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Add database copy Exchange 2016

After you set up the Database Availability Group (DAG), you want to add a database copy to the mailbox databases. When you update Exchange Server or when it fails for any reason, the mailbox databases will stay active. In this article, you will learn how to add database copy in Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019.


When you add a copy of a mailbox database, continuous replication is automatically enabled between the existing database and the database copy. Database copies are automatically assigned an identity in the format of <DatabaseName>\<HostMailboxServerName>.

For example, a copy of the database DB01 that’s hosted on the server EX01-2016 would be DB01\EX01-2016. For more information, read mailbox database copies.

Before you start to add mailbox database copies, you have to create a DAG.

Add mailbox database copy in Exchange Admin Center

Log into Exchange Admin Center. Go to servers > databases. In this example, there are four mailbox databases mounted on the Exchange Server EX01-2016. You can see that the servers with copies show the same Exchange Server hostname as the one it’s active on. It means that database copy is not configured on all of them.

Mailbox databases servers with copies

Select the database that you want to add the database copy on. For example, mailbox database DB01. Click the more icon in the toolbar and click on Add database copy.

Disable circular logging before you proceed. Otherwise, you get an error.

Add database copy

Click Browse.

Add mailbox database copy browse

Select the Exchange Server. In this example, it’s EX02-2016. Click OK.

Select Exchange Server

Click Save.

Finish add mailbox database copy wizard

The operation will start creating the mailbox database and mailbox database log files on the Exchange Server that you specified.

Seeding mailbox database copy

The operation did complete successfully. Click Close.

Mailbox database copy succesfully completed

Click the refresh button in the toolbar or refresh the page. The servers with copies column show that the mailbox database copy is on Exchange Server EX01-2016 and EX02-2016. The mailbox database is active on EX01-2016.

Mailbox database copy added

Add mailbox database copy to multiple mailbox databases

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to select all the mailbox databases in Exchange Admin Center and add a database copy. The option Add mailbox database, which we did see in the previous step, is not present.

Add database copy missing

You can use PowerShell to add database copy for all the mailbox databases that do not have a mailbox database copy configured.

Run Exchange Management Shell as administrator. Make use of the Get-MailboxDatabase cmdlet. List the mailbox databases that do not have the mailbox database copy on the Exchange Server EX02-2016.

Add mailbox database copy to all the mailbox databases which are not configured.

Confirm that the servers with copies show the Exchange Server that you specified in the command.

Servers with copies added

You successfully did add a mailbox database copy in Exchange Server 2016.

Read more: Exchange database best practices »


In this article, you learned how to add a database copy in Exchange 2016. Add the mailbox database copies for each mailbox database on the other Exchange Server. If you need to add database copies for multiple mailbox databases, use PowerShell to simplify the task.

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ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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