Reconnecting a Deleted Mailbox

When you tell the system to delete an Exchange mailbox, it isn’t really deleted. It is simply disassociated or disconnected from the user object. These mailboxes are referred to as orphaned or disconnected. Deleted mailboxes stay in this disconnected state for a configurable period, by default 30 days, and can be recovered any time in that period. To truly remove a mailbox before that time, you must purge the mailbox after the deletion. This shows how to reconnect that disconnected mailbox back to the original user object, or, if you prefer, an alternate user object.

Using a graphical user interface

  1. Open the Exchange System Manager (ESM) snap-in.
  2. In the left pane, browse to the mailboxes container of the server, storage group, and database where you want to reconnect a mailbox.
  3. In the right pane, scroll down until you find the mailbox you wish to reconnect. The mailbox should have a small red circle with a white X on it indicating it is disconnected.
  4. Right-click the mailbox and select Reconnect.
  5. Choose a user object in the directory you wish to reconnect this mailbox to.
  6. A dialog box indicating the Reconnect Operation has completed successfully should pop up. Click OK.

Using VBScript

' This code reconnects a mailbox to a user.
strComputer = "<Exchange Server>" ' e.g., ExchServer2
strUser = "<Userid>"              ' e.g., jsmith
strMailbox = "<Mailbox Alias>"    ' e.g., jsmith
' ------ END CONFIGURATION ---------

set objWMI = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & _
set objDiscMbx = objWMI.ExecQuery("Select * from Exchange_Mailbox WHERE " _
                           & "MailboxDisplayName='" & strMailbox & "'",,48)
for each objMbx in objDiscMbx
  objMbx.Reconnect strUser
Wscript.Echo "Successfully reconnected mailbox."