Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Public Folder Migration Guide From On-Premises Exchange 2007+ to Office 365 < 20GB Hybrid mode

Last Update: 7/21/2017 11:34 AM
This article has been moved to our new Help Center. Please update your bookmarks.

​​​​Public Folder Migration Guide From On-Premises Exchange 2007+ to Office 365 < 20GB Hybrid mode

Important: When you sign in to MigrationWiz, you are redirected to the Getting Started page in MSPComplete. To get to a migration project created before April 4,​ 2017, click the Go to Projects button on the Getting Started Page. To create a new project for the migration scenario documented in this article, click the waffle icon (waffle.png) in the top navigation bar of MSPComplete, and select the appropriate migration product.


  • This is the complete Onboarding Task flow for migrating Public Folders from On-Premises Exchange 2007 or later, to Public Folders on Office 365, with a hybrid deployment.
  • This guide presumes that your Office 365 tenant and users, with SKUs assigned, have already been created. It also presumes that the hybrid environment has already been set up, with DirSync or Azure AD Connect, and ADFS.
  • Set users on Office 365 to access legacy on-premises Public Folders and if migrating the on-premises Public Folders to Office 365,  configure the admin account to look at Office 365 folders by default while all other users look at on-premises Public Folders.

  • Once migration is complete, configure Office365 users to access Office365 Public Folders:

  • This guide should be followed if the total size of the Source Public Folders is less than 20GB. If the Source Public Folders are larger than 20GB, refer to KB005905.
  • Complete each step in order. If additional instructions are required, a link to a corresponding KB article is provided.
  • Estimate of migration speed = 500MB per hour. If total size of Public Folders = 12GB, then project should complete in 24 hours.
  • If you experience throttling limits when migrating to Office 365, and if you are migrating more than 1000 seats, you can increase throttling limits by following guidance provided in How to increase EWS throttling limits​.​

Prepare Source Environment

  • Set elevated 'Organization Management' admin role to migrating admin account (this grants permission to all necessary read-only fields). KB004788
  • Ensure migrating admin account has permission on all public folders (owner access rights need to be permitted to the account being used for migration). KB005103
  • Split up large public folders​. If any public folders contain more than 20,000 items (if Source = Exchange 2007), or 100,000 items (if Source = Exchange 2010 or later), these should be split into multiple Public Folders. This will speed up your migration. KB005526

Prepare Destination Environment

  • Change Organization Configuration to use public folders on Office 365 (this step must be completed before any public folder mailboxes can be created on Office 365, when running in hybrid mode). KB005464
  • Create public folders mailbox and assign root permissions to this public folders​ mailbox to the admin account being used for migration.KB005069 Video
  • Revert Organization Configuration to remote (this restores access to the on-premises public folders, for the Office 365 users). KB005464
  • Configure the admin account, being used for migration, to look at Office 365 folders by default, while all other Office 365 users look at on-premises public folders​ (this is required for migration). KB005102

MSPComplete Steps

  • Create customer. KB005421
  • Create Source and Destination endpoints (select Exchange Server Public Folder  for the source endpoint, and Office 365 for the destination endpoint). KB005427
  • Launch public folder migration (select All Products/Public Folder Migration).​

MigrationWiz Steps

  • Set up the Project (create a Public Folder project/Name project and select the MSPComplete customer/Select Source endpoint/Select Destination endpoint).
  • Add Public Folders (select Add/Quick Add and enter a forward slash ( / ) within the field labeled Root Folder Path. This is recommended, because it will migrate all Public Folders, and you will only need one Public Folder license per 10GB of data, regardless of the number of top-level Public Folders. If you use AutoDiscover and import Public Folders, each top-level folder will consume one Public Folder license). KB004914
  • Set Project Advanced Options. KB004834
    • Set value for Licensing/Maximum licenses to consume per item per pass licensing count (default value = 1. This allows up to 10GB to be migrated. For example: If migrating all Public Folders, using a forward slash ( / ), and the total data size = 39GB, increase this value to 4, otherwise the migration will pause at 10GB). KB004890
    • Add RemoveFilterBasedOnFolderType=1 under Support/Support options. This flag is required if Public Folders contain items other than mail, such as calendar and contact items. KB005053
    • Set Preferred BitTitan Data Center (for fastest migration speeds, select the Data Center that is closest to your Office 365 Destination tenant). KB004268
  • Run verify credentials. KB004511
  • Purchase Public Folder licenses. KB004647
    • To obtain an estimate of the number of Public Folder migration licenses required for your migration project, follow the directions in KB005791.
  • Perform Full migration pass. (Put a checkmark the box next to Root Path, select the Start button > select Full Migration from the drop-down list >click on the Start Migration button.) KB004938
  • Perform a final Full Migration pass using the Advanced Option AllowAllMailboxTypesForPFPermissions=1 in order to migrate all Security Group Permissions. If you do not run the second pass, none of the Security Group Permissions will migrate.
  • Enable the Exchange online organization to access the Office 365 Public Folders. This sets the Office 365 users to access the Public Folders on Office 365, rather than On-Premises Exchange. KB005090
  • Run DirSync, or Azure AD Connect (this synchronizes your On-Premises Exchange and Office 365 environments).
  • Mail-enable Office 365 Public Folders. MS TechNet article

    • Change mail -nabled addresses for all Public Folders on Office 365 to be the vanity domain name, rather than the email domain name. Assign the pertinent SMTP email addresses to the mail-enabled Office 365 Public Folders using this Remote PowerShell command syntax:

      set-MailPublicFolder -Identity PFAlias -PrimarySmtpAddress –emailaddresspolicy $false
    • This extra step is required, because when Exchange hybrid is in place, MigrationWiz cannot mail-enable Public Folders with the vanity domain name, since that address is already being used by the On-Premises Exchange 2013 mail-enabled Public Folders. Therefore, MigrationWiz defaults to mail-enabling the Office 365 Public Folders with email addresses using the "" email domain.
  • If necessary, configure some or all mail-enabled Office 365 Public Folders to accept mail from external domains, using these Remote PowerShell commands: KB005468

    get-publicfolder -identity "\PFAlias" | Add-PublicFolderClientPermission -User Anonymous -AccessRights CreateItems


    get-publicfolder -recurse | Add-PublicFolderClientPermission -User Anonymous -AccessRights CreateItems

    Note: This step is important if external domains cannot send mail to the mail-enabled Public Folder email addresses.
  • Change your primary domain type in Office 365 from Authoritative to Internal Relay. KB005467

    Note: Without setting this, Office 365 bounces the message before it even checks whether a valid Public Folder address exists.
  • Perform another Full Migration (Delta) pass. Put a checkmark in the box next to Root Path, select the Start button > select Full Migration (from the drop-down list) > click on the Start Migration button). KB004938

    Note: This is important, in order to migrate any residual items that were sent to the Source Public Folders after the first migration pass began, when the Organization Configuration was set to remote, during migration.
  • Receive migration statistics (click on the pie chart on the MigrationWiz dashboard to receive an email containing all the project migration statistics). KB004626