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Learn How to Migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019 & Transfer the Mailbox Data

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On December 5th, 2023
Reading Time 13 Minutes Reading
Category Exchange Server

Summary: This writeup outlines the complete procedure, that can be used to migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019. It also focuses on the importance of migrating from Exchange Server 2016 on time before the end of the  extended support. Go through this guide to learn the two distinct ways to execute this task professionally. 

Organizations that operate Exchange Server 2016 might be aware that Microsoft no longer provides direct support for the Exchange Server 2016 version, it has already ended support on October 13, 2020. Moreover, it plans to end ‌extended support by 14 October 2025.

Therefore businesses that want a secure and seamless working environment must find a way to migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019 ASAP. That’s where we come in with this guide with all the information you need regarding a successful data transfer. So keep your worries at bay and follow the step-by-step approach. Starting with the reasons why you need to commit your resources to this task.

Improvements Made in the Exchange Server Version 2019

This is a list of all new features introduced in the 2019 version of Exchange:

  • The latest Exchange Server supports up to 48 cores and 265 GB of memory.
  • The 2019 version now uses the Bing search technology to enhance data searching.
  • Users must migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019 as it contains secure TLS 1.2.

The following features have gotten better in the newest Exchange Server Version:

  • Improved failover mechanisms compared to the previous version.
  • OWA now has an updated feature set and improved look and feel.
  • Exchange 2019 can now handle indexing of larger files as well.

Source: What’s new in Exchange Server 2019

Now that we have a good enough reason to perform the migration let’s look at the things that need to be done before a successful migration.

Prerequisites of Migrating from Exchange 2016 to 2019

  • Stage 1. Verify System Compatibility for Exchange 2019 Configuration
  • Stage 2. Configure System with Prerequisites for Exchange 2019
  • Stage 3. Choose the Right Approach for Migration from Exchange 2016 to 2019
  • Stage 4. Configure the Destination Exchange Server 2019 for Migration

Let’s discuss these stages in detail.

Stage 1. Verify Whether System Meets the Exchange 2019 Configuration Needs

Before migrating from Exchange Server 2016 to 2019, it is essential to confirm that your destination’s existing environment and hardware are compatible with the migration.

Check out the below system requirements, that are necessary for the installation of Exchange Server 2019: –

  1. Network and directory Requirements
  2. Hardware Requirements 
  3. Supported Operating System Compatibility
  4. Compatible .NET Framework Versions
  5. Compatibility of Outlook Clients
  6. Integration of Lync/Skype for Business

Stage 2. Configure System with Prerequisites for Exchange 2019

Before you proceed with the installation of Exchange Server 2019, make sure to check out the prerequisites for your Active Directory, Windows 2019 Mailbox server, and Windows 2019 Edge Transport servers. These requirements will help you get the most out of your new Exchange server.

Ensure that these requirements are met to simplify a smooth installation process.

Stage 3. Choose the Right Approach for Migration from Exchange 2016 to 2019

Scenario 1. Full Migration in a Single Event (Cutover Migration)

You can choose the Exchange 2016 to 2019 cutover migration option if you want to perform a full migration in one event and with a limited time frame. This approach is similar to the one used during the Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration scenario.

In this approach, you have to configure your destination Exchange server, then you can migrate everything in a single go. This method is particularly suitable for large mailbox migrations where you need to minimize the overall downtime.

Scenario 2. Staged Migration Over Time

If you have limited time and prefer to migrate mailboxes in phases or over the weekends, the Exchange staged migration approach is a better fit.

With this method, you can gradually migrate your mailboxes and mail data, transferring the most recent data first and then proceeding with the rest of the migration. This way, you can be sure that the data you’re transferring is the most up-to-date.

Scenario 3. Hybrid Migration with Office 365 Integration

For the situation, where you want to migrate Exchange 2016 mailboxes to a Hybrid 2019 and Office 365 environment, the recommended approach is to perform an Exchange 2016 to 2019 Hybrid migration.

This involves migrating from the source server to a Hybrid Exchange and Office 365 environment, ensuring a seamless coexistence of on-premises and cloud mailboxes. Similarly, there is also an option available for the full Exchange 2016 to Office 365 migration as well.

Scenario 4. Quick & Reliable Automated Migration Solution

If you do not have any prior technical knowledge and you are overwhelmed with the manual approaches, then you can choose the below-mentioned automated software to execute this task.

