I've got an Exchange 2003 account that was once set to forward to an external address but got disabled at some point. That external user now wants the forwarding turned back on and everything in the backlog (lots) forwarded to the old address. Is there a way to mass-forward messages in Exchange? I really don't want to do it message by message.

Granting the user access to the mailbox via POP3 or IMAP is not an option in this case.

  • note that sending out the backlog might get you marked as a spammer by the destination ISP. I would contact them prior to bulk mailing (they may also let you just send the PST file and import them to the users mailbox for you) – Jim B Apr 23 '12 at 22:30

You can forward a copy of all the messages in folder if the forwarder had an account on the Exchange 2003 server. To do this, crank up Outlook using rules and create a rule that forwards an email in the inbox to the external users email address. Then tell the rule to "run now" on the folder where the messages are located and it will start the process. But keep in mind that the rules engine is dumb, so you might want to move the message once it is done or if you need to restart it for some reason, they will get a copy of the message again.

It's not pretty, but it will work. Keep in mind that some external mail servers won't like it if you try to send loads of messages all at once. AOL for instance will block your IP if you try to do this. Even if the emails are legit, they assume that normal people couldn't send that many messages all at once, so it assumes it isn't legit email traffic. Just food for thought.

  • Ooo, good idea. Either way, Outlook is going to be involved though. – Wesley Apr 24 '12 at 0:40
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    And Outlook being involved is never a good idea. Though like every necessary evil, it will work wonderfully. (At least in this case) – MikeAWood Apr 24 '12 at 1:05

If it was a pure forwarder, then there would be no email on the server itself to retain. Exchange does not, to my knowledge, keep SMTP forwarder email in its logs. As a result, I assume that there is a mailbox associated with the email address and it is, in addition to storing the message in the message database, forwarding a copy on to the external address.

The other option that exists is that there is some kind of archiving utility that is not mentioned in the original question.

Ultimately, the easiest way to go about this is to create an Outlook profile, attach to the Exchange account, and then export the emails that the user wants into a PST file. Unite them with the PST file and they have little choice but to be mollified.

  • You are correct in your assumption. So how can I mass-forward emails that are stored in the message database? – Mr. Jefferson Apr 23 '12 at 20:56
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    @Mr.Jefferson You can't without being a developer. Just send them a PST file or a CSV made from an instance of Outlook connected to the Exchange mailbox. – Wesley Apr 23 '12 at 21:03

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