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How do you migrate Public Folders to Office 365 (and where)

I've been looking for a simple automated method of migrating Public Folders from on-premise Exchange Server (from 2003 up) to Office 365, and other than using third party tools, there doesn't seem to be an easy automated way, particularly from 2003.  I can't see a migration guide on this site either.

How do most people go about this?

Also, do you migrate over to O365 Public Folders, or move in to Shared Mailboxes, Microsoft Groups or Teams?


Published 10/04/2018 16:19
  • Migration
  • Office 365
  • Exchange Server 2003
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Mariette Knap


I would do an export to pst files. With those files, you can create a new Public Folder structure in O365 or create Shared Mailboxes. The last option is future proof because Microsoft tried earlier to kill Public Folders.

replied 10/04/2018 16:40

Thanks.  Would you import the PST containing the Public Folders to the new Public Folder mailbox - which creates a sub folder called IPM_SUBTREE that contains all the Public Folders, and the Public Folder area on the Exchange Admin Center doesn't like very well (click on IPM_SUBTREE and it just refreshes the page rather than drilling down).

Or, would you open the PST and manually copy each Public Folder across to the new Public Folder mailbox (time consuming if there are a lot of folders)

I haven't tried the Shared Mailbox option for importing, so will take a look at that now :-)

replied 10/04/2018 16:46
Mariette Knap

If you use Outlook to import the pst file you can choose whatever structure you want.

replied 10/04/2018 17:35
Last Activity 10/04/2018 17:35