was stored (using the Windows Server Backup utility).
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Mailbox\\Launch
  • Right-click the restored public folder database, select “Copy,” and then navigate to the newly unmounted public folder location.
  • Rename the current public folder database and copy the recovered database to the same directory, making sure the new name is identical to the old one.
  • Followed by a click to “Re-mount” in the Exchange Management Console.

It’s important to remember that mounting the public folder database can fail more frequently under certain circumstances. For that, you’ll need to launch the Exchange Management Shell and enter the following command:

The command is: eseutil -p.edb

Simply replace.edb with your public folder database’s actual name in the preceding eseutil -p.edb command. Using this tool, you may fix the database and remount the public folder database.

Even if you try it out, this workaround isn’t foolproof and won’t work with newer versions of Exchange Server (anything after Exchange 2010). The method is time-consuming for users because there are several phases involve. You’ll also need the technical know-how to execute the Exchange commands. As a result, the Exchange Server will be unavailable, and the likelihood of this procedure succeeding is low.

If you’re using a current version of Exchange Server, you can restore your whole database, including your public folders, by running the Exchange Management Shell command in an administrative capacity.

New-MailboxRestoreRequest –SourceDatabase “<enter name of Recovery database>” –SourceStoreMailbox “<enter mailbox name containing affected public folder>” –TargetMailbox “<enter mailbox name to which data is recovered>” –AllowLegacyDNMismatch –IncludeFolders “<enter name of concerned folder>”

If applicable, modify the above command to include specifics about your database and mailbox.

Still, users should be wary of the dangers associated with manual limits or downsides, such as incomplete recovery, corruption risks, data loss, prolonged time consumption, challenging levels, manual errors, Exchange Server outage, etc. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you have a recent backup of your public folder database, or seek out an alternative automated solution.

Regain EDB to PST Converter | Exchange Administrators Preference

Automated tool trusted by several Exchange administrators and Microsoft MVPs. The tool is specially design to recover corrupt EDB files and deleted mailboxes of an EDB file. Using this tool, you can easily recover deleted public folders of the Exchange Server and move them into PST, Exchange Server, and several other platforms. Some of its features are as follows:

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $99

  • You can Add several EDB files to recover deleted folders and other data effortlessly.
  • There is no bar on adding the size of EDB files. Hence, you can recover data from any size of EDB file.
  • If required, you can also move EDB files into Office 365, Live Exchange, Gmail, PST, EML, MSG, file format, and email platforms.
  • The tool is compatible with all Exchange variants and works with all Windows operating systems.
  • You can check and evaluate the tool’s skills and compatibility before purchasing the tool by using the free version.


Exchange Public folder holds crucial data, and keeping it safe is none other than your responsibility. I’ve described both known methods that you can use to recover deleted public folders in Exchange Server. I recommend using the Regain EDB to PST converter as it is held high in regard by several Microsoft MVPs and Exchange administrators. Also, it is one of the most cost-effective automated programs available on the internet.

Author: Henry Bray

Henry Bray is a young technologist and content a Content Writer at Regain Software, loves to write about MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, Mozilla Thunderbird and many more email applications.

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