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Exchange 2013 to 2019 Migration with an Easy Way to Shift Data

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On September 27th, 2023
Reading Time 9 Minutes Reading
Category Exchange Server

Exchange Servers are some of the most popular tools for organizational data management. They are used for all sorts of work-related tasks like sending and receiving emails, creating contacts, adding calendar events, etc. Moreover, even the version released a decade prior in 2013 came with some quality updates that made it quite popular among the masses. However, it’s now high time for organizations that still operate it to shift to a newer version. In other words, perform an Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration. Regardless of the method, we need to cover the prerequisites for an Exchange Server upgrade.

Steps to Perform Before an Exchange 2013 to 2019 Migration

Basic hardware requirements for Exchange 2019 are given below:

  • Processor (CPU): At least a 2 GHz dual-core Intel 64-bit processor, preferably quad-core.
  • Memory (RAM): A minimum of 8 GB (16 GB or more recommended).
  • Disk Space: Allocate 30 GB for the system drive, with additional space for mailbox databases, logs, and system needs.
  • Network Adapter: Use Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) or faster.
  • Storage: Consider SSDs for mailbox databases and transaction logs, with NTFS or ReFS

For more precise hardware recommendations tailored to your organization’s needs, use the Microsoft Exchange Server Role Requirements Calculator.

Before you install Office Online Server, do the following steps on the target computer:

  • Download Visual C++ Redistributable to work with Visual Studio 2015.
  • Get Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2.
  • Execute the following command in Windows PowerShell and install the required operating system:
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
  • Restart your device once all features are installed and ready to use.

The person responsible for upcoming tasks requires specific permissions, as outlined below.

Local Administrator:

  • Configure a disjoint namespace.
  • Configure Exchange settings on Edge Transport servers.

Domain Administrator:

  • Configure mail flow.

Organization Management:

  • Configure accepted domains.
  • Configure email address policies.
  • Configure external URLs.
  • Configure certificates.
  • Configure site mailboxes.

Ensure that the server has CU21 installed otherwise, Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration won’t be possible.

Configure the default OAB on the existing mailbox 

  • Launch Exchange Management Shell
  • Execute the following command to get a list of all mailbox databases in your organization, and the OABs to which they belong:
Get-MailboxDatabase | Format-Table Name,Server,OfflineAddressBook -Auto
  • For every mailbox database that doesn’t have one, assign an OAB or replace the old OAB that’s currently assigned
Get-MailboxDatabase | Set-MailboxDatabase -OfflineAddressBook "Default Offline Address Book"

Some Additional Prerequisites Before Exchange 2013 to 2019 Migration

  • Now users need to install the Exchange Mailbox server role. To verify this step they can either type and run Get-ExchangeServer command or look at the setup log file C:\ExchangeSetupLogs\ExchangeSetup.log.
  • An optional step is to deploy an Office Online Server as it allows users to look at the supported file attachments directly within Outlook on the web itself. Moreover, this removes the process of local download and puts less pressure on ‌network bandwidth.
  • Now build an Exchange Admin mailbox using the steps given below
    • Visit the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) & log in with the account used to install Exchange 2019.
    • Go to Recipients > Mailboxes, choose Add, and then pick User mailbox. 
    • Enter the required information for the new mailbox and hit Save.
    • Go to Permissions > Admin Roles, select Organization Management, and then Edit.
    • In Members, click Add, then select the recently created Exchange 2019 mailbox, click Add, then OK, and Save.
  • Multiple settings like Outlook Anywhere, Exchange ActiveSync, Exchange Web Services (EWS), Offline Address Book (OAB), Outlook on the Web, the Exchange admin center (EAC), and the availability service need to be configured beforehand.
  • Prepare URLs for both internal and external client access, ensuring secure remote and internal communication.
  • Obtain, install, and configure SSL/TLS certificates for secure data exchange between the server and clients.
  • Relocate arbitration mailboxes during upgrades or migrations to maintain system functionality.
  • Set up SCP for efficient client discovery and connection to Exchange 2019.
  • Configure DNS records, including MX, Autodiscover, and SRV, to direct traffic accurately in your Exchange 2019 deployment.

Manual Method to Migrate Exchange 2013 to 2019

Step 1. Navigate to the URL of your Mailbox server and enter your credentials to open the Exchange Admin Center.  

Step 2. Then, visit the Recipients section on the left side pane, In there find and press Migration, click on Add, and then select Move to a different database option. 

Step 3. Within the option titled “Select the users that you want to move”, hit Add, and pick out all the mailboxes you want to shift. 

