"No active public folder mailboxes were found" error when you try to create a public folder in an Exchange Server 2013 environment

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Article ID: 2786607 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

Assume that you create the first public folder mailbox with the HoldForMigration parameter in a Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 environment. You perform one of the following actions in the environment:
  • You try to access the public folder hierarchy by running the Get-PublicFolder cmdlet in Exchange Management Shell (EMS) or by using Exchange Administration Center (EAC).
  • You try to create a new public folder on the Exchange 2013 server.
In this situation, you receive the following error message: 
No active public folder mailboxes were found. This happens when no public folder mailboxes are provisioned or they are provisioned in 'HoldForMigration' mode. If you're not currently performing a migration, create a public folder mailbox.

The following is a sample screen shot of the error message in EMS:
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Screen shot of the error message in EMS

The following is a sample screen shot of the error message in EAC:
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Screen shot of the error message in EAC


Note
The public folder mailbox should be created with the HoldForMigration parameter only if you are migrating from legacy public folders to modern public folders in Exchange Server 2013. Specifying the HoldForMigration parameter locks the public folder hierarchy in Exchange Server 2013 so that no public folders can be created by users until the migration is complete.
The following Exchange PowerShell command is an example of the output that can be used to verify that the first public folder mailbox is created with the HoldForMigration parameter:
[PS] C:\>(Get-OrganizationConfig).RootPublicFolderMailbox 
IsValid : True
CanUpdate : True
HierarchyMailboxGuid : dba08a32-d51f-4c21-ae31-8f7d678ccfb1
HierarchySmtpAddress :
LockedForMigration : True

The True value of the LockedForMigration field indicates that the public folder hierarchy is locked.

Cause

This issue occurs because the HoldForMigration parameter is specified when you create the first public folder mailbox. This behavior is by design.

Resolution

If you have created the first public folder mailbox with the HoldForMigration parameter for migrating legacy public folders, complete the migration. For more information about how the HoldForMigration parameter is used for public folder migration, go to the following Microsoft website:
If you do not have legacy public folders in the organization and you accidentally created the first public folder mailbox with the HoldForMigration parameter, then you must delete all public folder mailboxes that are present in the organization. Then, you must create a new public folder mailbox without specifying the HoldForMigration parameter. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Delete the public folder mailbox by using EAC

  1. Go to the following Microsoft website to open EAC:
    Https://CASServerName/ecp
  2. Sign in to EAC by using the administrator account.
  3. Click Public Folders, and then click Public Folder mailboxes.
  4. Delete all public folder mailboxes of the Secondary Hierarchy type.
  5. Delete the public folder mailbox of the Primary Hierarchy type.
  6. Click the New public folder mailbox icon to create a public folder mailbox.
  7. The new mailbox is displayed as a primary hierarchy mailbox.

Method 2: Delete the public folder mailbox by using EMS

  1. Run the following cmdlet to return and delete public folder mailboxes of the Secondary Hierarchy type:
    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder | where {$_.IsRootPublicFolderMailbox -eq $False} | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder
  2. Run the following cmdlet to return and delete public folder mailbox of the Primary Hierarchy type:
    Get-Mailbox -PublicFolder | where {$_.IsRootPublicFolderMailbox -eq $true} | Remove-Mailbox -PublicFolder
  3. Create a public folder mailbox without specifying the HoldForMigration parameter by running the following cmdlet:
    New-Mailbox -PublicFolder -Database "Mailbox Database Name" -Name "Public Folder Mailbox Name"

More information

For more information about how to remove public folders in an Exchange Server 2013 environment, go to the following Microsoft website:
How to remove public folders
For more information about the HoldForMigration parameter, go to the following Microsoft website:

Properties

Article ID: 2786607 - Last Review: September 3, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Standard
Keywords: 
kbsurveynew kbexpertiseinter kbprb kbtshoot kberrmsg kbgraphxlink KB2786607

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