Knowledge Base

How to create public folders in Office 365 (Microsoft 365) and Exchange Server

Problem:

You need to manually enable public folders in Exchange Online (Microsoft 365) or Exchange Server 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019.

Solution:

To enable public folders, you have to create an empty public folder tree. If you are using CodeTwo Office 365 Migration or CodeTwo Exchange Migration, the exact tree structure and content of the public folders from your old Exchange server will be automatically recreated in this new tree.

Exchange Online and Exchange Server 2013, 2016, 2019

Follow the steps below to enable public folders in Exchange Online (Microsoft 365) or Exchange Server 2013–2019. By following these guidelines, you will create an empty public folder tree. Note that the steps and screenshots below follow the procedure from the new Exchange admin center. If you use the classic Exchange admin center / the Exchange Control Panel (ECP), there will be certain differences but the overall process is based on the same principles.

  1. Log in to your Exchange:
    • Exchange Online (Microsoft 365) - log in to the new Exchange admin center using your Microsoft 365 global administrator account.
    • Exchange Server 2013, 2016, 2019 - log in to the classic Exchange admin center using your domain admin account. If you are accessing Exchange Server directly, the address is https://localhost/ecp
  2. In the left-hand navigation menu, go to Public folders > Public folders mailboxes and click on the plus icon (Fig. 1.).

Accessing the Public folders mailboxes page in the Exchange admin center.
Fig. 1. Accessing the Public folders mailboxes page in the Exchange admin center.

  1. Name the mailbox according to your preferences and click Save (Fig. 2.) to save the configuration and close the window.

Configuring a public folder mailbox.
Fig. 2. Configuring a public folder mailbox.

  1. Now, go to Public folders in the navigation menu, click the ellipsis (...) button, and choose Root permissions (Fig. 3.).

Finding the permissions section for public folders.
Fig. 3. Finding the permissions section for public folders.

  1. In the window that opens, click the plus icon.
  2. Next, click Browse to browse for your administrator account (Fig. 4.).

Browsing for the administrator account.
Fig. 4. Browsing for the administrator account.

  1. Make sure the administrator has Permission level: Owner and every possible privilege granted (all checkboxes need to be selected), as shown in Fig. 5. Save the changes.

Setting up permissions.
Fig. 5. Setting up permissions.

  1. If you also need to apply changes to the root public folder and all its subfolders, click the link to download an appropriate script (Fig. 6.), and next run the script. Finally, click Save to apply changes and close the window.

Finishing and saving the configuration.
Fig. 6. Finishing and saving the configuration.

For more information on how to manage your public folders, see this Microsoft article.

Exchange Server 2010

Follow the steps below to enable public folders in Exchange Server 2010. As a result, an empty public folder tree will be created.

  1. Run the Exchange Management Console (EMC).
  2. In the console tree, click the Organization Configuration branch and choose Mailbox.
  3. Open the Database Management tab. Right-click on the database list and select New Public Folder Database (Fig. 7.).

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    Fig. 7. Creating a new public folder database via Exchange Management Console.

  4. The New Public Folder Database wizard appears. Specify the name of the public folder database and mailbox server (Fig. 8.), and click Next.

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    Fig. 8. New Public Folder Database wizard.

  5. Skip the next steps by clicking the Next button.
  6. When you reach the wizard completion screen (Fig. 9.), click the Finish button. Your public folder tree has been created.

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    Fig. 9.
    The final step of creating a Public Folder Database.

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