Ask the Expert

Two methods for recovering Exchange Server public folder data


Can an Exchange Server public folder or Exchange Server public folder data be recovered through Deleted Item Retention, or is there another way to recover Exchange Server public folder info other than a brick-level backup? Currently, I have Deleted Item Recovery set for seven days. Deleted Mailbox Recovery is set for 30 days. Does this only address the private store?

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Exchange Server public folders can also be recovered through Deleted Item Retention. If you delete an Exchange public folder item, you can go to the public folder and click Tools -> Recover Deleted Items. If you have deleted an entire folder, you can select the parent folder and use Recover Deleted Items.

Deleted items can be recovered by the user who deleted them.

If recovery of a deleted Exchange public folder fails because of a permissions issue, you can use Microsoft's PFDAVAdmin utility. If Deleted Item Retention has been configured on the public store, you will see the deleted folders appear in red. Right click on the one you want to recover and choose the option to recover it.


Bharat, you are the best. Your advice helped me recover a very important item from an Exchange Server public folder; I didn't need to restore the entire public folder database looking for it. Thanks.
—Mohsen A.

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Related information from

  • Expert Advice: Recovering a deleted public folder subfolder
  • FAQ: Exchange public folders
  • Learning Center: A primer on Exchange public folders
  • Learning Guide: An administrator's guide to Exchange public folders
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server public folder management
  • This was first published in June 2006

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