Exchange 2013 Public Folder Management – Part 1

In this blog series we will be exploring the Next Generation Public Folder. Yes, that’s Public Folder in Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.

Managing public folder was always a pain area for almost all Administrators if they are involved in Migration project.

Rumors were made that Microsoft will move public folder to SharePoint or public folder will be removed completely from next version of exchange.

With the release of Exchange Server 2013 Public Folder has got a new face. The design has changed. The way Public Folder use to work for so many years has changed. Public Folder database is now Known as Mailbox Database.

So what is there for us. Lets Explore.

  • No Public Folder Database.
  • High Availability with Dag.
  • Office 365 Users can now have Public Folders.
  • Public Folders are now created inside Public Folder Mailboxes.

How to create Public Folders.

First we have to create Public Folder Mailboxes.


Figure 1.1 : Location to select for creating first public folder mailboxes


Figure 1.2 : New Public Folder Mailbox

In figure 1.2 Name can be any name of your choice and OU can be created if required to store Public Folder Mailboxes. Mailbox Database can also be created to store only PF Mailbox.


Figure 1.3 : Mailbox Created

In figure 1.3 Mailbox is created and this will be considered as Primary Hierarchy.


Figure 1.4 : Multiple PF Mailboxes.

Once mailboxes are created we can now start creating public folders for clients.

These mailboxes are disabled by default and cannot be accessed by end users. Recommended is to keep them disabled and on a dedicated OU.


Figure 1.5 : Disabled Public Folder Mailboxes.


Figure 2.1 : Creating New Public Folder using EAC.


Figure 2.2 : Creating Folder using EAC.

In Figure 2.2 we can create folder using EAC, however if we want to create PF for Secondary Mailboxes then we have to use Shell.


Figure 2.3 : Creating Folder using Shell

In Figure 2.3 we have created Public Folder for remaining mailboxes.


Figure 2.4 : Public Folder Path and Content Mailbox Name

We have created three Public Folder Mailboxes and each mailbox has a Public Folder. If we go back in Exchange Server 2003 we had an option to create Mapi and Non Mapi Tree. Mapi tree was accessible in both Outlook and Outlook Web Access. However Non Mapi Tree was accessible only via OWA. Those options were removed in Exchange Server 2007 and 2010.

In Exchange Server 2013 whole new concept has been introduced. The idea was to link Public Folder Mailboxes so that they can see the Folders which is created for that particular mailboxes.

How to link the mailbox. Type the below command.


Figure 2.5 : Linking the Mailboxes with Public Folder Mailboxes


Figure 2.6 : Linked all mailboxes.

Now that we have three Public Folder mailboxes in our scenario and those three mailboxes are linked with three different user Mailboxes. This will help the users to see only those folders which is created in that Public Folder Mailbox.

Wonderful concept. Public Folder is now easily manageable. Provided they are migrated without any hassles.

In the next part series we will learn how to set permission and other configuration to make public folder a better place to store shared data.

If you would like to go to next part then please click below

Exchange 2013 Public Folder Management – Part 2

Happy Learning


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6 Responses to Exchange 2013 Public Folder Management – Part 1

  1. Dave says:

    Thank you for the good article as I have found little on Exchange 2013 public folders. Though I have followed your article as well as many others I seem to be failing or missing something to get my public folders to work. I get the following message when trying to open public folders from the outlook client “The set of folders cannot be opened. Microsoft exchange server is not available. There are network problems or the exchange server is down for maint” I just closed a case with Microsoft for client connectivity with my WinXP clients as seems that you have to change settings in the registry to make them connect. I am now fighting this issue and cannot move forward with a migration until public folders are working. This is a new network installation and no other exchange servers are in the environment. I have a godaddy cert though internally it is complaining that the name on the cert is invalid or does not match the name of the site. I am know this must be fixed but could it be causing my issue with my public folders? Would anyone have any other suggestions to make these work as I would appreciate the info. I also followed another great article – and still I have no access to my public folders. Thank you in advance.

  2. Sunder says:

    @ Dave,
    Ensure that the PF are properly linked with user mailboxes. How many PF mailbox you have created?

  3. Dave says:

    Thanks for the reply Sunder. At present, I have only one. I followed the article to the tee in this post and had created the 3 public folder mailboxes and checked my work. After much frustration I started over and created only one which I still have at this time. I then created two public folders and verified they were linked to the Masterhierarchy public folder mailbox through some of the EMS examples given in this article. Still I get the connection error stated in my post. I did however come across an article last night stating there was a hotfix for outlook 2010 clients which is what we are using. I will call MS tomorrow to get access to this hotfix and give it a try. As well, I modified my godaddy cert and added the name of the exchange server and will re-apply this as well. My original cert had the FQDN of the exchange server and I noted that I had a cert error when connecting to my OWA internally stating a name mis-match so thought I would give this a try as well. Though I think I have a good plan in place I have been struggling with this issue for about a month now and appreciate someone else’s input on what they think the issue could be and maybe point me in the right direction. Happy to give more info if needed. Dave

  4. Deby says:

    Hi Sunder,
    I have apply for this public folder in exchange 2013, i found the strength result after I apply for this Public folder,
    after i create 1 mailbox public folder and I have testing in OWA and outlook client 2013, all user whose not apply to public folder can posting and read public folder, is it default permission after create public folder, all users can see the posting and reply the posting.


  5. Paul says:

    just wanted to thank you for this article! although there are a bunch of tutorials out there, none of them got into the defaultpublicfoldermailbox information through the cmdlets. that was the piece my server was missing and once I was able to set this value on a mailbox user the public folders were able to be shown in Favorites>AddPublicFolder

  6. Dennis says:

    Gd one