Exchange 2010 – How to Recover Deleted Mailboxes

When a mail-enabled user account is deleted from Active Directory or a mailbox is deleted using the Exchange Management Console, the mailbox is retained as a disconnected mailbox according to the mailbox retention setting. You can reconnect the mailbox to the original user account or another user account if necessary.


  • Deleted mailboxes may not appear as a ‘disconnected mailbox’ immidiately . It can take 15 minutes to an hour before the mailbox is listed. If it still doesn’t appear, see: Exchange 2010 – Disconnected Mailbox not appearing
  • You can connect a disconnected mailbox to a user account only if the account doesn’t already have a mailbox associated with it.

How to Connect a Disconnected Mailbox (EMC)

To recover a deleted mailbox using the Exchange Management Console, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Exchange Management Console, expand the ‘Recipient Configuration’ node, and then select the related ‘Disconnected Mailbox’ node
  2. MSExchange2010-Disconnected2
  3. Right-click the mailbox you want to recover, and then click ‘Connect’
  4. Select the type of mailbox you are recovering and then click ‘Next’
  5. MSExchange2010-Disconnected3
  6. Select ‘Existing User’ and then click ‘Browse’
  7. Use the ‘Select User’ dialog box to select the user account to which you want to connect the mailbox, and then click ‘OK’
  8. MSExchange2010-Disconnected4
  9. Under ‘Alias’ enter the name for the mailbox. e.g. ‘tom.smith’ would become ‘[email protected]
  10. MSExchange2010-Disconnected5
  11. Click ‘Next’, and then click ‘Connect’

How to Connect a Disconnected Mailbox (EMS)

Using the Exchange Management Shell, you can recover a disconnected mailbox using the ‘Set-Mailbox’ commandlet.


Connect-Mailbox -Identity OrigMailboxIdentity
-Database DatabaseIdentity
-User NewUserIdentity
[-ActiveSyncMailboxPolicy PolicyId] [-Alias Alias]
[-DomainController DCName] [-ManagedFolderMailboxPolicy PolicyId]
[-ManagedFolderMailboxPolicyAllowed <$true | $false>]
[-Archive <$true | $false>] [-Equipment <$true | $false>]
[-Room <$true | $false>] [-Shared <$true | $false>]
[-ValidateOnly <$true | $false>]
[-LinkedCredential Credential] [-LinkedDomainController DCName]
[-LinkedMasterAccount UserId]


The following command will:

  • Recover mailbox for identity ‘Bob Builder’
  • Which belongs to database ‘MailboxDB1’
  • Username, MOCKBOX\tom.smith
  • With the alias of ‘tom.smith’
Connect-Mailbox -Identity "Tom Smith" -Database "MailboxDB1" -User "MOCKBOX\tom.smith" -Alias "tom.smith"

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