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Migrate Exchange 2013 to 2016 With an Effortless Technique

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On September 13th, 2023
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Exchange Server

With the ever-increasing user demands it has become a lot more difficult to operate and maintain systems that are no longer being officially supported. This is more than true in the case of Exchange servers, hence there is quite a strong push to migrate Exchange 2013 to 2016. However, the most common question on the minds of all admins regardless of experience is how to go about this process. Don’t worry as in this guide we provide a clear road map to transfer all the server data into a more suitable version. Let’s begin by discussing the prerequisites to complete before a successful migration.

System Requirements for an Exchange 2013 to Exchange 2016 Migration 

Hardware Requirements

CPU 64-bit processor either from Intel or AMD.
RAM At least 8 GB or higher.
Min File Size for Paging Default RAM with an additional 10 GB for higher workloads.

Physical RAM should not exceed 32 GB in total.

Storage Space Drive must have 30GB.

System Drive can work with a 200 MB partition.

message queue databases can start with a minimum of 500 MB.

Following Files Should be Present System partition can be done via NTFS, while Exchange binaries, diagnostic logging files, and transport database files must be there as well.
Drive Format Exchange 2016 can work with a DVD-ROM Drive.
Display Resolution It should measure at least 1024 by 768 pixels.

Software Requirements

Operating System Every Windows Server version from 2012 to 2016.

Windows 10 or 8.1 only in 64-bit configuration.

Server roles Comprising of Mailbox and Edge Transport 

Along with

Management Tools

Windows Server 2012, 2012  R2, 2016 both Standard or Datacenter
.NET Framework Versions From 4.6.2 to 4.8
Apps that are natively Supported Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010 SP2, Outlook 2016 for Mac, Outlook for Mac for Office 365.

All software-related conditions can be met via PowerShell commands. Just use the one given below:

Install-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Console, Web-WebServer, Web-Common-Http, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Static-Content, Web-Performance, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, Web-Security, Web-Filtering, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-App-Dev, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Includes, InkandHandwritingServices, Windows-Identity-Foundation

Some Other Prerequisites 

  1. Before Exchange 2013 to 2016 migration download a copy of the Exchange Server 2016 setup file.
  2. Proceed by launching the executable file on your machine. 
  3. When prompted with the ‘Check for Updates?’ screen, opt for the first choice: ‘Connect to the Internet and search for updates,’ then hit Next.
  4. Download any new updates before moving ahead.
  5. After this, the ‘Setup’ will commence by first copying the necessary files and then initializing the installation process.
  6. Upon reaching the Introduction page, click on the Next button.
  7. On the License Agreement page, agree to the terms and conditions, then click Next to continue.
  8. Under Recommended Settings, choose ‘Use recommended settings’ and click Next.
  9. Then, you’ll encounter the Server Role Selection screen. Ensure the ‘Mailbox role’ checkbox is selected and click on the Next tab.
  10. Now, you can specify the installation location for the software. You have the option to use the default location or select a different one.
  11. You can disable malware scanning to speed up the installation by choosing No in place of the default “Yes”, and then hit Next.
  12. With a ‘readiness check,’ all necessary prerequisites will be completed on the system.
  13. The setup process will commence, with a progress bar providing real-time updates.
  14. When a Setup Completed message appears you can conclude by clicking on Finish.

Before we can begin Exchange Server 2013 to 2016 migration we need to do the following. First, reroute the Active Directory to which our Exchange server belongs. Next, we shift the Outlook clients to a new URL. Which also updates the auto-discover settings.

Also, check if FQDN is set to its default configuration. This stops all certificate warning issues and also prevents the Outlook client from making a wrong connection. Finally, configure the SCP with Exchange 2013 as an endpoint.

Manual Method Migrate Exchange Server 2013 to 2016

Step 1. Go to your Mailbox server’s URL and sign in with the Exchange Admin Center. 

Step 2. In the left pane, navigate to Recipients, select Migration, click Add, and choose “Move to a different database.” 

Step 3. In the “Select the users to move” section, click Add to choose the mailboxes for migration. 

Step 4. Verify the mailboxes and click Next. 