In this approach, you can easily perform batch migration, multiple mailbox migration, selective data, and category migration within the same software. Your source environment remains active and there is no downtime.

Stage 4 – Configure the Destination Exchange Server 2019 for Migration

Here is a set of essential guidelines for the installation and preparation of the Exchange 2019 server for migration.

Note: If you have already installed and configured Exchange 2019 in the destination environment, you can proceed directly to step 4 in these steps.

Step 1. Prepare the Active Directory and Domains

Before installing Exchange Server 2019, it becomes compulsory to prepare your Active Directory forest and its domains for your new Exchange Server version which is 2019.

Moreover, if you have a dedicated team, that manages the Active Directory schema, then you can extend the Active Directory schema. Otherwise, proceed to prepare the Active Directory. If you have multiple domains in your Exchange Server environment, then you will need additional preparation for the Active Directory domains.‌

Step 2. Install Exchange Server 2019

In Stage 1, we discussed the prerequisites and requirements your server system needs to meet for the setup wizard to be successful. Ensure the same, then you can use the setup wizard to install the Exchange 2019 mailbox server and edge transport server.

Note: Microsoft itself suggests you install Exchange Server 2019 on Windows Server Core for an outstanding experience.

Step 3. Configure a Clean Exchange 2019 Destination Environment

It is recommended to install and update the latest cumulative update of Exchange 2019. To create and configure a Send connector for sending emails outside of the Exchange organization.

Since, Exchange automatically creates receive connectors for inbound mail flow during mailbox server installation, still if needed, you can always configure custom receive connectors for specific mail flow scenarios.

Step 4. Add Accepted Domains

To allow recipients to send and receive emails from other domains, you’ll need to add those domains to the list of accepted domains. Once you’ve done that, you can configure the default email address policy to include the accepted domain for every recipient in the organization.

Step 5.  Configure External and Internal URLs 

  • Configure external URLs (domains) on the virtual directories in the Client Access (frontend) services on the Mailbox server to enable external clients to connect to your server.
  • Similarly, configure internal URLs on the virtual directories to facilitate connections from the internal network.

Step 6. Configure SSL Certificates

Now you have to configure ‌SSL certificates to secure your services, such as Outlook Anywhere and Exchange ActiveSync.

Note: Obtain SSL certificates from only a reputable third-party certificate authority.

Step 7. Verify Exchange Server Installation

Verify the successful installation of Exchange Server 2019. To perform this task you can run the command in Exchange Management Shell (EMS) –  “Get-ExchangeServer”.

Step 8. In the Destination Exchange Environment – Create Mailboxes and Public Folders

For the migration, it’s essential to create mailboxes and mail-enabled public folders on the destination server. Ensure that suitable licenses are assigned to them.

Now, to perform the migration, you have to ensure that you ‌have created the required mailboxes and mail-enabled public folders on the destination Exchange server. Also, ensure that suitable licenses are assigned to them and that the servers are up-to-date with the latest software and security patches.

Step 9. Make Sure to Install Cumulative Updates (CU) on Exchange Server 2016

While migrating from Exchange Server 2016 to Exchange 2019, it is critical to ensure that you have installed the latest cumulative updates (CUs) on the source 2016 server.

Step 10. Establish Trust Relationship Between Forests (Optional)

Consider creating a forest trust if you need authentication between two domains within the same Active Directory forest to exchange information. This step helps address trust issues during or after the migration.

Step 11. Delegate Management Roles to the Admin Account

Ensure that the admin account on both the source (2016) and destination (2019) servers has the necessary permissions, including Application Impersonation, View-Only Configuration, and the Organization Management role group (for migrating Public folders).

Step 12. Verify the Admin Account’s Mailbox

Check if the admin account assigned with management roles has a valid and visible mailbox on the Exchange 2016 server.

Step 13. Configure and modify EWS Throttling Settings and Message-Size Limits

Adjust the EWS throttling and message size limits on the destination Exchange 2019 server as per the provided instructions below:-

How to Migrate From Exchange Server 2016 to 2019?

There are a few ways that we can use to perform this task, which can move Exchange 2016 to 2019. However, keeping the importance of data in mind, we are going to suggest the top two distinct methods that you can use for seamless migration. One is the manual method, which can be a bit technical for new and non-technical users. Another one is by using a professional and reliable software solution, that breaks this barrier of being technically sound. It does not require any technical know-how to operate this task. Let us discuss both of them step by step.

Source: Exchange Server 2019  system requirements

Let’s get straight to the basic migration technique.

