restore backup from previous version in new environment

Occasional Contributor

We have an old environment of Exchange 2010 and thus we have nice working backups. When we want to restore it, create a restore database etc.

Now we want to upgrade to 2016. When we get a restore request of, let's say, our HR department for a mailbox of 1 year ago. Can we still restore this EDB and use it in 2016? Are the EDB's compatible? I have never thought about it, but I can imagine they are not compatible? But how do you deal with this? Sounds like a common scenario.

In this case it will be a hybrid environment with Office 365, but I don't think that make a difference for above scenario.

5 Replies
best response confirmed by Olaf Duits (Occasional Contributor)

Hi Olaf,


The best way to acomplish your goal in future is to activate Retention in Deleted items and Inplace Hold in your Mailboxes.

If you change version of Exchange you cannot restore the EDB to a newer version, you have to restore your Environment to a Network that does not have access to your production Network, then restore your Exchange and AD to that Restore Environment and recover your email.

This is a common scenario since the existence of Exchange each time we need to restore to a point to the previous version, that's why the Inplace Hold will fit these needs in the future.

Thanks for the detailed answer! This is exactly what I was looking for.

Hi Olaf,


In such migrations, it is always best to keep a legacy Exchange server for a while so it can be used to meet such restore requirements. Alternatively, you can do as Nuno Silva suggested and use a test/lab 2010 environment or, instead, a 3rd-party software that can ready EDB files and extract mailboxes from it (there are several out there).


Best regards,


Thanks as well. I will keep a separate virtual machine with Exchange 2010 for restoring backups only, just in case.

Hi Olaf, yes I agree with Nuno as well to keep your Exchange just to restore that mailboxes.