How to Restore Disconnected Mailbox in Exchange Server 2016?

Summary: In this Post, We are going to know which are those scenarios when mailboxes get disconnected in Exchange server 2016 and what are the possible manual and alternative methods to restore disconnected mailboxes in exchange server 2016, Read on to know more.

In Exchange Server 2016, When exchange 2016 disconnected mailbox not showing and you wish to restore Disconnected Mailbox in Exchange Server 2016 considering different scenarios. First, you may want to reconnect it to the same Active Directory user account; next, you may want it to connect to a different Active Directory user account; further, you may want to restore it to a newly created mailbox, or you may want to convert your mailbox to a linked mailbox associated with your account that is outside the forest in which your Exchange Server resides.

Ways to restore disconnected mailbox in Exchange Server 2016 

When it comes to restoring or reconnecting disconnected mailbox that is either deleted or exchange 2016 disable mailbox, there are two ways by which you can do that in Exchange Server 2016.

Note: You can also restore Exchange mailboxes with help of Windows Server Backup.

The two ways are as follows:

1. Using Exchange Administrative Center (EAC) or the Connect-mailbox cmdlet – This method works by connecting the disabled or disconnected mailbox to a user account.

(i) Using EAC The following steps show the way to connect a disabled user mailbox. You can also reconnect disabled ‘linked mailboxes’ and disabled ‘shared mailboxes’ to the account of the user.

(a) In the EAC of Exchange Server, go to Recipients > Mailboxes.

(b) Click on the More….option and then on Connect a mailbox option. With this, all the disconnected mailboxes in the Exchange Server will be displayed.   Note: The disconnected mailboxes include disabled mailboxes, deleted mailboxes, and soft-deleted mailboxes.

(c) Click on the disconnected mailbox and then on the Connect tab to reconnect.

(d) Click on the Yes option in the window that enquires whether you are sure about reconnecting the mailbox.

(ii) Using the Shell – Here, to connect a disabled mailbox to a user account you would have to use the Connect-Mailbox cmdlet in the Shell. Also, you would have to specify the mailbox type that you are reconnecting to. The syntaxes for reconnecting ‘user’, ‘linked’, and ‘shared’ mailboxes have been shown in the sections below:


syntaxThe above syntax with example connects a ‘user mailbox.’ Here, the parameters ‘Identity’ and ‘User’ specifies the disconnected mailbox in the Exchange database and Active Directory user account respectively to reconnect the mailbox.



The above syntax with example connects a ‘linked mailbox.’ Here, the ‘Identity’, ‘LinkedMasterAccount’, and ‘Alias’ parameters specify the following: the disconnected mailbox in the Exchange database, Active Directory user account in the account forest that you wish to reconnect the mailbox, and alias. Alias is a part of the email address on the left side of the @ symbol for the mailbox that is reconnected.



The above syntax with example connects a shared mailbox.

Note – If the Alias parameter is not included when the Connect-Mailbox cmdlet is run, the value specified in the ‘User’ or ‘LinkedMasterAccount’ parameter is used to create the email address alias for the reconnected mailbox.

2. Using New-MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet – This method works by merging the data of the disabled mailbox with an existing mailbox. The New-MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet uses the Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) to restore the mailbox of Exchange Server.

Now, to create a mailbox restore request, you would have to use the display name, legacy distinguished name (DN), or mailbox GUID of the mailbox that has been deleted. To display the values of the DisplayName, LegacyDN, and MailboxGuid properties for the deleted mailbox to be restored you need to use the Get-MailboxStatistics cmdlet. For instance, to return this information for all disabled, deleted, or disconnected mailboxes in your organization you would have to run the command stated below:


An example to restore deleted mailbox: 

syntax4Explanation – With the above command, you will be able to restore the deleted mailbox to the target mailbox ‘Debra Garcia.’ Here, the deleted mailbox that was located on the MBXDB01 mailbox database is identified by the ‘SourceStoreMailbox’ parameter. The ‘AllowLegacyDNMismatch’ parameter is used to restore the source mailbox to a different mailbox. The mailbox should be one that does not have legacy DN value that is same.

Note – These are manual methods.

Points to Note Before Beginning to Restore Mailboxes Using the Manual Methods

The points that you should remember before you start restoring disconnected mailbox in Exchange Server 2016 using EAC or the Connect-mailbox cmdlet and New-MailboxRestoreRequest cmdlet are as follows:

  • You need to have permissions for performing the restore process.
  • Verify that the disconnected mailbox that you want to connect a user account to is present in the mailbox database and is not a mailbox that has been soft-deleted.

Advantages Associated with Above Two Manual Methods

  • Free-of-cost
  • Genuine as suggested by Microsoft


  • Requires technical know-how
  • Lengthy and tedious
  • Complex

3. Using Third-Party Software – Users can use a third-party software to restore disconnected mailbox in Exchange Server 2016. However, the software needs to be effective and efficient enough to do so. Also, it should be intuitive so that users would not have to face issues while using it. For instance, you can use Mailbox Exchange Recovery by Stellar Data Recovery as it not only provides a user-friendly interface but is also a Do-it-yourself software with which you can successfully restore disconnected mailbox in Exchange Server.

The other benefits that it can provide are as follows:

  • Repairs corrupt EDB files and restore the mailbox data as MS Outlook PST file
  • Exports restored mailboxes to Live Exchange Server or Office 365
  • Searches specific emails in the repaired EDB database file of Exchange Server
  • Saves in different file formats such as PST, MSG, EML, RTF, HTML, and PDF
  • Supports Exchange Server 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and up to 5.5

Advantages of Using Stellar Repair for Exchange

  • Requires few clicks
  • Automatic and quick
  • Genuine and authentic
  • Does not require technical expertise

Disadvantages of Using Stellar Repair for Exchange

  • NA

Rating by MVP:


Steps to restore disconnected mailbox with the help of the software:

  • First, download Stellar Repair for Exchange Software.

exchange recovery

  • Select ‘EDB’ file and Click ‘Next’ button.

select edb file

  • Now Select the scan mode from ‘Select Scan Mode’ option and Click ‘OK’.

Select scan mode

  • Check the preview of disconnected mailboxes.

  • Click ‘Save’ and select ‘PST’ file type & destination location.
  • Congratulations, your recovered mailboxes has been saved at your specified location.


Now that you are aware of several ways using which you can restore disconnected Mailbox in Exchange Server 2016, you can use the one with which you are comfortable. However, as the advantages offered by the third-party tool, Stellar Repair for Exchange outweighs the advantages offered by the manual ways, it is recommended that you use the former.

  1. Trystan September 27, 2018
  2. Roman June 27, 2018
    • Eric Simson June 29, 2018
  3. Kelton June 21, 2018
    • Eric Simson June 22, 2018
  4. Gavin July 25, 2017
    • Eric Simson July 26, 2017

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