Like its preceding versions, Exchange 2016 has a mailbox export feature. The procedure to export a mailbox to PST file and the Exchange Management Shell cmdlets used are similar to those in Exchange 2013/2010 versions. If you prefer using GUI, the procedure is similar to that in Exchange 2013. To export an EDB mailbox to PST, follow these steps:

  1. Assign Mailbox Import Export role to the user
  2. Share the destination PST folder over the network
  3. Export EDB mailbox to the PST file in the shared folder

1. Assign Mailbox Import Export role to the user

Even Exchange administrators don’t have the authority to export a mailbox unless they are assigned a Mailbox Import Export Role. So a user must have this role assigned prior to starting the mailbox export.

New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role "Mailbox Import Export" –User "<user name>”

To assign the Mailbox Import Export role to the Administrator account, use:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role "Mailbox Import Export" -User "Administrator"

Note- Mailbox Import Export role can be assigned to a security group too:

New-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role "Mailbox Import Export" -SecurityGroup “<security group name>”

Adding a user or Administrator to this security group will give them the rights to export mailboxes.

2. Share the target PST folder over the network

The folder that contains the target PST file needs to be shared over the network. Follow the steps given below:

  1. Right-click the folder and select Properties.
  2. In the Properties window, click Advanced Sharing under the Sharing tab.
  3. In the Advanced Sharing window, choose Share this folder option and click Permissions.
  4. Add Exchange Trusted Subsystem to Group or user names, and choose the option to allow full control.
  5. Close all the open windows after clicking Apply and OK.

3. Export Exchange EDB mailbox to a PST file

One can move primary mailboxes as well as archive mailboxes to PST using the cmdlets. Use the following syntax:

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox <MailboxName> -FilePath “<Path to the PST file>”

To export an archive mailbox, use the following syntax.

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox <MailboxName> -FilePath “<Path to the PST file>” -IsArchive

After exporting the mailbox to the PST, the mailbox and items can be accessed using MS Outlook.

Note: To view the status of an ongoing mailbox export, you can use the cmdlet GetMailboxExportRequest. And to remove a mailbox export request, you can use the cmdelet Remove-MailboxExportRequest

The alternative for converting EDB to PST

Converting EDB to PST using PowerShell is not the first choice for many administrators due to its technical and time-consuming nature. That is why solutions like Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery are often preferred. Using this solution, converting EDB files to PST is easy; you just have to select Export Mailboxes option from the right-click menu after selecting the mailbox. There is also a separate option to export individual messages to PST.


The advantages of Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery as an EDB to PST conversion solution are:

  • Converts online and offline EDB files to PST
  • Moves multiple mailboxes to PST at a time
  • Supports simple copy & paste migration of EDB files to PST
  • Saves mailbox data to new PST files or existing ones
  • Converts EDB files from all versions of Exchange including Exchange 2016
  • Allows selective conversion of items by filtering by date range and item type
  • Displays mailboxes and items for preview before saving to PST
  • Recovers deleted EDB items to PST and highlights them in red
  • Extracts email attachments (with or without hierarchy), and allows to filter by date or item type

Here is the step-by-step process of exporting the entire mailboxes from an Exchange database to a PST file –

Step – 1. Initiate the software and select the first option ‘Offline EDB.’

Select Offline EDB

Step – 2. Choose the option ‘Offline EDB file.’ Then click Next.

 Choose Offline EDB file  class=

Step – 3. Click the (•••) button to browse the EDB file. You can also use the Search option to find the EDB file from a drive or folder. After Selecting the file, click Next.

Select EDB file

Step – 4. Select the scan mode among Standard and Deep Scan. Then Click Next.

 Select the scan mode

Step – 5. The EDB file is scanned successfully. Click the Finish button.

EDB file is scanned successfully

Step – 6. The recovered EDB file is presented in the Source List. Here, you can select any mailbox item by clicking the Preview button.

recovered EDB file

Step – 7. To export an entire mailbox from the database, you only need to select a mailbox and right-click it. Select the option ‘Export Mailboxes to PST.’

Export Mailboxes to PST

Step – 8. In the Export Mailboxes wizard, select the folders to migrate, date range and filters, and Split PST file. Finally, (•••) browse the destination for the PST file.

Export Mailboxes

Step – 9. Browse the destination folder to the PST file. Then click OK.

Browse the destination folder to the PST file

Step – 10. After selecting the destination, click the Export button.

click the Export button

Step – 11. After a successful export, the tool will provide a message. Click OK.

Successfully Export mailboxes

Blog Summary

To Export EDB mailboxes and convert EDB to PST can be helpful in many ways — for backup, recovery, and employee relocations. Using PowerShell is a viable option but can be time consuming and requires an in-depth knowledge of the required cmdlets. If you’re looking for a simpler way to export mailboxes, then solutions like Kernel for Exchange Server Recovery could be beneficial.