Shut down the last Exchange Server

New Contributor

I'm looking into the possibility to shut down the last Exchange server for some of my customers, and automate user administration using Exchange Management Tools.

Manage recipients in Exchange Server 2019 Hybrid environments | y Learn


The official documentation from Microsoft states that the last server can be shut down, but not uninstalled. How long do we expect to keep the server turned off? Indefinitely?


My concern: what if there is a new option in two years that require us to start the server or uninstall it? Starting a server that has been turned off for a long time isn't necessarily easy.

3 Replies
best response confirmed by Anders_Sjolander (New Contributor)

Hi @Anders_Sjolander,

From my experience there're really only few customers that could fit to an Exchange shut down. 

I'll suggest to check with each Customer the important "Be Aware" points before proceeding:


.Once you shut down the last Exchange server, Exchange RBAC will no longer function. Users who were a part of Exchange Recipient groups or had custom Exchange roles allowing for recipient management will no longer have permission. Only domain admins and users who are assigned permission using Add-PermissionForEMT.ps1 script will be able to perform recipient management.


.You can shut down the server, ( under the required conditions ), but NOT uninstall. Uninstalling the server removes critical information from Active Directory that breaks the ability of the management tool package to manage Exchange attributes.


.Many  Customers still need a server for SMTP relay, local apps, etc... Or they may need it in the future. If it's the case, don't shut it down. 


From my perspective, a deep analysis will be required before take such decision. As you already said, ( correctly ), if in the future the Customer would like to turn it on by any requirement, that will be a pain.


Regarding timing, there's no ETA until a last Exchange server will be required. 

The document also provides information on permanently shutting the last Exchange server down, so one would hope that in the future when things change they won't require the server to be re-started after providing that advice!

I fully agree that far from all organizations would benefit from this, and that a thorough investigation is needed before anything is started. However, I have several customers, especially smaller ones, that only use Exchange Server for user management and mail relay for a few multifunction printers. The printers could just as well use another relay and Exchange is only an administrative burden to them.

I think my questions has been answered. Thanks!