How to Migrate from Exchange 2010 to 2016?

Summary: Exchange server migration is a complex process. However, with the help of this guide, you can easily migrate Exchange 2010 to 2016 through coexistence. The guide helps you migrate mailboxes and data from online and offline or dismounted databases without disrupting the email services.

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 to Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration, this guide will 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.

Exchange 2016 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 Exchange 2010 to Server 2013 or 2016 and then decommission the Exchange Server 2010 before installing the 2019 version.

Exchange 2010 to Exchange 2016 Migration Checklist

Apart from the operating system, compatible emailing platforms, and hardware requirements, integration between Exchange 2016 and 2010 platforms is required for successful migration.

It is vital to have Exchange 2010 RU11 or a later version 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 fulfill the minimum requirements.

Why Migrate Exchange 2010 to 2016?

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 Exchange 2010 to 2016 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 an ISO file instead of EXE files that are self-extracting.

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

  • Improved email experience with an 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 analyzed through calendar events, loading messages, contacts, start-ups, pop-outs, a reading pane, switching folders, search, etc.
  • An all-new OWA action pane 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 Flag’s mark the 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, various other features 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 you upgrade Exchange 2010 to 2016 and move the mailboxes. First, you have to install the new server with Exchange Server 2016 and all the updates.

Next, you must install the required 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 Exchange 2010 to 2016 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.’
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.

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.
Move the primary mailbox and the archive mailbox if one exists
  • Enter the user details to which mailbox move reports are to be sent.
  • If you want to migrate mailboxes automatically, select Automatically start the batch. Also, select ‘Automatically complete the migration batch’ under the 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 the preferred 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 the details pane.
  • Next, click on Recipients, 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.
View details for migration batches status

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 the 2010 version. The last thing is to disjoin the server from Active Directory, and the server can be turned off and decommissioned.

This completes the Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration process.


This guide on Exchange 2010 to 2016 migration would help you in the smooth migration process. However, some unforeseen issues may arise during the migration that may corrupt the database or hold you from moving the mailboxes to a new server. There may be issues with the 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 an ideal application that can instantly get you out of a sticky situation. The software migrates mailboxes from Exchange Server 2010 to 2016 directly. The software can extract mailboxes from both online and offline Exchange databases (.EDB files) and export them to PST and other formats. It can also export the mailboxes directly to a live Exchange environment or Office 365. As the software supports all the versions of Exchange Server, including Exchange 2019, you will not face version incompatibility issues during the migration.

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