How to Migrate from Exchange 2010 to 2016

Exchange Server 2016 offers many impressive features such as reliability, architecture, mobility, simplicity, improved emailing features, and cloud approach. If you are looking forward for Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration, this guide would help you in the migration process.

Coexistence is important to consider when doing an upgrade. Exchange Server 2010 can directly be migrated to Exchange Server 2016. It is the last Exchange version to which you can directly migrate MS Exchange 2010 mailboxes by using integrated migration features. For migrating to Exchange Server 2019 from Exchange Server 2010, among other things, you need to first migrate to Exchange Server 2013 or 2016, and then decommission the Exchange Server 2010 before installing the 2019 version.

Requirements for Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 Migration

Apart from Operating System, compatible emailing platform, and hardware requirements, integration between Exchange 2016 and 2010 platforms is required for successful migration. It is vital to have Exchange 2010 RU11 or later version in service to maintain synchronization with Exchange 2016 edition. You can access the updates on Microsoft’s official site or install the Microsoft Update (WSUS) service to fulfil the minimum requirements.

Why Migration to Exchange 2016 is Needed?

Apart from the fact that Exchange Server 2010 has reached its end-of-life and support, Exchange Server 2016 has many new features that can be a major reason for migration. These features include:

  • SHA-2 Compliance: Microsoft has updated the certificate that Outlook on the web uses. It is now SHA-2 compliant.
  • Multiple Language Support: 17 new languages have been added to Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App).
  • Enhanced Downloading: After Cumulative Update 1 (CU1), Exchange 2016 edition is available to download as ISO file instead of EXE files that are self-extracting.

The client application (Outlook on the Web) includes following new and updated features

  • Improved email experience with all new single line view of Inbox with advanced archiving, emojis, reading panel, and ability to undo mailbox actions such as moving or deleting a message.
  • Platform definite experience for both Android and iOS phones.
  • Optimized search refiners and suggestions for improved search experience that assist users in finding accurate and exact information.
  • Thirteen new themes are added with graphic design.
  • Improvement in performance can be analysed through calendar events, loading messages, contacts, start-ups, pop outs, reading pane, switching folders, search, etc.
  • An all new OWA action pane that enables users to click those actions that are commonly used such as Reply all, Delete, New, Undo, Sweep, Archive, etc.
  • Pins that allow keeping important mails on the top of the Inbox are now folder specific, and Flags mark rest of the emails as follow ups are quickly accessible.
  • Calendars are available with updated looks and revised features that include reminders for email events.

Apart from the above, there are various other features that compel medium to large-sized organizations for Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration.

Migrate Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016

There are several things to consider before moving the mailboxes from Exchange 2010. First, you have to install the new server with Exchange Server 2016 and all the updates. Next, you must install the needed certificates and set them in place. Also, ensure that the new receive and send connectors are correctly configured and tested. Lastly, update all the URLs of virtual directories such as Outlook Anywhere and OWA. If all these are correctly done, you can move to the actual mailbox migration process. The steps are as follows:

  • Launch Exchange Admin Center (EAC) and sign in with correct credentials.
  • Go to Recipients, click on Migration, and then select ‘Move to a different database’.
  • Select the ‘Select the users that you want to move’ option and then add users in the Select Mailbox window.

Note: Alternatively, you can select ‘Specify the users with a CSV file’ to migrate mailboxes in bulk.

  • Once all the users are added, click on the Next button.
  • Enter a name for move mailbox operation.
  • Click on Move the primary mailbox and the archive mailbox if one exists under Archive.
  • Click on browse to select the Target Database where the mailboxes will move on the new Exchange Server 2016, and click Next.
  • Enter the user details to which mailbox move reports are to be sent.
  • If you want to automatically migrate mailboxes, select Automatically start the batch. Also, select Automatically complete the migration batch under preferred option to complete the batch.
  • Click on New.

For Manual Batch Selection:

In case, you have selected the Manually select the batch later option available under referred option to start the batch, follow the given procedure:

  • In Recipients, click on Migration and manually select the mailbox migration batch that needs to be moved, and then click on Complete this migration batch under details pane.
  • Next, click on Recipients and then click on Migration, and check mailbox migration status in the details pane via selecting the desired migration batch.
  • Next, click on View Details, if you wish to access more detailed information.

When the migration of all databases is done, the last step is to decommission the Exchange Server 2010. However, before doing so, take care of some other things, such as:

  • Pointing the router to the new Exchange Server.
  • Pointing the external domain DNS to point to the new server if you have a different external IP address for the server.
  • Point the scanners and multifunction printers to the new server while creating the receive connector to give permissions to the devices to relay through the server.

If all the above is ready, you will need to do a smooth decommission of Exchange Server 2010 by uninstalling Exchange Server from the old server. This will clean the Active Directory and the Exchange setup from 2010 version. The last thing is to disjoin the server from Active Directory and the server can be turned off and decommissioned.


This Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration guide would help you in smooth migration process. But, during the migration, some unforeseen issues may arise that may corrupt the database or hold you from moving the mailboxes to new server. There may be issues with new server that could put the databases in a dismounted state or a bad update which could hinder your server’s health. Stellar Converter for EDB is the ideal application to keep in your pocket that can instantly get you out from a sticky situation. The software migrated mailboxes from Exchange Server 2010 to 2016 directly. The software can extract mailboxes from offline Exchange database (.EDB file) and export them to PST and other formats. It can also export emails directly to a live Exchange environment or Office 365 tenant. As the software supports all the versions of Exchange Server including Exchange 2019, you will not face version incompatibility issue during the migration.


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