Manual Method to Migrate Microsoft Exchange 2016 to 2019 Step By Step

Step 1. To open the EAC, browse to the URL of your Mailbox server and enter your credentials right there.

Step 2. Then, go to Recipients, click on Migration, select Add, and then choose Move to a different database.

Step 3. Under Select the users that you want to move, click on Add, and select the mailboxes you want to move.

Step 4. Check that the list contains all mailboxes that you wish to migrate and click on Next.

Step 5. Type in a new name for the mailbox move job and ensure that both the primary mailbox and the archive mailbox (if it exists), are selected.

Step 6. Click on Browse under Target database and select a target mailbox database on the Exchange 2019 server.

Step 7. Verify that the mailbox database in the Target database is correct and then click Next.

Step 8. To send the report to someone else, click on Browse and select a different user.

Make sure that Automatically start the batch is not selected.

Step 9. In the finalization phase, ‌mailboxes become unavailable for a short duration. Use this time to decide whether you want the mailboxes to be moved right now or make some more changes manually and then select the migration batch.

Source: Exchange Deployment Assistant

An easier method for mailbox migration is mentioned in the coming section.

How to Migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019 Professionally?

The Exchange to Exchange Migration Utility is the most sought-after product in this domain. With its easy-to-use interface, anyone can migrate mailbox exchange 2016 to 2019. It makes the process of data transfer both quick and easy with the help of robust algorithms. If you are struggling with the manual methods use this tool and resolve all issues in no time.

Download Now Purchase Now

Here are the steps for migrating mailboxes with this tool.

Step 1. Install the software on your device and Open the tool to select Exchange as both Source and Target.

Select Source and Destination as Exchange

Step 2. Go to the Workload Section and mark the box next to all the types you want to transfer. Also, set a Date filter if need be.

Select Workload and Apply Date Filters

Step 3. In the Source section select 2016 as the Exchange Server Version, type the admin email, password, AD IP, and server IP, and mark the box if you wish to migrate subdomains as well.

Validate Source

Step 4. Visit the target section select 2019 as the destination and fill in the rest of the information as prompted by the tool. Validate and press Next.

Select Exchange Server Version as 2016

Step 5. Attach the users for mapping using any one of the three available options (Fetch, Import, Download).

Add Users

Step 6. Once the users are visible within the preview window select them to set priority validate the selected users and press Start Migration to begin the process.

Start Migration

Read More: Find Out How to Migrate Exchange 2010 to 2016 in A Step-by-Step Process

Smart Features Offered By the Software 

  • Seamless migration of mailboxes between Various Exchange Servers
  • Intuitive user interface for easy setup and navigation
  • Bulk migration capabilities for multiple mailboxes simultaneously
  • Preserves folder structure, emails, contacts, and calendar items during migration
  • Incremental migration to minimize downtime and data loss
  • Built-in dashboard for progress tracking and monitoring for transparency
  • Compatibility with various versions of Exchange servers for flexibility
  • Options for customized migration based on user preferences
  • Robust error handling and reporting for smooth migration experiences

Once migration is complete users still have to perform a few more steps.

What to Do After You Migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019?

  • Double-Check Everything – Take a moment to ensure that every piece of data, email, and setting has made its way smoothly to Exchange 2019. Test everything to be certain it’s all functioning as it should.
  • Update DNS Records – It’s time to play with the technical side of things. Adjust your DNS settings to steer emails correctly toward the new Exchange 2019 server.
  • Certificates Matter – Now, let’s talk about security. Confirm that SSL certificates are properly set up and include the Exchange 2019 server’s address to keep those connections secure.
  • Security Settings – Speaking of security, let’s dive into the settings. Ensure that your security measures like spam filters and antivirus protection are dialed in correctly after we migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019.
  • Web Access – Time to put on your web-surfing hat. Confirm that web access, including Outlook Web App, is running smoothly inside and outside your organization.
  • Mobile Devices – Mobile devices are a big part of email access nowadays. Ensure users can reach their emails on their smartphones and tablets without a hitch.
  • Monitoring Mode – Keep an ‌eye on server performance. Should any issues crop up, be ready to jump into action.

Also Read: Learn How to Change PDF Permissions and Modify PDF Settings Easily


Our discussion here covered every possible method to migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019. With this tutorial and the automated utility mentioned above all migration scenarios become easy to navigate. After a successful migration users now have a server that is going to stay with them until the end of this decade.


By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.