Software & Applications

Free Methods to Convert Exchange EDB to PST File

Microsoft Exchange is an enterprise email and calendaring server used by businesses and organizations worldwide. It stores user mailboxes in a database (.edb) file. However, as an Exchange or IT administrator, you may need to export data or mailboxes from the Exchange database (edb) to Outlook importable PST format for various reasons, such as,

  • Backup
  • Migration
  • Archive data

In Exchange Server, administrators can use two free methods to convert mailboxes from the Exchange database (edb) file to PST format,

  • Exchange Management Shell (EMS) in Exchange Server 2010 SP1 and later versions
  • Exchange Admin Center (EAC) in Exchange Server 2013 and later versions

In Exchange 2013 and later versions, administrators can use PowerShell cmdlets in EMS or the Exchange Admin Center to export the mailboxes to portable PST format.  

In this blog, we will discuss steps to convert Exchange EDB to PST using these free methods.

Before You begin

To export or import mailboxes in Exchange Server, you need to ensure the following,

1. Assign Mailbox Import Export Role

The Mailbox Import Export role is required to convert Exchange EDB to PST using the Exchange Management Shell or Exchange Admin Center. The role is not assigned to any user by default, including the administrator. To assign this role, you can follow these steps,

  • Open Exchange Management Shell and execute the following command,
  • New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role “Mailbox Import Export” –User “Username”
  • For instance,
  • New-ManagementRoleAssignment –Role “Mailbox Import Export” –User “administrator”

This will assign the Mailbox Import Export role to the mentioned user account.  You can verify this by executing the following command in the EMS,

Get-ManagementRoleAssignment -Role “Mailbox Import Export”

2. Create a UNC Folder

A Universal Naming Convention or UNC path is also required to save converted Exchange EDB files as PSTs. You can create a UNC path in any drive connected to the server. In this example, we will create a UNC path in the C: drive. The steps are as follow,

  • Open File Explorer, navigate to C: drive and create a new folder.
  • Right-click on the folder and choose Properties> Sharing> Advanced Sharing…
  • Click Share this folder checkbox and click Permissions> Add…
  • Find Exchange Trusted Subsystem and click OK.
  • Then find Authenticated Users and click OK to add it.
  • Select Authenticated Users and enable Change permission. Then, repeat the step for Exchange Trusted Subsystem.
  • Click Apply>OK>Apply>OK and then copy the UNC path

After assigning the Mailbox Import Export role and creating the UNC path, you can convert Exchange EDB to PST using the EMS or EAC panel. 

Steps to Convert Exchange EDB to PST Using EMS

You can use the New-MailboxExportRequest PowerShell cmdlet in EMS to convert and export mailboxes from the Exchange database (EDB) to PST format. In addition, you can add various parameters to export single or multiple mailboxes or mail items from the Exchange database file to PST format at the UNC path location. 

Export User Mailbox to PST

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox -FilePath

For instance,

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox “John” -FilePath \\IB-02\PSTExport\John.pst

Export Specific Data from a Mailbox to PST

New-MailboxExportRequest -Mailbox “John” -ContentFilter (Body -like ‘*company*) -FilePath

You can change the values in ContentFilter to export specific data.

You may also add other parameters to include or exclude specific folders. For more information, refer to this article on how to use the New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlet. 

How to Check If It Converted EDB to PST?

To check the status of all active EDB to PST conversion and export requests, execute the following command,

Get-MailboxExportRequest | Get-MailboxExportRequestStatistics

Steps to Convert Exchange EDB to PST Using EAC

To convert mailboxes from Exchange EDB file to PST via EAC, follow these steps,

  • Login to EAC as an administrator or using a user account that has permission to import and export mailboxes.
  • Then go to ‘recipients’ and choose the user mailbox you want to convert to PST.
  • Click on the More icon (three dots) and select ‘Export to a PST file.’
  • Choose the ‘Export only the contents of this mailbox’ option and click ‘Next.
  • Enter the UNC folder path you copied earlier and enter the PST file name. Click ‘Next.
  • Choose a user where an email will be sent after the mailbox from Exchange EDB is converted to PST and click ‘Finish.
  • Repeat the steps to convert and export other mailboxes from Exchange EDB to PST.


Although Microsoft Exchange Server provides free inbuilt tools to convert and export mailboxes from Exchange database (edb) to PST, they require technical expertise, permissions, and roles to work. These free tools also require manual efforts to export desired mailboxes or mail items from the Exchange database and don’t work in earlier Exchange versions. An easier and more convenient way is to use an EDB to PST Converter tool, such as Stellar Converter for EDB. The software doesn’t need any additional permissions or roles to convert EDB to PST. Also, anyone with or without any technical expertise can use the software to convert and export the mailboxes from Exchange 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, or 2019 to PST in a few clicks. You may also export the mailboxes from offline EDB directly to a live Exchange Server or Office365. 

Also Read- Shoviv Exchange Recovery Manager- Search, Import and Export Your EDB Files

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