Exchange Support For Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 And Exchange Support Previously Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 were released to the TechNet subscriber download centre.   Prior to Windows Server 2012 R2 being tested and validated by the Exchange Product Group, we had asked to pause deployments of 2012 R2 DCs into environments where Exchange was installed.

Exchange 2013 Service Pack 1, Exchange 2010 SP3 RU5 and Exchange 2007 SP3 RU13 were all released today, the 25th of February 2014.   As announced back in November the Exchange team were working to test and validate Exchange against Windows Server 2012 DCs.   That work has been completed, and the support stance has been updated on TechNet.

To prevent confusion for folks that may have read this post prior to today’s updated support stance it has been heavily edited to reflect the new information.  Probably not much point showing out-dated stuff, eh?

Walking The Supported Path

TechNet documents the Exchange Product Group’s supported OS for each version of Exchange.  Here are the links for your convenience:

System Requirements

The support matrix for all of the Exchange versions have been consolidated into one location.

There have been a couple of posts in the TechNet forums where people have run into some issues when they have either:

  • Upgraded the OS in place to Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Tried to install Exchange 2010  onto Windows Server 2012 R2

Unfortunately there is not much that can be done to help apart from digging out backups as they are not supported options.

I didn’t list Exchange 2003 as hopefully no one out there is going to be trying that with Server 2012 R2. **


Supported Operating System Platforms

The following table identifies the operating system platforms on which each version of Exchange can run. Supported platforms are identified by an X character.

Exchange Supported Operating Systems

You will note that Windows Server 2012 R2 is currently only listed as a supported OS platform for Exchange 2013 SP1 onwards and Exchange 2016.  In addition to this please also note that Windows Server 2012 R2 is listed as a supported Domain Controller for Exchange 2016, Exchange 2013 SP1, Exchange 2010 SP3 RU5 and Exchange 2007 SP3 RU13 or later builds of each.

Supported Active Directory Environments

The following table identifies the Active Directory environments with which each version of Exchange can communicate. Supported environments are identified by an X character. An Active Directory server refers to both writable global catalog servers and to writable domain controllers. Read-only global catalog servers and read-only domain controllers aren't supported.

Supported Active Directory Environments For Exchange

Supported Active Directory Functionality Levels For Exchange


Previous update history to this post for full disclosure:

Update  3-10-2013: Added additional note about Domain Controller support

Update 12-11-2013: Added note to indicate TechNet has updated support stance to say Exchange 2013 support  for Windows Server 2012 R2 will be provided by future version of Exchange 2013.

Update 20-11-2013:  Additional details here.

Update 25-2-2014:  Re-wrote this post to reflect the current support stance

Update 30-10-2015: Added Exchange 2016 references




** Well you never know I suppose….


Comments (119)

  1. steve siyavaya says:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I think you might be missing an "R2" in this line: You will note that Windows Server 2012 *R2* is not currently listed


  2. I am indeed – thanks muchly Steve!!

    Post has been corrected.  Keeping track of what's in Exchange RUs is easier than getting this R2 business straight 🙂



  3. SMTP25 says:

    Is there a planned release date for Exchange Server 2013 SP1 as yet?

  4. It's the old adage,  those that know cannot say, and the ones that are talking probably do not know 🙂



  5. miguel says:

    Thank you very very much for the Info… you also cleared up for me, if i can have 2012 R2 for my DC's and have 2012 on the exchange… now i know i can ONLY install 2012 on both the DC's and the exchange server

  6. No worries Miguel,

    The product group is totally aware of this.  2012 R2 is not even generally available so it will be a wee while before I'd expect to see an announcement.  Stay tuned to the Exchange team blog and twitter handles and they will announce when they are in a position to support this.  



  7. Jack Dorsey says:

    Thanks much for this post. This is why I always check first before diving in!

  8. Dani Sarfati says:

    You mention not to introduce any 2012 R2 DCs… I did that a week before this post came out but haven't seen any obscure behavior in my Exchange 2013 lab environment. Is there something I should be looking for?


  9. Hi Dani,

    While we *may* not expect any issues, until testing has been completed it's an unknown.



  10. Good post. Thanks for clarification.

  11. Wayne says:

    Is this a joke?

