Exchange 2007 - How to disable mailbox without deleting

I would like to disable a mailbox in Exchange 2007.  I would like any mail sent to the address to bounce as if no such mailbox exists.  However, I would like to keep the contents of the mailbox.

What is my best course of action?
Sean MeyerAsked:
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shauncroucherConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you disable the mailbox user in Exchange 2007 it will mark the mailbox for deletion.

It will however, remove the exchange attributes and therefore users will get a bounce message.

It will be important for you to ensure that you reconnect this mailbox to another account so it does not get permanantly deleted after 30 days (by default).

This article offers more information on the subject:


SaakarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you just disable the mailbox that should give the exact behaviour that you are looking for... Till the time you do not purge the mailbox the contents of the mailbox should be fine
badgermikeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could disable not delete the mailbox in the exchange management console , which would keep the contents however I believe you would have to enable it again to access it.

So you could just change the password on it in active directory (if you want to stop access from someone who may have left)....without disabling the mailbox

Then you would create a transport rule on the exchange server - organization configuration - hub transport - transport rules

Create a new rule, give it a name ..have the rule be for messages sent to people (add the email address) , have the action to send bounce message to sender with enhanced status code-  you can change this to say anything you wan't ex..message refused, mailbox no longer exists etc...

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shauncroucherConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Alternatively, you could Export-Mailbox the mail data out the mailbox first, or use the move-mailbox command to move the data in the mailbox to another mailbox user and then Disable the original mailbox user. This may be a simpler approach?

Sean MeyerAuthor Commented:
Many good answers.  I always wondered about the timing on the deletion because when you disable the mailbox it becomes "Marked for Deletion"  I thought it may have happened right away.   Good to know it is 30 days.
Yes, the mailbox is protected by the mailbox retention settings on the Mailbox Database. By default it is 30 days with Exchange 2007.

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