Migrate Multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365

Migrating multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365 can be a difficult task. Your options are to merge them yourself, pick one to remove, or do nothing. The process is slow, messy, and wrought with tension in trying to come to an agreement with the business or businesses involved.

Public Folders often exist to fulfill business processes, so a change will not come easy. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky keeping public folders separate if you choose to do nothing.

Companies that have an Office 365 tenant will try to bring everything under control of that one tenant. It can keep costs down, make it easier for your team to manage, and reduce risk. Merging mailboxes is not a big problem, but the same cannot be said for Public Folders with traditional Microsoft approaches.

Common Business Cases for Merging Public Folder Hierarchies

Many reasons exist for needing to migrate multiple public folder hierarchies into Office 365. The following are the most common:

  • Acquisition
  • Merger
  • Consolidation

How to Migrate Multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365

The standard Microsoft approach to Public Folder Migrations will not make it easy to do this. It’s one public folder hierarchy into one Office 365 tenant with that method. You need flexibility when it comes to tackling this problem. Luckily, our Public Folder Migrator can accomplish this with ease. Since you can merge the Public Folder hierarchies, everyone can continue to use their Public Folders without making compromises.

It works by allowing you to have the ability to:


The process for each migration matches how to migrate a single Public Folder hierarchy into Office 365, except that you have to define a few settings along the way, such as:

  1. Create a new Instance to define the Public Folder Hierarchy you would like to migrate

    Migrate Multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365

    Create new migration instance

  2. Set the Destination Root Path for this migration, such as \Company2. In Office 365, this migration instance will migrate all content underneath that root folder specifically

    Migrate Multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365

    Set the destination root path for your migration instance

  3. Define the Public Folder Mailbox Prefix naming scheme, which should be different from other migration instances

    Migrate Multiple Public Folder Hierarchies into Office 365

    Set the Public Folder Mailbox Prefix naming scheme for your migration instance.

  4. Add the same destination accounts since they are already configured correctly for your Office 365 tenant
  5. Start your migration!

End Result

Once you are done migrating your next Public Folder hierarchy, you will see the new root folder show up in Office 365 Public Folders. You can check on this by using one of your migration accounts to view the Office 365 Public Folder hierarchy before pointing your users to the Office 365 Public Folders. You can also view or tweak permissions prior to exposing them to your end users. This makes it the most practical approach when migrating multiple public folder hierarchies into Office 365.


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