How to: Recover Exchange mailbox folder for FREE

In the previous post, How-to: Free Exchange discovery tool helps admin, I described how to make a quick, easy and free e-discovery in a Microsoft Exchange database. In a similar way, you can recover any deleted email or item from the .EDB.

Let’s take a closer look. There is a market for paid Exchange recovery tools where it is possible to restore single mailbox items from the raw Exchange database (.EDB); however their price is very high. You can get similar granular recovery with Veeam for free.

If you’ve got a problem with your Exchange Server, Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange can help recover mailboxes, messages, contacts, folders, tasks and other individual items. Follow the step-by-step guide below.

Note: If this is not the first time you run Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, you can skip steps #1 and #3.

Step 1. Download Veeam Backup Free Edition and install it on a Windows-based OS (a fairly straight-forward process.)

 Downloading Veeam Backup Free Edition and installing it on a Windows-based OS

Step 2. For most situations, we would take a VeeamZIP backup. A VeeamZIP backup is a full image-based backup of your Exchange Server running as a VMware or Hyper-V VM; and from there Veeam can do a number of restore scenarios – including running Veeam Explorer for Exchange. This is the intended use case of Veeam Explorer for Exchange – but there are plenty of other ways to use the tool.

Step 3. Go to the main menu and Launch Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange which was installed as a standalone component of Veeam Backup Free Edition.

Launching Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange

Step 4. Now you need to make a quick configuration of Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. In the menu, select Options and specify the path to the ESE.DLL library which is used to query the Exchange .EDB database. This file is included into the installation package of Microsoft Exchange Server, so you can find it on the installation CD.Quick configuration of Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange

Step 5. Extract the Exchange database (.EDB) from your physical or virtual backup to somewhere. Point Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to that file. To do this, click Add Store in the main menu and specify the paths to the restored Exchange database (.EDB) and logs folder.
Point Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to the Exchange database

Step 6. When the Exchange database appears in the navigation panel on the left, you can do one of the following for granular Exchange recovery:

  • Export mailboxes, folders and individual items as Personal Folder Files (.PST)
  • Save individual items as Microsoft Exchange Mail Documents (.MSG)
  • Send individual items as email attachments

All of these options are available for free. If you use a licensed version of Veeam Backup & Replication (Enterprise or Enterprise Plus edition), you can also recover Exchange mailbox folders and individual items to the production server.

EXAMPLE: To export a folder as a .PST file from the Exchange database:

  1. Select a folder you want to recover in the navigation panel on the left.
  2. Right-click and choose the Export To .PST File… command.
  3. Specify the location where you want to store the new .PST file with the recovered folder.

How to export a folder as a .PST file from the Exchange database with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange - Specify the location where you want to store the new .PST file with the recovered folder

I hope this free Exchange mailbox recovery tool will help you avoid buying things you don’t need and save you time. If you find this useful, let me know and leave a comment below, tweet it, share on Facebook, LinkedIn or Spiceworks.

See also

Veeam Community Forums: Add multiple users export to PST- Veeam Explorer for Exchang

Whitepaper: How to migrate virtual Exchange Servers with no risk

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  • Luke says:

    Thank you very much for this tutorial. I have been pulling my hair out for 2 weeks now thinking I had to pay upwards of $300 just to restore one Public Folder from an EDB Backup. I can’t express how relieved I am. Thanks again.

  • sandra diaz says:

    Thanks for sharing the information for EDB file recovery. But I generally prefer to use SysTools Exchange recovery tool which allow me recover deleted emails from EDB file free of charge using demo version.

  • Brian Campbell says:

    Could you point out that this will only work with Exchange Versions 2010, 2013 & 2016

  • Polina Vasileva says:

    Hi Brian,
    Good catch, thank you! I’ll add this note.

  • S.G. says:

    Could you please add the note, taht you need a “Clean Shutdown” .EDB File. You can’t explore a Dirty Shutdown. This needs to be checked and repaired first.

  • Polina Vasileva says:

    Yes, that’s correct. Thank you for noticing S.G.!

  • Jim Bond says:

    You might also mention you need either office 2010 64 bit or 2013 installed as well.

  • santiano says:

    The professional Exchange Recovery software efficiently recovers EDB mailboxes from damaged exchange server database and convert them into usable Outlook PST files without losing any original data. Nice EDB to PST migration tool.

  • santiano says:

    EDB to PST Converter is a proficient application that capably transforms online and detached Exchange Server database (.edb) documents like messages, attachments, calendar, contacts, journals, notes and drafts etc into identical Outlook PST format.

  • santiano says:

    EDB TO PST Conversion software is an excellent conversion application that proficiently open EDB mailbox data like to, bcc, cc, sent mails, time, subject, email header, email body content etc and convert it into PST file for further usage.

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