    As a partner we are forced to update to the latest releases of products, but you are unable to support the latest version of Exchange with Windows 2012 R2? Do your developers not think to test your own applications with the latest operating system releases prior to releasing them to the unsuspecting general public. I for one, am dreading the annual updates that you are suggesting if this is going to be the case with each update. I suggest this needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency!! Furthermore your own "Windows 2012 R2 Known Issues" web page bears no mention to the fact that Exchange is not supported…/dn387077.aspx

  12. tom says:


    I'm not sure what has you so upset. Exchange 2013 came out well before Windows 2012 R2 and 2012 R2 introduces new technology not programmed into Exchange 2013. Exchange, like many other new servers leverage PowerShell. In Server 2012 PowerShell v3 is the native PowerShell version. Exchange 2013 uses PowerShell v3. Server 2012 R2 uses PowerShell v4 and Exchange 2013 does not, so there is going to have to be some work done on Exchange 2013 to bring it up to support PS v4.

    I've not known a partner to be 'forced' to update to a latest release. As a partner, you should want to update to the latest release, read the supportability matrices, and prepare yourself for the questions that your customers have.

    Hang in there and I’m sure there will be a service pack or CU which addresses Exchange 2013 and support for PowerShell v4.

  13. Wayne says:

    @Tom….As a partner we are made to upgrade to the latest release within 12 months. We are due to upgrade our systems to 2012 within the next two weeks, but R2 has been released so do I……

    A) Wait a few months and upgrade a live infrastructure or B) trust that Microsoft would have their own products tested on their own operating systems and upgrade now on a system that is not live but will be shortly.

    I can forgive Microsoft when 3rd party applications do not work with their products, but for their flagship product to not work with their own operating system is beyond belief. If only their was an alternative!! I appreciate that work "needs to be done" on powershell etc, but surely M$ have had this release for months before the general public.

  14. Joseph Crain says:

    Are there any known problems installing and using 2013 CU2 Exchange Management Tools on a Windows 2012 R2 server to administer Exchange?

  15. Joseph Crain says:

    Also, regarding 2012 R2 domain controllers, your second sentence is not very clear:"…please do not update the OS on your Exchange servers right now or to introduce 2012 R2 DCs."  Does this mean if we have exchange 2013 in our forest we cannot use any DCs that are running 2012 R2?  If we have no 2013 Exchange servers, it is OK to install DCs on 2012 R2?

  16. Hi Joseph,

    I can't condone or advocate performing something that is not fully tested or supported.  

    Regarding the sentence — you are correct that 2012 GCs are not currently supported with Exchange.    That is written to be inclusive of all versions of Exchange.  If you take a look at the support matrix Windows 2012 R2 is not in there.



  17. PS: Was that the superfluous 'to' in the sentence the issue – or something else?  I have taken that out.

  18. Hi Wayne,

    Tom discusses some very good and pertinent points.

    One other thing to note is that final testing requires the final build of the product, in this case Windows Server 2012 R2.  Yes testing can be done on the interim builds but it needs to be re-done on the RTM build.

    I will update the blog post as soon as I have something to share.



  19. Orkhan Mirsadigov says:

    Any news about support on Win 2012 R2  ?

  20. Alexander Dalibor says:

    Hi Rhoderick,

    we installed the 2012R2 as DC/GC additional to our 2008R2 DC without knowing this issue two weks ago. I found this article last week and wondering that there was no Information to MS Partners. As a Workaround i moved the 2012R2 DCs into a separate Site.



  21. MSFAIL says:

    So what would happen if I introduce a single 2012R2 DC along with my 2008R2 DC's in my Exchange 2010 environment?

  22. Hi Alexander,

    The main support article is the public one listed in the blog post, and that is where the guidance will be posted to.

    Moving them to another site is partially a solution, but it is still a GC/DC running in the same forest as Exchange.



  23. Hi   Mr Fail,

    It's the same as what I mentioned above.  

    While we *may* not expect any issues, until testing has been completed it's an unknown.  That's why its listed as unsupported.  



  24. MSFAIL says:

    Thanks for the feedback.  I guess I will just continue to check this blog and the support matrix and wait.  Was hoping to put a 2012R2 Domain Controller in place to start testing 2012R2 and 8.1 GPO settings.

  25. ML49448 says:

    Do you mean you cannot introduce any 2012 R2 DC's or do you mean the domain schema cannot be 2012 R2?

  26. DikSoft says:

    Joseph Crain wrote:

    30 Oct 2013 3:51 PM

    >Are there any known problems installing and using 2013 CU2 Exchange Management Tools on a Windows 2012 R2 server to administer Exchange?

