How to Delete & Recreate an Exchange Mailbox

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You can delete and recreate a Microsoft Exchange 2003 mailbox through Exchange System Manager or from Active Directory's Exchange Management console. This may be necessary if a user's mailbox becomes corrupted.

Delete

  • Create a backup of the Mailbox Store where the user's mailbox resides.

  • Launch Microsoft Active Directory's "Users and Computers" management console.

  • Browse the container for the user's Active Directory object.

  • Right-click the user object and select "Exchange Tasks" to start the Exchange task wizard.

  • Select "Delete Mailbox." Follow the standard wizard prompts to complete the deletion. Depending on your infrastructure, it may take some time to replicate the mailbox deletion.

Recreate

  • Launch Exchange System Manager.

  • Click "Mailboxes." Locate the user's mailbox, which should be in a disconnected state (with a red X). If it's not in that state, right-click on the mailbox and click the "Cleanup Agent."

  • Right-click on the disconnected mailbox and click "Reconnect."

  • Select the appropriate user and click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • Exchange 2003 doesn't create the new mailbox until the user first logs in through Outlook or Outlook Web Access, or when there is mail to deliver.
  • A deleted mailbox remains disconnected for 30 days, the default retention period. At any point during that time, the user's mailbox can be reconnected. When the retention period ends, the mailbox is permanently deleted from the database. You can manually purge the database at any time.
  • If you need to keep the user's mailbox information, perform an Exmerge to export the user's data before deleting the user's mailbox. This is only required if the database has already been purged.

References

  • Photo Credit computer keyboard image by Tom Curtis from Fotolia.com
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