How to Transfer Exchange Account to New User on Another Server

Earlier with Exchange 2003, database portability was a matter of concern and much deliberation must be done to transfer an Exchange account to a new user located on a new Server. The administrator must create a new DB with details about the administrative group and name of the organization written to it. This resulted in the prerequisite that the source Server should be the same as that of the target Server. If the destination Server is a lower edition, then due to database structure incompatibility, the database migration will fail.

The database move also created issues of the link being damage between the user accounts and the mailboxes. Fixing this problem manually was a complicated task. However, this problem was resolved with database mounting on Recovery Storage Group (RSG) that is in same administrative group.

With the launch of Exchange Server 2007, the process to move the Exchange database to another Server of the same edition (where computers share different names) was made possible. The good part about the Database Portability feature introduced in Exchange 2007 is mailboxes can be directly moved to a destination Server without requirement for mediators like Recovery Storage Group. Since this way of moving a mailbox database was quite a hit and convenient among users, it was continued in Exchange 2010 and 2013 too.

How to move a Mailbox Database to Another Server?

Before starting the process to transfer Exchange accounts data into a new user on another Server, there are certain prequisites that should be fulfilled.


The target Server should be assigned the "Exchange Server Administrator Role". This can be done following these procedures in the Exchange Management Console (EMC).

  1. In EMC, navigate to "Organization Configuration".
  2. In the "Action" pane, select "Add Exchange Administrator".
  3. In the page that is opened, click on the "Browse" button and then choose the users and groups that need to delegate rights. Also, choose the "Exchange Server Administrator" role.
  4. Click on the "Add" button under the section "Select the Server (s) to which this role has access". Now, add a Server to which rights must be delegated.

Step 1: From the most recent backup, restore the database files (.edb) and the transaction logs (.log) file.

Step 2: Before mounting the restored database to the target Server, it is recommended to bring the DB into a clean shutdown state. If the DB is in a dirty shutdown state, the error “Unable to mount Database” can be encountered.

First of all, to test the state of the database, use the ESEutil /mh switch. The standard command to use is:

If the state is dirty shutdown, it means the database is not detached from the transaction log file. To work around, do a soft recovery against the DB for which the checkpoint file and transaction logs are important. The syntax for recovery is:

Now again test the state of database to ensure that it is consistent and in a mountable state.

Step 3: On the target Server, create a database where the restored DB from the source Server must be moved. For this, the "New-MailboxDatabase" cmdlet can be used.

Note: Ensure that source and target Servers share the same name.

Step 4: Both the Servers, source and the target have same name that means DB can be overwritten. In order to do this, it is necessary to enable "This database can be overwritten by restore" option on the target Server.

Step 5: Now, copy the restored EDB and LOG files to the location where the new database was created in Step 3.

Step 6: To mount the database on the target Server, use the following command:

Step 7: After the mailboxes are transferred to the new database, it is important that the mailboxes should point to the new Server. For this the "Move-Mailbox -ConfigurationOnly" command can be used.

The idea of utilizing the database portability feature to transfer an Exchange account to a new user on a different Server is quite convenient and helpful to move mailboxes. With a proper backup availability, this option can be considered for migrating mailboxes to a new user account that is on a different Server of the same edition.
The methods specified above help users to manual transfer an Exchange account to a new user but if you are not very technical or a new Exchange server user then it will be difficult to follow or execute it. In this condition you need help from an expert that can help you, either the expert is human or is a third-party utility designed specially for this task. So you can read about both, for a human expert click here Paul Ryan.