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Move arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server

How to move arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server 2010/2013/2016/2019? I recommend you to move the arbitration mailboxes to the highest Exchange Server version in the organization. If you are installing the same version of Exchange Server, you don’t have to move the arbitration mailboxes to it.

When to move arbitration mailboxes

Arbitration mailboxes are system mailboxes that are used for storing different types of system data and for managing messaging approval workflow.

Get arbitration mailboxes in Exchange environment

Log in to the latest version of Exchange Server. For example, if you have an Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2016. Log in to Exchange Server 2016. Run Exchange Management Shell as administrator. In my example, it’s Exchange Server 2016.

Run Set-ADServerSettings cmdlet including the -ViewEntireForest parameter. It will let you view the objects in the entire forest. Get the arbitration mailboxes. The arbitration mailboxes are configured in the default mailbox database after installing Exchange Server. If you did rename the Exchange Server default mailbox database, you would see that name.

[PS] C:\>Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | Format-Table Name, ServerName, Database, AdminDisplayVersion

Name                                                ServerName Database AdminDisplayVersion
----                                                ---------- -------- -------------------
SystemMailbox{1f05a927-259d-4b29-bcd8-76469a2fb004} ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c} ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{e0dc1c29-89c3-4034-b678-e6c29d823ed9} ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136      ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
FederatedEmail.4c1f4d8b-8179-4148-93bf-00a95fa1e042 ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{D0E409A0-AF9B-4720-92FE-AAC869B0D201} ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{2CE34405-31BE-455D-89D7-A7C7DA7A0DAA} ex01-2016  DB01     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)

Find mailbox database in Exchange Server

Before moving the arbitration mailboxes, you have to check the name of the mailbox database. It’s good to check if the mailbox database is mounted. Make use of the Get-MailboxDatabase cmdlet. The -IncludePreExchange switch will return information regarding your Exchange Server version and earlier Exchange versions.

An example of what the -IncludePreExchange switch does for you:

You have Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2016 running in the organization. If you run the Get-MailBoxDatabase cmdlet from Exchange Server 2016, it will show you only the databases running in Exchange Server 2016. If you use the -IncludePreExchange switch, it will also show you the Exchange Server 2010 mailbox databases.

C:\>Get-MailboxDatabase -IncludePreExchange -Status | Sort Name | Format-Table Name, Server, Mounted, AdminDisplayVersion

Name Server    Mounted AdminDisplayVersion
---- ------    ------- -------------------
DB01 EX01-2016    True Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
DB02 EX01-2016    True Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
DB03 EX01-2016    True Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)

In the next part, you are going to move the arbitration mailboxes to another mailbox database.

Move arbitration mailboxes in Exchange to another database

You don’t have to separate the arbitration mailboxes in different mailbox databases. I recommend you to move the arbitration mailboxes to one mailbox database. In my example, the mailbox database DB02.

Read more: Create mailbox database in Exchange Server 2016 »

Moving arbitration mailboxes is the same as moving mailboxes to another database. The difference is that you use the -Arbitration parameter.

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase "DB02"

DisplayName                           StatusDetail        TotalMailboxSize            TotalArchiveSize PercentComplete
-----------                           ------------        ----------------            ---------------- ---------------
Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant WaitingForJobPickup 121.2 KB (124,156 bytes)                     0
Microsoft Exchange                    WaitingForJobPickup 518.1 KB (530,503 bytes)                     0
Microsoft Exchange                    WaitingForJobPickup 21.12 MB (22,141,001 bytes)                  0
Microsoft Exchange Migration          WaitingForJobPickup 129.7 KB (132,801 bytes)                     0
Microsoft Exchange Federation Mailbox WaitingForJobPickup 117.8 KB (120,610 bytes)                     0
E4E Encryption Store - Active         WaitingForJobPickup 120 KB (122,897 bytes)                       0
Microsoft Exchange                    WaitingForJobPickup 118.3 KB (121,093 bytes)                     0

Check the progress of the arbitration mailboxes move requests.

[PS] C:\>Get-MoveRequest | Get-MoveRequestStatistics

DisplayName                           StatusDetail    TotalMailboxSize            TotalArchiveSize PercentComplete
-----------                           ------------    ----------------            ---------------- ---------------
Microsoft Exchange                    CopyingMessages 21.36 MB (22,396,398 bytes)                  30
Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant Completed       243 KB (248,791 bytes)                       100
Microsoft Exchange                    Completed       630.1 KB (645,173 bytes)                     100
Microsoft Exchange Migration          Completed       239.1 KB (244,832 bytes)                     100
Microsoft Exchange Federation Mailbox Completed       235.7 KB (241,395 bytes)                     100
E4E Encryption Store - Active         Completed       237.8 KB (243,512 bytes)                     100
Microsoft Exchange                    Completed       241.1 KB (246,932 bytes)                     100

Verify if the arbitration mailboxes are moved successfully to the target database.

