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Migrating data from Zimbra to Exchange

For this process, you will need:

  • Both, an active Zimbra account, and an active Exchange account. If the Exchange account doesn't exist, create one in Exchange Account Management. Though the user may be tempted, they should not use the Exchange account until the first section below has been completed. It may cause confusion about their email address when sending messages from an improperly configured account.
  • A Windows computer connected to the internet - even if the user primarily uses Mac.
Migrate mail routing and aliases from Zimbra to Exchange
  1. Set forward from Zimbra to Exchange in Zimbra Account Management or Zimbra Account Services. Set it to not keep a local copy of messages.
  2. Open ticket with ProDesk to migrate aliases and mail-routing. Wait until this ticket is resolved before proceeding.
  3. Set the From address in Exchange Account Management to the desired alias.
This stops mail flow to the Zimbra account. All new mail will go to Exchange. The user can start using Exchange as their main account.


Migrate Mail Data
  1. Set up the Zimbra Outlook Connector and sync the Zimbra account to Outlook (the sync may take a while, depending on the amount of data, be patient - I recommend leaving it for a few hours). Check to be sure all mail folders are fully synced before proceeding.
  2. Close Outlook and copy C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Zimbra.zdb to the Desktop (or some other location you can easily find later). Then change the extension from .zdb to .pst. The file should be Zimbra.pst.
  3. Create Outlook profile for Exchange (in the Mail control panel, Start -> Control Panel -> Mail), open Outlook in that profile.
  4. Import the Zimbra.pst file (File -> Open -> Open Outlook Data File) and copy local Zimbra folders to the Exchange account (drag and drop).
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Migrate Calendar Data
Migrating mail data as above will import a copy of the Zimbra calendar, but not into the main calendar. To import calendar data into the main calendar, follow the steps below.
  1. Login to the Zimbra Web Client.
  2. Navigate to Preferences -> Import/Export.
  3. In the Export section, select Calendar, then click All Folders.
  4. Select the local calendars you wish to export. CTRL + click to select multiple calendars if necessary. (Note: shared calendars and subscribed internet calendars should be re-shared and re-subscribed.)
  5. Click Okay and then Export.
  6. In Outlook, import the exported calendar (File -> Open -> Import, choose "Import an iCalendar or vCalendar file", click Next.)
  7. Select the calendar file you exported (steps 1-5 above), click Okay.
  8. When prompted, click Import.
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Information Systems and Computing
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Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania