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Remove Exchange Server from domain

How to remove Exchange Server from the domain? You did install a new Exchange Server in the organization. Now that everything is working fine, you want to remove the old Exchange Server. This article will teach you how to remove Exchange Server 2013/2016/2019 from the domain.

Before you start

Make sure that there are no mailbox databases on the Exchange Server. If you have mailbox databases present, it will not let you uninstall Exchange Server from the domain. Move all the mailboxes to other mailbox databases and remove the mailbox database associated with the Exchange Server you want to remove.

Follow these articles before proceeding to the next step:

Remove Exchange Server with wizard

Close all open programs on the Exchange Server. Go to Control Panel and click on Programs and Features. Select the Exchange Server in the programs list. Click on Uninstall.

Note: Disable Antivirus/Windows Defender to speed up the Exchange uninstallation process.

In our example, we will remove Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update 17.

Remove Exchange Server from domain programs and features uninstall

Remove Exchange Server

Click next to remove Exchange Server from the domain.

Remove Exchange Server from domain remove exchange server

Readiness checks

The prerequisite analysis will start and check if the setup can continue with the removal. Click uninstall.

Setup progress

The first step is removing the mailbox service from the mailbox role.

Remove Exchange Server from domain step 1

Step 4 of 14 is in progress.

Remove Exchange Server from domain step 4

Step 9 of 14 is in progress, which is the removal of the languages.

Remove Exchange Server from domain step 9

Setup completed. Click Finish and reboot the Windows Server.

Remove Exchange Server from domain setup has completed

Did you get an error when removing the Exchange Server?

Read more: An incomplete installation was detected when uninstalling Exchange »

Verify removal Exchange Server

Check that Exchange Server is removed from Programs and Features.

You did successfully remove Exchange Server from the domain.

Don’t forget to remove other tools on the Exchange Server, for example, SCOM or the backup agent. After that, remove the IP and DNS entries. As of last, remove the AD object in ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers).

Keep reading: How to remove Exchange from Active Directory »


You learned how to remove Exchange Server from domain. Make sure that you remove the mailbox databases before proceeding with the Exchange Server uninstall wizard. Reboot the server when the Exchange Server removal finishes.

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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 »

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Thank you for the article.

    I have an old Exchange 2016 server that was replaced due to issues with database just randomly dismounting itself and refusing to mount back. After every ESEUTIL repair options after moving the DB to another location, we decided to migrate them off to a new server.

    All mailboxes have been migrated and the old server has been powered off for a few days now with no issues with mail flow.

    I am planning on powering the old server back up at the end of the week to uninstall it from the domain.

    Following your guide, can I now simply dismount/delete the old DB and start the uninstall process?

    If the mail flow is good with the old server turned off, are there anything that I need to check before I uninstall the old Exchange server?

    Thank you for any advice in advance.

    1. If the old Exchange Server is shut down and everything works as expected, everything is okay.

      Start the old Exchange Server and go through the below steps:

      1. Remove the old mailbox database
      2. Remove Exchange Server from the send connector
      3. Uninstall Exchange Server

      I hope you configured the mailbox database and log volumes with a block size of 64 KB.

      Read more: Exchange database dismounts unexpectedly.

      1. Shoot I think I left the block size at the default 4KB…

        I know you shouldn’t do things in a rush but we had to get the DB back as it is a single DB of 550 GB in size…

        Is it inevitable that the dismounting issue will come back? the way things are configured?

  2. Hi Ali,

    Great site, my “go to” for all things Exchange. I had an issue with this particular process when removing one unneeded Exchange Server from our domain. We are Exchange Hybrid so leaving one Exchange server on-prem.

    The issue was the uninstall of Exchange from this server caused all of our Domain Controllers to restart. LSASS.exe faulted and triggered a restart at the time when Exchange was being uninstalled. Just wondering if you’d heard of this happening previously?



    1. Hi Brad,

      I have seen random DCs restarts caused by LSASS.exe. That’s because a Windows Security Update bug was causing it in January 2022. But not when uninstalling Exchange Server (it may be affecting this too).

      Are you up to date on the Domain Controllers? If not, update the DCs with the latest updates.

  3. Hi,

    We have a Exchange Server 2016 in our AD, recently we have moved to Gsuite and we no longer need that Exchange Server in our AD, when I try to uninstall the Exchange Server from Control Panel, it shows, Mailbox error. I tried all the possible ways to permanently remove the Exchange Server from the AD but I couldn’t do that. Kindly share the procedure to uninstall the same.

    Thanks and Regards Karthick

  4. Hi

    I have recently attempted install of the 2016 CU22 update, which failed for me. Exchange is effectively down. If i rerun the update it fails. Add remove progs reports cu22 as installed. I tried restoring previous days backup for exchange but unfortunately it looks like the AD attributes were changed and these don’t match up with exchange prior to CU22.
    What would you do at this stage? Uninstall exchange CU22 and reinstall? I’m concerned with the AD attribute changes made in AD.


    1. Hi Gary,

      1. Reset the computer account in AD
      2. Install a new Windows Server OS with the same name and IP
      3. Install Exchange Server prerequisites
      4. Use the /Mode:RecoverServer switch in unattended mode (from the command line) of Exchange Setup
      5. Configure SSL/virtual directories and other configurations

      Read more: Recover Exchange Server.

  5. Hi,
    I have a question regarding the impact of removing exchange server on Active Directory Schema.
    Installing Exchange extends the AD schema but does the removal process will cleanup the schema ?
    Thank you 😉

    1. Hi,

      No, it will not.

      Exchange Server integrates with the Active Directory schema. If you remove Exchange Server, the Exchange schema extensions will stay and be a part of your schema forever. That’s completely fine.

      That’s why it’s important to keep up to date with security fixes and patch them, even if you don’t have an Exchange Server running anymore in the environment. Here is an example: Update AD schema to address CVE-2021-34470 vulnerability.

      1. Hi,
        I have a follow-up question to your answer: If it’s not modifying the schema does it clear any of the exchange attributes?

        Background is we want to go the unsupported way by uninstalling the last Exchange Server in an AADConnect hybrid environment. All mailboxes are already in EO. Managing the relevant attributes with other tools than a maintenance-needy potential security hole is no problem for us.

  6. Hi, I have a problem with my exchange server 2019. Could we fix meeting to solve problems.
    Could I know how much do you cost for hour or to fix my problem?
    It is urgent
    Bye for now

  7. You have been an absolute god-send for creating, managing, and removing Exchange 2016. Articles are concise but understandable (to an IT person). Information is correct and current. Time to make this series into a book because they are the bible on this subject. Thank you for your help. (Gotta go and make a DAG now).

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