Step 4. Cross-check if the list contains all mailboxes that you selected for Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration 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. Check if the mailbox database in the Target database is correct and then press the ‌ Next button. 

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. Once you reach the finalization phase, ‌mailboxes transition to an unavailable state. Don’t worry this is only a temporary stall in which the server is performing some backend checks. Users can now decide if they want the mailbox data to be transferred right now or wait and make some more changes manually. 

Source: Exchange Deployment Assistant

A better way to move mailboxes is discussed ahead.

Automated Utility to Migrate System Mailboxes from Exchange 2013 to 2019

To skip over the highly complicated manual method we offer a professional alternative in the form of an advanced Exchange to Exchange Migration Tool. The tool contains all sorts of features to simplify the process of data transfer between exchange servers. 

Download Now Purchase Now

Some of the reasons to choose this tool over the alternatives are:

  • Allows the transfer of emails, contacts, calendars, and tasks between servers. 
  • Migrate mailboxes selectively with the help of a Category Filter.
  • Move data belonging to a specific time period via a dedicated Date Filter
  • Use admin login for concurrent data transfer of several Exchange mailboxes. 
  • Three different methods to create user mapping from one server to another. 
  • Use the built-in dashboard to keep an eye on the migration from start to end. 
  • Migrate not only user mailboxes but Shared Mailboxes as well.
  • Shift users on a priority basis via the option present in the tool.
  • Cover all migration scenarios in the Re-Run Migration subsection. 
  • Perform Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration of users in Sub-Domain as well.
  • Configure your own SMTP protocol and get real-time updates on the migration.
  • Use on systems that have either Windows Server 2012, 2016, or Windows 10 & 11.
  • Get the added benefit of Exchange 2016 to 2019 migration as well.

Now let’s look at the procedure to use the tool.

Steps to Use the to Migrate Exchange Server 2013 to 2019

Step 1. Launch the tool on your machine and select Exchange as both the source and the Target.

Select Source and Destination as Exchange

Step 2. Scroll down towards the workload section and mark the box next to the data type you wish to move. Users can also set the Date filter from the dropdown menu on their right.

Select Workload and Apply Date Filters

Step 3. In the source, section select the Exchange Server version as 2013, type in the Admin Email, Password, and IP address of both Active Directory and Exchange server, and include subdomains if you have one.

Validate Source

Step 4. This process is identical to the one we just did at the source. However, one change that the user needs to make for the Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration is to select the version as the latter. Once done validate and press next.

Select Exchange Server Version as 2016

Step 5. Add the user data in one of three ways which is via a direct Fetch operation, Import a premade CSV, or first Download a template present in the tool and then make your additions to it and re-upload the file.

Add Users

Step 6. Once the preview of all users is available mark the box next to them to make a more specific selection. This selection also assigns the priority on which the migration shall take place. Once all set press the Start migration button.

Start Migration

Exchange 2013 to 2019 Post Migration Guide

After the transfer is complete there are still some checks left, so let’s get straight to it.

  • First and foremost don’t forget to activate the permanent license of your new Exchange Server by putting in the product key. This indicates a genuine version of the server and allows for official protection from cyber crimes. Moreover, if this step is not done the server stops its services automatically after 120 days.
  • Next up admin must take the time to assign the various permissions to individuals based on their roles and responsibilities. Decisions like who can manage mailboxes, security, and other tasks bring order while reducing workload. Additionally, it also keeps in line with the role-based access control (RBAC) permissions model present in Exchange 2019.
  • You definitely don’t want your email to stop working. You are not alone as built-in methods in  Exchange 2019 have ways to keep it going, like Database Availability Groups (DAGs). These make sure your email stays up even if one server has a problem.
  • If you use both Exchange and Office 365, set up a hybrid system. This helps your users work smoothly between the two. You’ll need to make sure they can send emails and use both systems easily.
  • Exchange is a way for emails to come in and go out. So, keep it safe. Use firewalls, anti-malware tools, and encryption to protect it. Also, follow any rules or laws about email, especially if your industry has special ones.
  • Keep an eye on your Exchange system. Look at logs and see how it’s doing. If there are problems, have a plan to fix them quickly.
  • Finally, the most important part is teaching your users how to use Exchange well. Offer training and help so they can use it easily and know how to keep everything safe.


In this article, we had a complete discussion on the topic of Exchange 2013 to 2019 migration. Furthermore, we provided two separate manual methods for the users. Apart from the manual methods for making data transfer easier, we included an industry-leading utility as well. Therefore, users who are facing difficulty in the manual process can go for the tool and shift their server in a few steps.


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.