Announcing the Public Folder Consistency Agent for Exchange Online

We are very glad to announce availability of the public folder consistency agent for public folders in Exchange Online. What is this, you ask? Read on!

The agent currently works on two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Stale permissions on public folders

Consider a scenario where a user was given permissions on a public folder, but their mailbox was then removed. For example:

User named “Fi” is assigned Editor permission to a public folder called Sales:


The mailbox for “Fi” is then removed; this could be either because the mailbox was removed or the user itself was deleted (which also removes the mailbox).


After the mailbox is gone, the previous permission entry from the public folder is not cleaned up and remains there as stale entry:


Such stale permissions were a cause of concern and may result in issues like:

  • Other users might be unable to access public folders, even though they have the right permissions
  • Permission conflicts

The consistency agent finds and removes such stale permissions from public folders.

After the agent removed stale permission on our sample folder:


Scenario 2: Mail enabled public folder ‘content mailbox’ cleanup

Mail Enabled Public Folders (MEPF) have an important property related to ‘content mailbox’, which must be pointing to the correct public folder mailbox hosting the actual public folder content. The content mailbox property is crucial for delivering emails sent to the MEPF to a correct public folder.

We have seen situations in which the content mailbox property on the MEPF do not point to the actual public folder mailbox hosting the public folder content. In such scenarios, email sent to MEPF’s would just remain in queue and would not be delivered correctly.

The consistency agent verifies content mailbox property on MEPF’s and updates the value if it is not pointing to a correct mailbox.

In the following example, public folder “PF1” content resides in a public folder mailbox M2, however, the content mailbox property of this MEPF object is pointing to a public folder mailbox M1:


After the MEPF object is updated by the agent, the ContentMailbox correctly points to the public folder mailbox M2:


If there is email that was still ‘queued up’ for a particular folder, it will get delivered after the correction is made.

The PF consistency agent is already at work for your tenant; nothing you need to do!

For mail enabled public folders, the agent runs every day to keep the MEPF updated and avoid any mail delivery issues. And stale permissions entries are checked for and removed once every 7 days.

We’ve love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to ask any questions via the comments section below.

Public Folder team

Comments (3)

  1. Great.
    Now we need this for mailboxes.
    Removed mailboxes leave a raw SID behind for FullAccess and SendAS permissions.
    Same goes for resource mailbox booking permissions.
    Probably some more examples could be found.

  2. testrrrr says:

    Can we get this for exchange 2016 on premis too?

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