Migrate public folders

Google Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange

With Google Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange (GWMME), you can migrate the content from public folders on your Exchange server to Google Groups. There are 2 ways you can move the data:

  • Run GWMME on a Microsoft Windows computer and select the option to migrate public folders.
  • Run GWMME from a command line. This advanced procedure is meant for experienced administrators.

What's migrated?

Public folders in Exchange are common folders for sharing information with all authorized users, or groups of users, in your organization. Public folders can support messages, calendar events, contacts, notes, and so on.

Public folders are used to post and archive messages. When you post, you're not creating an email and sending it to an inbox. Instead, messages are posted to the public folder and can be viewed when navigating to the folder.

GWMME can migrate posted messages from public folders to Groups. File types not blocked by Gmail are migrated. Files are stored as attachments to posts in Groups. Learn more about File types blocked in Gmail.

Although public folders in Exchange support calendar events, contacts, and notes, GWMME does not migrate any of these data types.

Before you begin

  • Run separate migrations for user data and public folders—You can't migrate user data and public folders at the same time. Migrate your users' mail, calendar, and contacts data first. Then, migrate public folders.
  • The public folder and subfolder hierarchy can't be replicated in Groups—Google Groups can't be arranged into a hierarchy like Exchange subfolders. You can map the Exchange subfolders to a group or you can create separate groups for each subfolder.
  • Create groups first—You need to set up your groups and group memberships in Google Workspace before running the migration.
  • Specify nested public folders—To migrate a nested public folder, you must specify it separately in the mapping file.

Set up the migration

Step 1. Authorize GWMME for your account

Before you can install GWMME, you must authorize the software for your domain. For details, go to Authorize GWMME for your account.

Step 2. Create groups in Google Groups

You can create groups and add users to them with the Google Admin console, the Groups API, or the Google Groups for Business service. Learn more

To retrieve your public folder names, open Exchange Management Shell and enter Get-PublicFolder -Recurse.

Step 3: Create a mapping file

Important: If you're migrating public folders in default mode using the command line, you can skip this step. Learn more

Map the public folders in Exchange to the Google Group you want to migrate the data to. In the file, specify the folder name in Exchange and the corresponding group email address. Ensure the Exchange folder is consistently named with how it appears in Microsoft Outlook, especially if the language isn't set to English.

The mapping file can be a .csv (comma-separated values) or .txt (text) file. Save it to a folder that's easily located.


All Public Folders/Finance/annual report, 2015_annual_report@solarmora.com
All Public Folders/TPS reports/tps reports, tps-reports@solarmora.com
All Public Folders/Offshore/accounts, offshore-accounts@solarmora.com

Migrate public folders

Use the GWMME interface or the command line to migrate public folders.

Use the GWMME interface to migrate

Step 1: Exchange server details

  1. Run GWMME: Click Startand thenGoogle Workspace Migrationand thenGoogle Workspace Migration for Microsoft Exchange.
  2. For Server Type, select Exchange.
  3. Select the Specify a profile to use for migration option.
  4. In the Outlook Admin Profile field, select the pre-created Outlook profile of the Exchange administrator you want to use to sign in to your Exchange server.

    To create an Outlook profile for the Exchange administrator, follow these detailed steps.

  5. Click Next.

Step 2: User and domain information

  1. In the Google Workspace domain name field, specify the new primary Google Workspace domain where the data will be migrated.
  2. In the Service account credentials file field, specify the path to the JSON credentials file created as part of the authorization process.
  3. In the Google Workspace admin user field, specify the full email address of your Google Workspace domain super administrator.
  4. Click Next to specify the migration settings.

Step 3: Migration settings

  1. Check the Public Folders box as the type of data you want to migrate.
  2. In the File of folders to migrate field, specify the path to the mapping file created in step 3 above.
  3. Click Next.
  4. Review the migration settings and optionally make changes.
  5. Select your migration actions:
    • Migrate all data—When checked, the utility remigrates previously migrated data during the migration. When unchecked, previous items that were migrated successfully are skipped.
    • Save settings—When checked, the utility retains the current configuration for future use.
    • Migrate—When checked, the utility performs the migration.
  6. Click Next.
Use the command line to migrate

There are 2 options to migrate public folders using the command line:

  • (Recommended) Mapping mode—In mapping mode, you specify the path to the mapping file from step 3. The file specifies the links between the public folder and the group in Google Groups.
  • Default mode—In default mode, you don't need to provide a mapping file. The migration is run against folder and group names. The mapping is established when the public folder name directly matches the group name. For example, TPS reports/tps reports maps to tps-reports@solarmora.com.

Since group email addresses usually don't match public folder names, most organizations use mapping mode.

For details on commands, go to Run GWMME from the command line.

Note: If you're using a 64-bit operating system, you need to use Program Files (x86) instead of Program Files in the command.

Option 1. Run a migration in mapping mode

Specify the following commands:

"C:\Program Files\Google\Google Workspace Migration\ExchangeMigration.exe" --nouse_gui --exchange_profile_name="Exchange administrator profile" --google_domain="Google domain name" --service_account_json_path="json file path" --google_admin="administrator email address" --public_folder_mapping_file="path to mapping file" --enable_public_folder_migration --force_restart


"C:\Program Files\Google\Google Workspace Migration\ExchangeMigration.exe" --nouse_gui --exchange_profile_name="Exchange migration administrator profile" --google_domain="example.com" --service_account_json_path="C:\Users\admin\privatekey.json" --google_admin="admin@example.com" --public_folder_mapping_file="public_folder_mapping.csv" --enable_public_folder_migration --force_restart

Option 2. Run a migration in default mode

Specify the following commands:

"C:\Program Files\Google\Google Workspace Migration\ExchangeMigration.exe" --nouse_gui --exchange_profile_name="Exchange administrator profile" --google_domain="Google domain name" --service_account_json_path="json file path" --google_admin="administrator email address" --enable_public_folder_migration --force_restart


"C:\Program Files\Google\ Google Workspace Migration\ExchangeMigration.exe" --nouse_gui --exchange_profile_name="Exchange migration administrator profile" --google_domain="example.com" --service_account_json_path="C:\Users\admin\privatekey.json" --google_admin="admin@example.com" --enable_public_folder_migration --force_restart

Note: Each example command above is a continual single line. Any line breaks visible here are for readability only.


Is it possible to migrate only the messages (and not the documents) from the public folder?

Yes. If you're running GWMME, you can exclude specific message classes using the command line:

Are migrated documents and attachments searchable?

Yes. You can search for attachments by using the Google Groups search parameter has:attachment and by attachment names.

Are migrated posts delivered to group members?

No. Migrated posts are only inserted into the group archive.

What message classes does GWMME migrate from public folders?

The following message classes are migrated from public folders: IPM.Note, IPM.Post, IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Request, IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Canceled, IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Resp, and IPM.

Does GWMME migrate the read or unread status of public folder posts?

No. GWMME doesn't migrate the read or unread status or other user-level metadata for public folder posts.

Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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