Removing on Premise Exchange

Jay Schwegler
Jay Schwegler used Ask the Experts™
I completed a migration to Office 365 a few months ago, everything is working fine and I'm going to be removing the on-premise Exchange 2010 now.

So far all I have done is remove all of the user mailboxes. At this point can Exchange be removed from Add/Remove Programs?

I wasn't sure if there was any other prep involved before it will uninstall complete successfully.

1) The Discovery Search Mailbox is the only one that exists on the mailbox list. Should that one be removed?
2) Anything I need to do with the offline address book or any other features before uninstalling?
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Senior Engineer
You should be good to go to do your in-install.

Just to be on the safe side, I'd power down the old Exchange 2010 server for a couple of days to make sure and if all is well, power it back up and do your removal.

Also to be on the safe side, I'd make a full backup and keep that around for at least a few weeks.
Alan CoxSr. Architect | Consulting

Exchange 2010 won't uninstall if there is no where for -arbitration mailboxes to go. So I agree with Scott, power down to check and then you'll have to remove the databases in active directory (EMC won't let you do it).
BUT, my question is HOW did you move to office 365? Hybrid? Are you using AAD Connect? IF that is the case, the only 'supported' method for managing 4 mail objects IS EXCHANGE.
1. Email addresses
2. Hide From Address list
3. MailTips
4. Alias
This means that IF you are using AAD Connect, your source of authority is on premise and the only supported means to manage mail items in this case is Exchange. So in this case, the recommendation is to keep exchange. I generally bring on Exchange 2016 just for hybrid and remove 2010 in these cases (Hybrid license is free). Microsoft is working on this 'problem'. IF you are not syncing AD, and your users are 'cloud only' then by all means, remove exchange. Just fyi.
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

There are lot of steps required to remove on-premises server. I advise you to check this KB.
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Just for clarification, this is not a hybrid deployment with Exchange Online. Sorry, I should have specified that.

The migration was done without any connection between local and Office 365 Exchange, AD Connect was not used to synchronize the accounts. The mail was synchronized to Office 365 using an ActiveSync tool.

My Exchange 2010 server is essentially a paperweight.
AmitIT Architect
Distinguished Expert 2017

In that case, you can just remove the server.
Scott CSenior Engineer

Just like I said in my first post.
E ATech Lead

Generally, when directory synchronization is enabled for a tenant and a user is synchronized from on-premises, most of the attributes cannot be managed from Exchange Online and must be managed from on-premises. So we recommend you have at least one on-premise server.

But if you still remove exchange server, I suggest you have a look at the following articles to get the detailed steps: 

You may also get help from this PDF guide for decommissioning Exchange Server 2010.

Uninstall last Exchange 2010 server after migration to Office 365

Hope this helps!

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