How to Extract Files from Exchange Public Folders and save them to a Network Share

If you ever had to migrate public folders in Exchange, and wanted a way to extract these files (without doing it manually), than you have come to the right post. In this post I will show you a few easy steps, to pull all of the files from your Exchange Public Folders, and copy them to a Network Share.

This process takes a couple of steps, but will make your life easier. Public Folders in Exchange are often over utilized for company documents, documents that should reside on a Public Share, where the documents can be backed up.

For this “How to” I will be using Public Folders that are on a Exchange 2007 along with Outlook 2010.

Step 1

Export Public Folder data to a .PST

  1. Open Outlook 2010 while connected to your Exchange environment. It is best done as an administrator, so that you can export everything from the folder.
  2. Click File > Open > Import

  3. The first dialog of the Import and Export wizard will appear. Select Export to a file > Next.

  4. In the next wizard dialog, Select Outlook Data File (pst) > Next.

  5. The Export Outlook Data File box will appear.

    Note: To export Public Folders, scroll down to select the public folders from the list (see the example below). Select Include Subfolders > Next.

  6. Browse to the location where you would like to save the file. Click Finish.

  7. A password is not required and may be left blank. Click OK. (I usually skip this step).

  8. Depending on how many documents that you have, this export can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on how your users have abused this feature.

Step 2

Next we will need a free product from Nirsoft called OutlookAttachView.

You can download this from the above hyperlink.

  1. Download the version that you need either 32bit or 64bit, in this example i used the 64bit, as I had 64bit Outlook 2010
  2. Open Outlook 2010 and add the newly created Public Folder .PST to your Outlook client. Instructions for adding a .PST to Outlook 2010.
  3. Extract the files you downloaded from Nirsoft.outlookattachview
  4. Run the OutlookAttachView Application.outlookattachview1You will see several options, for this demonstration, I’ve left the defaults. Click Next
  5. After a while you will be given a list of files that have been discovered in the PublicFolders.PST that you created. This screenshot was taken after a few seconds of running the application, but the scan could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the number of files stored in your Public Folders.outlookattachview2
  6. Select the files you wish to export to a folder or mapped Network Share.outlookattachview3
  7. Select the Copy Selected Attachments To button, and select your options.outlookattachview5
  8. Depending on how many files you have, the export can take anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes. I had right around 3600 documents in this set of Public Folders and the export took 10 minutes.
  9. Bask in the Glory of being able to extract files that were once locked inside of Exchange Public Folders, and move them to the appropriate Network Share where they belong!

ALTERNATIVELY, you can also use the PublicFolders.PST, to Re-Import your existing public folders into a New Exchange server. I do not like Public Folders, therefor I chose this route. Simply Attach the .PST to your outlook client and copy the folders from the .PST to your Exchange Public Folders. I advise against this, as you have more control over a Network Share and have better options for backing up the documents.

I sent a series of emails to my end users, explaining that I was removing documents from the Public Folders, and re-locating them to a Network Share. Once the emails were sent out, I deleted ALL of the Public Folders, and left a note for them to check for the Network Share that is now on all of their computers. (I added a Public Folder share to all users using a login script, deployed via Group Policy).

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