Home > Exchange Migrations, Exchange Server > Manually move Exchange public folder data to SharePoint

Manually move Exchange public folder data to SharePoint

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Despite advising customers to migrate public folder data to SharePoint, Microsoft hasn’tsupplied any tools to automate the process. And although there are a number of third-partyutilities on the market, tight budgets can make acquiring these utilities difficult. Fortunately,small- and medium-sized businesses can manually move public folder data to SharePoint without thehelp of third party.

Public folders contain different data types — messages, calendar items, contacts and tasks. Howyou migrate content depends on the type of data you’re moving. This tip gives the specific stepsfor migrating Exchange message data.

Step 1. Creating a .pst file for public folder content
You need to start by moving all your public folder content to one or more .pst files. If you’reusing Outlook 2010, be aware that the option to create .pst files is hidden; go tothe ribbon’s Home tab and click New Item. Choose the More Items option, then selectOutlook Data File (Figure 1).

The option to create a .pst file in Outlook 2010 is hidden

Figure 1. The option to create a .pst file is hidden beneath the New Items -> More Itemsmenu in Outlook 2010.

Step 2. Moving public folder content to the .pst file
After you’ve created the .pst file, click on Outlook’s folder icon to display all availablefolders. Next, copy your public folder data to the .pst file. At this point, you’re notactually moving the public folder data to the .pst file. Public folders should remain intactuntil the entire process is complete. That way, if something goes wrong during the migrationprocess, you won’t lose important data.

To copy public folder data to the .pst file, go to your public folder and select all of itscontents. Next, right-click on the data and choose the Move -> Copy to Folder option(Figure 2). When prompted, choose the .pst file that you created. Outlook will copy all of the datafrom the public folder into the .pst file so that both contain identical copies of your data.

Make sure to copy public folder data instead of moving it.

Figure 2. Copy public folder data to the .pst file instead of moving it.

  • Although you can copy multiple public folders to a single .pst file, creating a separate .pstfile for each folder is easier to organize. Once you’ve made a copy of all public folder data, takethe public folder database offline to prevent users from adding content to the folders.
  • Step 3. Migrating public folder content from the .pst file to SharePoint
    After creating a copy of your public folder data, you can migrate it from the .pst file toSharePoint. Begin by opening a browser window and navigating to your SharePoint document library.Note: If you want to put public folder data into subfolders within the document library,you should create those subfolders at this point. 

    SharePoint document libraries are viewed within a Web browser, which means that the library’slocation is displayed within the browser’s address bar as a URL. You must convert this URL intouniversal naming convention (UNC) format. For example, the URL for the document library on my labserver is http://sharepoint.lab.com/Shared%Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx

    After converting it to UNC format, the URL becomes \\sharepoint.lab.com\Shared Documents. Thenyou can map a drive letter to it (Figure 3).

  • Map a drive letter to your SharePoint document library

Figure 3. Map a drive letter to your SharePoint document library.

  • How to map drives to SharePoint
    If you have trouble mapping a drive to your SharePoint document library, there are a couple ofthings you can do: 

    • Use your SharePoint server’s fully qualified domain name (FQDN) in the drive mapping. When Iused the computer name (SharePoint, instead of SharePoint.lab.com), I mapped a drive,but the drive appeared empty.
    • I used Windows Vista for this process because I couldn’t get it to work with Windows 7, as shownin Figure 3. This is because a default SharePoint 2010 deployment isn’t running WebDAV.
    • Step 4. Completing the public folder migration
      The final step is to drag data from the .pst file into the mapped network drive. Don’t forget totake into account any applicable subfolders within the network drive. As you can see in Figure 4,the .pst file remains intact after the migration.
    • Your .pst file has remained intact after migration

    Figure 4. The .pst file has remained intact after the migration.

This brings up an interesting point. Why did we even create a .pst file? Doing so gives yourpublic folder data an extra level of protection. I also chose to use a .pst file because themigration to SharePoint can take some time. Creating a .pst file allows you to keep the publicfolder database offline during the SharePoint migration, which prevents users from modifying thedata.

The .pst data should appear within the SharePoint document library (Figure 5).

You must refreshyour Web browser to display items.

Your public folder data has been moved to SharePoint

Figure 5. Your public folder data has now been migrated to SharePoint.

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  1. December 1, 2012 at 3:10 am

    The dates are wrong. Metadata is missing.

  2. reza
    December 6, 2012 at 4:52 am

    hi mate,
    Thanks for nice advice but can you tell how to fill the metadata in SharePoint?
    I made the document library an incoming email and I have the field “to, from, subject , …”
    when drag them to SharePoint it copy the file but not metadata.
    thanks for help.

  3. David
    February 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

    I received an error: “The file type being saved or retrieved has been blocked.”
    Any idea?

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  7. David Leuise
    October 29, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Excellent article, I have read this article related to manually move exchange public folder data to SharePoint. This is the best way for migrating exchange public folder data by step-by-step instructions. I’ve found good Public Folders to Sharepoint migration tool from http://www.lepide.com/lepidemigratordocuments/ that helps to move exchange public folder content with emails, contacts, files and folder to SharePoint Server and provide facilitate to generate CSV files for bulk content migration.

  1. May 16, 2012 at 10:45 am

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