Ask the Expert

How to view email queued in Exchange Server for download to Microsoft Outlook

I'm new to Exchange Server and I wanted to learn more about how and where email is queued in Exchange Server on Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 before it's downloaded to Microsoft Outlook 2003.

When I configure an end user's email account, I open Microsoft Outlook 2003 and go to Tools -> Email Accounts -> Add New Email Account -> Microsoft Exchange Server. Then I type in the server name and username (that I want to configure the mailbox for).

It sounds easy enough, but I was wondering if there is somewhere in Exchange System Manager (ESM) where I can view everyone's mailbox individually. From what I understand, priv1.edb is the database that holds all mailboxes and email, but this cannot be opened.

Is there a place on the server where I can view email messages waiting to be downloaded into Microsoft Outlook? I am trying to find out where the email goes after the sender hits send but before it reaches the recipient's mailbox. Any light you can shed on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

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Yes, you can look at mailboxes in a mailbox store in Exchange System Manager. Go to your Exchange server -> Storage Group -> Mailbox Store -> Mailboxes. This displays the mailbox name, who logged on to the mailbox last, last logon and logoff times, mailbox size (in KB) and total number of items in a mailbox.

You can also customize the display if you click on Mailboxes under Mailbox Store -> View -> Add/Remove Columns, and add other fields like Deleted Items (KB), Disconnect Time, Storage Limits, et al.

You cannot, however, view mailbox content.

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Related information from

  • Tip: How to create filtered mailbox views in Exchange Server 2007
  • 15 tips in 15 minutes: Managing recipients and distribution lists
  • Crash Course: A tour of Exchange System Manager
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server mailbox management
  • This was first published in June 2007

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