If an account in Active Directory is deleted, what happens to that users mailbox?

Posted on 2009-02-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
This is going to sound like a noob question, but none-the-less, I still need help.  I just started with this company, but someone deleted a user out of Active Directory about two months ago, and someone in the company needs access to that user's emails.  Any advice?  
Question by:CSSAdmin
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    I believe if the mailbox hasn't been explicitly deleted its still there:

    A disconnected mailbox is a mailbox object in an Exchange mailbox database that is not associated with an Active Directory user account. When you remove or disable a mailbox, the data that is stored in the Exchange mailbox database is no longer associated with the user account in Active Directory and becomes a disconnected mailbox.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    What version of server are you running and what version of Exchange?

    I believe though that the mail box gets marked  to be deleted when a clean up of the exchange server happens.  You can go into the exchange managment utility and look to see if the mailbox still exists.  If it does then it should be possible to re-assign that mailbox some where else.  Let me know what verison of Exchange and I will provide some more specific information.
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    If you delete a user in AD then the mailbox in Exchange will still be there and will be marked with a Red mark as it is orphaned, if you right click on the mailbox you can reconnect this to an AD account (that has NOT got a mailbox attached to it). If you want a user to view the mailbox you will need to create another AD account, reconnect the mailbox to this and then grant the other user (who wants to access the mailbox) permissions to access the mail.

    See the following:

    If the mailbox has been deleted you will have to restore from backups.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you very much!

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