I'm looking for an Exchange 2010 command that would do the following:

  1. Given an email address (fully-qualified with domain and all) check if the email address is associated to some mailbox or group in the system;
  2. (Ideally) show which entity owns that email address

This would be very helpful for me to check my migration and make sure all of our aliases were moved correctly.

5 Answers 5


Get-Recipient -Identity [email protected]

This will return the recipient object for whoever has the given email address (including aliases). Since emails are guaranteed to be unique this should never return more than one record (I believe).

Get-Recipient -ANR user

You can use -ANR to search using Ambiguous Name Resolution (so you can type their first, last, username, etc), but while ANR will match a user's primary email address, it will not match their other SMTP aliases. ANR can return multiple matches (so ensure your code handles this case).

Get-Mailbox is not sufficient to confirm that an email address is unique, as it will not necessarily return contacts, or records from external or legacy systems. It returns mailboxes... and while all mailboxes have an email address, not all email addresses are a mailbox.

  • This doesnt bring back any aliases of a mailbox Jan 28, 2013 at 13:19
  • 1
    This is the answer that worked for me. It correctly returned the matching recipients both when searching by primary SMTP email addresses and also when searching with secondary SMTP email addresses.
    – RSW
    Mar 13, 2015 at 19:10
  • 2
    @BrianMitchell, It totally can, if piped to view the desired attributes. Get-Recipient [email protected] | Select Name,EmailAddresses. By default, it will just show Name and RecipientType.
    – blaughw
    Jan 28, 2016 at 18:16

This should do the trick:

get-mailbox -an [email protected] 
  • 5
    This will not work for accounts with multiple SMTP aliases; only the primary email address will return a record. Aliases will return nothing (falsely indicating the account is available). Mar 29, 2012 at 21:49
  • 3
    Does not work for secondary addresses on a mailbox.
    – user174970
    May 23, 2013 at 10:59

I realize this is a bit old, but just solved the issue by running the following:

Get-Mailbox | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like "*<email address>*"}}
Get-DistributionGroup | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like "*<email address>*"}}
Get-MailPublicFolder | %{$_.EmailAddresses | ?{$_ -like "*<email address>*"}}

If anything was returned by any of them, it wouldn't necessarily tell me WHAT account was using it, but, I could then focus on which of the three returned a record to dive deeper. If nothing is returned, then it's not being used.


The following worked for me, even with aliases:

get-recipient -filter {emailaddresses -like "*[email protected]*"}

Also returns the name of the recipient and the type.

  • Not sure why this was downvoted, but it also worked for me. I had to first set the AD Server Settings to view the entire forest with: Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true
    – Alex Hague
    Apr 16, 2020 at 7:09
  • Confirmed, this actually works.
    – falconR
    May 25, 2020 at 12:38
  • works for me as well, I used this to search for emails that contained the word "volunteer" for example to see which accounts to follow up on.
    – NBN-Alex
    May 10, 2021 at 22:51

Get-Recipient should do the trick

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .