Tips & Tricks

How to Retrieve Deleted Mailbox in Exchange 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007

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The Exchange Server allows clients to access & make changes in data files from the client side but sometime it may happen that unknowingly you remove or delete your mailbox from Exchange Server. Thus, it creates a drastic situation where you have lost all your important emails by this act.  So, in this article we will discuss about how to retrieve deleted mailbox in Exchange with easy manual as well as automated solutions.

retrieve deleted mailbox

What Happens When Exchange Mailboxes are Deleted?

When email-enabled user account is deleted from Exchange’s Active Directory or if the mailbox is deleted using Exchange Management console, then the deleted mailbox is retained as a disconnected mailbox. This is in accordance with the mailbox retention settings. The users can reconnect the mailbox to the original or another account if it is necessary to recover deleted emails in Exchange.

Important Points to be Noted to Retrieve Deleted Mailbox in Exchange

  1. The mailboxes which have been deleted can or cannot appear as a “disconnected mail” as soon as they have been deleted. It can take about 15 minutes or an hour before the mailbox is marked as disconnected. If it still not appear then it is a different issue & users need to look for an alternative solution to recover deleted emails in Exchange 2016.
  2. Sometimes, make sure to connect a disconnected mailbox with a user account but only, if the account does not have a mailbox associated with it already.

How to Connect a Disconnected Mailbox to Restore Deleted Emails

To retrieve deleted mailbox in Exchange the disconnected Exchange server mailbox can easily be connected in different ways. There are different methods like: Exchange Management Console (EMC) for Exchange 2007 & 2010, Exchange Management Shell (EMS) in Exchange Server (All versions), Exchange Admin Center (EAC) for Exchange 2013 & 2016 and also with the help of any third-party recovery software.

Step1: Connecting Disconnected Mailbox with EMC in Exchange 2007 & 2010 

Use EMC method to retrieve deleted mailbox in Exchange 2007 & 2010. Execute certain steps which are stated below:

  • Open EMC.
  • In the EMC prompt box, expand the Recipient Configuration node. Then click the Disconnected Mailbox list present under it.
  • Right-click on the mailbox which has to be retrieved & then click on Connect.
  • Now, choose the ‘Mailbox Type’ in the connect mailbox prompt & click on next.
  • Choose Existing User from the mailbox setting & then tab the Browse button.
  • Now, from the Select User prompt choose the user account to which the mailbox has been connected. Click OK
  • In the following Alias box add your mailbox name. Then click Next.

Thus, in this way user can connect with the disconnected mailbox to recover deleted mailbox.


  1. This is the in-built utility so users are not required to make efforts to go for it.
  2. Free of cost


  1. Time consuming task
  2. Requires Technical Knowledge

Step2: Connecting Disconnected Mailbox Using EMS

There is an another way to connect disconnected mailbox to retrieve deleted mailbox in Exchange (All versions supported) is by using EMS method. Here, the users need to use Set-Mailbox. The following is the syntax:

Connecting Disconnected Mailbox Using EMS

By using these syntax the user can connect with the disconnected mailboxes to restore deleted emails in Exchange.


  1. Free utility, thus users don’t have to make an extra effort to look for it
  2. Available at zero pricing


  1. Does not give 100% accurate results
  2. Requires experience to execute the process, as it is lengthy & time-consuming also

Step3: Using Exchange Administrative Center (EAC) in Exchange 2013 & 2016

The following method works by connecting the disabled mailbox to a user account. The below mentioned steps will guide you to connect a disabled user mailbox to retrieve deleted mailbox. With the help of this method you can also connect ‘linked mailboxes’ & disconnect ‘shared mailboxes’ again to the account of the user.

  • Open EAC, go to Recipient then to Mailboxes
  • Click on More options & then on Connect mailbox option, all the disconnected mailboxes in the Exchange will be shown. The disconnected mailboxes includes disabled mailboxes, deleted mailboxes & soft deleted mailboxes.
  • Now, click on the disconnected mailbox & then click on the connect tab
  • Click on the Yes option to reconnect

Step4: Use Third Party Utility to Retrieve Deleted Mailboxes

The another way in which user can retrieve deleted mailbox in Exchange Server is by using third-party utility i.e Exchange Recovery software. This software is capable to recover corrupt EDB file in Exchange easily & efficiently. However, it is the difficult task to select the best one from the bulk of software available in the market. To make the task easy for the user it is suggested that the user can use Exchange Recovery tool by SysTools to easily recover deleted emails.


  • The software supports to recover deleted emails from Exchange mailboxes
  • Repairs Exchange private & public folder and even STM files
  • Recover EDB mailboxes to Live Exchange Server, MS Outlook & Office 365
  • Supports dismounted & offline EDB file recovery
  • Maintains folder structure during Exchange Recovery
  • Allows to export by category: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Journals & Notes
  • Feature to apply File naming conventions to save Exchange emails in HTML, PDF, MSG & EML.



There is no doubt that the manual methods such as using EMC & EMS do exist to retrieve deleted mailbox. However, it is clear from the above comparison of these manual methods with third-party Exchange Recovery tool that the latter is more convenient to restore deleted emails in Exchange 2016. Thus you can use the software & move ahead with the recovery procedure.

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