Step 5. Name the mailbox move job, and ensure both primary and archive mailboxes are selected. 

Step 6. Click Browse under Target database, and select the Exchange 2019 server’s target mailbox database. 

Step 7. Then, verify the Target database and click Next. 

Step 8. Ensure “Automatically start the batch” is unchecked. 

Step 9. During finalization, mailboxes briefly become unavailable as the server performs backend checks. Users can decide when to complete the mailbox data transfer.

Source: Exchange Deployment Assistant

Steps can be performed via PowerShell commands too 

Execute the commands below to identify the mailboxes for migration:

Set-ADServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $True

Get-Mailbox -Server <Ex2013 YourServerName> -Arbitration

Get-Mailbox -Server <Ex2013 YourServerName> -ResultSize Unlimited

Get-Mailbox -Server <Ex2013 YourServerName> -Archive -ResultSize Unlimited

Another command that’s often required is Get-SiteMailbox –DeletedSiteMailbox. Use it for  removing databases in which the issue causing mailboxes belongs.

After all mailboxes have been successfully moved to newer Exchange servers, and after reviewing the moves and migration batches, you can remove the moves and batches.

All move requests can be removed using the following command Remove-MoveRequest

Get-MoveRequest -ResultSize Unlimited | Remove-MoveRequest -Confirm:$false -WhatIf

All migration batches can be removed using the following command Remove-MigrationBatch 

Get-MigrationBatch | Remove-MigrationBatch -Confirm:$false -WhatIf

Here we use the WhatIf to simulate the changes. When the changes are confirmed execute the same command without the WhatIf parameter.

A superior method to move mailbox data is discussed in the following section.

Automated Utility for Easier Migration between Exchange 2013 to 2016

As we have often seen, even experienced admins struggle to complete the manual process in one go. Furthermore, any error during migrations requires a complete do-over. To avoid all these issues there is a simple remedy: the professional Exchange to Exchange migration tool. Moreover, with its advanced feature set and easy-to-understand interface even newly appointed admins would have no difficulty in completing the migration. It can be used to perform an Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration as well

Download Now Purchase Now

Let’s look at the steps that the tool uses to automate the data transfer.

Step 1. Download and install the utility on your local computer and select Exchange as both source and target.

Select Source and Destination as Exchange

Step 2. When you scroll down you get to select the specific workloads and apply a date filter as well.

Select Workload and Apply Date Filters

Step 3. Select the Source version (2013), type in the IP of AD, Exchange Server, and enter the admin credentials, then validate and press Next.  

Validate Source

Step 4. Then, select the target version (2016), type in the IP of AD, Exchange Server, enter the admin credentials, validate, and press Next.  

Select Exchange Server Version as 2016

Step 5. Map the users with either one of the following operations (Fetch, Import, Download).

Add Users

Step 6. Take a look at users, select and set priority by marking the box next to them, validate, and hit start migration.

Start Migration

Features that Make this Tool the Best Alternative for All Exchange Migrations

  • Facilitates transferring emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks between servers.
  • Offers selective mailbox migration using a Category Filter.
  • Includes a dedicated Date Filter for specific time period data migration.
  • Supports concurrent data transfer of multiple Exchange mailboxes through admin login.
  • Provides three different methods for user mapping between servers.
  • Utilizes a built-in dashboard for end-to-end migration monitoring.
  • Handles both user and Shared Mailbox migrations.
  • Options to migrate Exchange 2016 to 2019 too.
  • Prioritizes user shifts as needed with a dedicated selection column.
  • Covers all migration scenarios in the Re-Run Migration section.
  • Supports Exchange 2013 to 2016 migration in sub-domains.
  • Allows configuration of custom SMTP protocols and delivers real-time migration updates.
  • Compatible with systems running Windows Server 2012, 2016, or Windows 10 & 11.


Users wanted a way to migrate Exchange 2013 to 2016 and that’s exactly what we provided. Not only did this article cover the prerequisites but also gave a manual method of data transfer. Moreover, in order to skip over the complicated manual method an automated utility is also present as an option. With this, we hope that users were able to successfully complete the data transfer without any hassles.


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.