    – I have tested inplace upgrade Windows 2012 to 2012 R2 with Exchange 2013 CU2 – only two thing requied: Unmount Databases before upgrade, reinstall WinRM IIS Extention after upgrade.

  27. Paul Brett says:

    Like others I didn't see that Exchange is not supported by 2012 R2 until after the mailbox failed to mount after the upgrade

    – I assumed the incompatibility checker would at least detect incompatible Microsoft programs

    – I won't make that assumption again 🙂

    I've managed to fix the mail database with eseutil /r e00 and then in my case defragment it with eseutil /d to rebuild a corrupt index

    The exchange toolbox seems to be also broken – looks like a .NET incompatibility but haven't confirmed this

  28. Paul Brett says:

    Installing WinRM IIS extension fixes the exchange toollbox

  29. Hi Michael,

    Both, as both require to be validated and signed off on.



  30. Hey Paul,

    In place OS upgrades have not been supported for a while. I'm not saying categorically what the stance will be with Win 2012 R2 (that will come via the official channels), but I would not be surprised if the previous statement still applies.



  31. BrunoK11 says:

    I'm a little bit confused. We are building a completely new domain based on Server 2012R2 – also the DCs are 2012R2. Is this supported (a full 2012R2-Domain ?) Further, when will the future version of Exchange 2013 relased, for getting full supported platforms ?

  32. Hi Bruno,

    That is not supported as of today, but the testing etc. is in progress.

    Will update this as soon as I have something that I can share.



  33. Update:  This was posted today to the team blog…/exchange-server-2013-service-pack-1-coming-in-early-2014.aspx

    SP1 is AKA  CU4

    CU3 will be arriving shortly!



  34. Steve says:

    CU3 and CU4 are fine for those brave souls on Exchange 2013, but what about 2010 SP3 UR3? Is there any hope in sight? I'm holding back AD projects because there is no Exchange support for 2012 R2 Domain Controllers.

  35. Its coming Steve!  

    You will tell me "so is Christmas", but please hold out just a little longer!



  36. DC2012 says:

    Same here….I want to introduce an 2012r2 Domain Controller in my Exchange 2010 environment!

  37. BrunoK11 says:

    Thanks Rhoderick

    let's say we wait for Exchange 2013 SP1. But a question i still have for the domain/forest functional levels. According…/cc771294.aspx the forest level is supported with Server 2012, not 2012R2. Will the R2 added soon as supported Functional Level ?

    Sorry, i know, it's the exchange forum… let me know, if i have to post this to the AD-forum.


  38. Todd says:


    Do you have any further updates on the status of support for Windows Server 2012 DCs in an Exchange 2010 environment.  I have a couple of upcoming migrations in which I planned to use Windows Server 2012 R2 for my Domain Controllers, and I'm hoping I won't need to either delay the installations or modify the scenarios.



  39. Hey Todd,

    Not right now.  Nothing more that I can share – sorry!  

    The Product Group are on it!



  40. Joe says:

    Hi Rhoderick,

    Is there support from exchange 2013 running on 2012 or older OS for 2012 r2 DC's in an active directory 2008 r2 schema?

    I don't see how it would cause a problem, as the schema is older.

    And obviously you can't put exchange on 2012 r2 as a base OS 🙂


  41. Hey Joe,

    If you have a 2012 R2 DC, then the schema needs to be at an updated level to support that – no?  How would you do this please?  To be specific this is only discussing schema not FFL or DFL.  

    I'm wondering if this is due to new adprep.exe behaviour.  In the past, you manually had to run adprep before introducing a newer DC version.  In 2012 and up, this can run automagically in the background (if you had not manually ran it previously) and you have the necessary permissions.  



  42. Todd says:

    Hi Rhoderick,

    I just wanted to follow up on the issue of introducing a 2012 RC DC into a domain in which Exchange is installed.  The current Exchange 2013 System Requirements (same for Exchange 2010) state that you must have at least one writeable domain controller running any of Windows Server 2003 SP2 through Windows Server 2012 (ditto for at least one Global catalog server) and that the schema master must run on one of those versions of Windows Server.  Provided that those conditions are met, I don't see the basis for any implication that introducing a Windows Server 2012 R2 DC into the domain is to be avoided.  Perhaps I'm not knowledgeable enough about AD schema (I do realize that installing the 2012 R2 DC will modify the schema), but it would seem that the extensions to the schema wouldn't matter as long as Exchange can see what it needs to per the stated requirements.



