Public folders are the feature of Exchange server which is used to share mailbox and related folders with others Exchange server users within the organization. The key purpose of the public folder to take advantage of high availability of data, so that a user or selected users in a group can access the folder on the same network who are using the same email client.
While working and accessing the same folder, I’ve seen lot of scenarios when user deletes important data and forget to recover it. So in the article I am sharing multiple ways to recover the items which is accidently deleted from public folders in Exchange server 2013. Let’s check it-
The simplest way to recover the deleted items from public folder is already inbuilt in MS Outlook. Open your Outlook email client and look for the 'Recover Deleted Items' in Folder menu. Just click this option and all recently deleted public folder items will be shown in a new window. You can select the items/folder and restore it again. That’s it!
But what if retention period has been expired and still you have to restore these items. In such cases check the second solution-
Solution 2: (Recover items if retention period is over)
Once deleted items pass the default/configured retention period, it can’t be recovered. However, if you have a recent backup then you can restore the last backup which stored the related public folder mailbox. This is the only option if you stuck in this scenario. To do this, firstly you need to restore the backup database to a Recovery Database. Once restore process is done, run the below command-
New-MailboxRestoreRequest –SourceDatabase “Name of Recovery database” –SourceStoreMailbox “mailbox which contains the related public folder” –TargetMailbox “mailbox to which data is recovered” –AllowLegacyDNMismatch –IncludeFolders “name of affected folder”
By executing the command, the disappeared/deleted items from the related public folder will be recovered to the same public folder. But make sure your MS Exchange Server 2013 is updated with Cumulative Update 2.
Additionally, there is another solution as well if you’re good at PowerShell. Try the below solution-
Solution 3: (Recovery using Exchange Management Shell)
EMS is quick solution to recover deleted public folders and public folder contents, but before restoring the public folder it is required to find the root path of affected folder; whether you’re the owner of the public folder or not.
Run the command to find the path of deleted public folder-
Get-PublicFolder –Identity “\NON_IPM_SUBTREE” –Recurse | FL >C:\publicfolderfile.txt
The command will save a text file (For e.g. publicfolderfile.txt) at your desired location which contains the information of affected public folder.
Suppose you had a pubic folder named 'PB1' which is accidently deleted and now you need to recover this folder. Open the saved .txt file and search the folder path in this file. Once you find the folder name in the file, run the command-
Set-PublicFolder –Identity “\NON_IPM_SUBTREE\DUMPSTER_ROOT\<GUID>\PB1” –Path “\” –Verbose
Now open the Outlook and check again, the public folder has been recovered with all the permissions and you can access all the data and save it. The same process is also applicable to restore the deleted child public folders.
So these are the manual solutions to recover the deleted contents from public folder. In case first solution didn’t help and you’re not familiar with Exchange shell commands, I can also suggest you try an automated way to recover the deleted item from public folder.
Give Exchange EDB to PST Converter tool by Stellar a try, and recover all the deleted items from public folder and user’s mailboxes. The software will scan your online as well offline database and show you all the contents even it is deleted from mailbox or public folder. Further, you can save the deleted items in multiple saving file formats including PST as it is easier to import into Outlook. But make sure the mailbox retention policy is not expired for the corresponding Exchange server.
Hope, it helped.