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox -Arbitration | Format-Table Name, ServerName, Database, AdminDisplayVersion

Name                                                ServerName Database AdminDisplayVersion
----                                                ---------- -------- -------------------
SystemMailbox{1f05a927-259d-4b29-bcd8-76469a2fb004} ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c} ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{e0dc1c29-89c3-4034-b678-e6c29d823ed9} ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136      ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
FederatedEmail.4c1f4d8b-8179-4148-93bf-00a95fa1e042 ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{D0E409A0-AF9B-4720-92FE-AAC869B0D201} ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)
SystemMailbox{2CE34405-31BE-455D-89D7-A7C7DA7A0DAA} ex01-2016  DB02     Version 15.1 (Build 1979.3)

To clean it up, remove completed move requests. The first cmdlet will remove the completed move requests. If you like to remove all the move requests, use the second cmdlet.

[PS] C:\>Get-MoveRequest -MoveStatus Completed | Remove-MoveRequest -Confirm:$False

[PS] C:\>Get-MoveRequest | Remove-MoveRequest -Confirm:$False

Did this help you to find and move arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server 2010/2013/2016/2019?

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Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to move arbitration mailboxes in Exchange Server. First, check if the arbitration mailboxes are present and in which mailbox databases. After that, find the mounted mailbox databases. As of last, move the arbitration mailboxes to the mounted mailbox database. Remember to move the arbitration mailboxes to the highest version of the Exchange Server.

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ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

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 »

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Very good article, thank you.

    However, my move request is not completing. I tried to move the -arbitration mailboxes from EX2010 to EX2016 and the status of the move request is “StalledDueToTarget_ContentIndexing”.

    Here are the steps I took:

    1) Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true
    – Ok

    2) Get-Mailbox -Arbitration |Format-Table Name,ServerName,Database,AdminDisplayVersion

    Name ServerName Database AdminDisplayVersion
    —- ———- ——– ——————-
    SystemMailbox{e0dc1c29-89c3-4034-b678-e6c29d823ed9} EX2010Server Mailbox Database (EX2010Server ) Version 14.3 (Build 123.4)
    SystemMailbox{1f05a927-3b30-4d82-a19e-1256689f3b4e} EX2010Server Mailbox Database (EX2010Server ) Version 14.3 (Build 123.4)
    FederatedEmail.4c1f4d8b-8179-4148-93bf-00a95fa1e042 EX2010Server Mailbox Database (EX2010Server ) Version 14.3 (Build 123.4)

    SystemMailbox{bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c} EX2016Server Mailbox Database EX2016Server Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)
    Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136 EX2016Server Mailbox Database EX2016Server Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)
    SystemMailbox{D0E409A0-AF9B-4720-92FE-AAC869B0D201} EX2016Server Mailbox Database EX2016Server Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)
    SystemMailbox{2CE34405-31BE-455D-89D7-A7C7DA7A0DAA} EX2016Server Mailbox Database EX2016Server Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)

    3) Get-MailboxDatabase -IncludePreExchange -Status | Sort Name | Format-Table Name, Server, Mounted, AdminDisplayVersion

    Name Server Mounted AdminDisplayVersion
    —- —— ——- ——————-
    EX 2016 DB for Arbitration EX2016Server True Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)
    Mailbox Database (EX2010Server) EX2010Server True Version 14.3 (Build 123.4)
    Mailbox Database EX2016Server EX2016Server True Version 15.1 (Build 2176.2)
    PEOEXCHDB2 EX2010Server True Version 14.3 (Build 123.4)

    4) Get-Mailbox -Arbitration -Server EX2010Server |New-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase “EX 2016 DB for Arbitration” -BatchName “EX2010 Arbitration Move to EX2010”

    DisplayName StatusDetail TotalMailboxSize TotalArchiveSize PercentComplete
    ———– ———— —————- —————- —————
    Microsoft Exchange WaitingForJobPickup 1.246 MB (1,306,703 bytes) 0
    Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant WaitingForJobPickup 2.548 KB (2,609 bytes) 0
    Microsoft Exchange Federation Mailbox WaitingForJobPickup 808 B (808 bytes) 0

    5) Get-MoveRequest | Get-MoveRequestStatistics

    DisplayName StatusDetail TotalMailboxSize TotalArchiveSize PercentComplete
    ———– ———— —————- —————- —————
    Microsoft Exchange StalledDueToTarget_ContentIndexing 1.246 MB (1,306,703 bytes) 0
    Microsoft Exchange Approval Assistant StalledDueToTarget_ContentIndexing 2.548 KB (2,609 bytes) 10

    Microsoft Exchange Federation Mailbox StalledDueToTarget_ContentIndexing 808 B (808 bytes) 10

    What did I tried so far?
    1) Disable the target data base search index and restart the services “Microsoft Exchange search” and “Microsoft Exchange search host controller”
    2) Remove the move request batch and create, still having the same.

  2. Great information. Always clear concise explanations. Really appreciate your content and the time you take to provide this info.

  3. I never really leave replies on anything..

    but you’re articles are always straight to the point, easy to understand and works every time, thanks! solved my problem in minutes.

  4. It has been explain very well .
    This is what exactly i was looking for It is really very useful.
    Thank you .

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