  43. Joe says:

    Hi Rhoderick, you can in place upgrade 2012 dc to 2012 r2 dc and it left my schema at what it was before – 2008 R2. Didn’t touch it, I can manually upgrade it if I want to though.

  44. kev says:

    Would like some information with regards to the new 2012 R2
    I have 3 DCs 1 of the 3 holds all FMSO roles. What I want to know is if I upgrade one of the DCs that does NOT hold the FMSO roles is my exchange 2007 Server going to complain.

    Also when I do come to upgrade the DC that does hold the FMSO roles will my exchange server complain then

    On another form someone has done an upgrade from 2008R2 to 2012 and they had an Exchange 2007 server in with their environment had hasn’t noticed any issues. So how much of difference is there between 2012 and 2012 R2 surly the adprep that runs that changes the domain schema and forest schema updates can’t have changed all that much surly??

  45. Doug says:

    I’ve got Exchange 2010 SP3 UR4 running on Server 2008 R2, with all DCs being Windows Server 2012 R2, and the schema upgraded as such. No issues, thankfully, although both DCs were upgrades from 2008 R2 to 2012 (last year), then upgraded last month to 2012 R2.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Ich möchte mit diesem Post auf ein aktuelles Problem aufmerksam machen das derzeit in vielen Foren

  47. Hi folks, comments on the last couple of topics!

    Todd – its about making sure that Exchange will work as intended against those 2012 R2 DCs. There is a chance that Exchange (and not just 2013/2010, think 2007 which is a bit older) may run into issues with those newer DCs. That is what the Product Group has to test and validate.

    Anonymous – are you talking about domain functional level / forest functional level here? Just to confirm please.

    Anonymous I and II – as mentioned above, While we *may* not expect any issues, until testing has been completed it’s an unknown.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I have migrated from an 2003 environment to 2012 r2 dc and 2012 exchange 2010 servers there have been no issues so far.

  49. Anonymous says:

    21 Nov 2013 4:53 AM
    Its coming Steve!
    You will tell me “so is Christmas”, but please hold out just a little longer!

    As so… Christmas has come and gone – and no new information has been released. I know you aren’t responsible for this, but its disgraceful of Microsoft to leave us in the dark so long.


  50. I hear you Steve!

    I’m continuing to monitor for when this is announced and will update when I get something I can share. Sorry!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Is there already a already release data available for Exchange 2013 CU4/SP1.
    The go-live date for my project is 17th of Februari.

  52. @Anonymous – no specific date is available yet. It will be early 2014.


  53. ceather93 says:

    ‘Early 2014’ can’t come soon enough

  54. Tom C,

    I have to remove that comment due to the profanity. You are welcome to leave candid feedback, just no swearing.


  55. Ambers says:

    For those that have not seen any issues with having a Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller with Exchange 2013 CU3 here is a cool experience. I attempted to change the name of a send connector and every time I try lsass crashes on a random domain controller in that datacenter. I’ve done it 3 times now. Wish I had thought to read the Exchange supportability matrix before upgrading my domain controllers last year.

  56. ..... says:

    Any update with introducing 2012r2 domain controller with Exchange SP3?

  57. DiscoStu1 says:

    Why release a product that can behave as a DC knowing that there will be a significant amount of customers using Exchange Server. Surely it would have made sense to prevent 2012 R2 Servers becoming DCs until Exchange Server versions were supported, or at least document it well enough to prevent people from making the mistake of implementing this software in an unsupported design. You mention Early 2014 for Exchange 2013 SP1, however is there any vague timescales on when/if Exchange 2010 is supported with 2012 R2 Domain Controllers. Thanks

  58. MSFAIL says:

    Any update on this?

  59. Lucien Roelofs says:

    Any news about SP1 release date ?

  60. torres says:

    Supported in an Active Directory environment to Windows 2012 Exchange 2007 SP1 is included?

  61. Exchange support was announced today for Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controllers, DFL / FFL and installation onto Windows Server 2012 R2 OS. This post has been heavily edited to reflect today’s changes. Please review the details and plan accordingly! Cheers,

  62. Torres – Exchange 2007 SP1 has been out of support for a long time! You really must get to SP3 plus a recent RU. RU 13 for Exchange 2007 SP3 was released today!


  63. steve siyavaya says:

    Thanks for the update, just in time for my FY2014/2015 projects 🙂

    Is there any plan to make Exchange 2010 compatible with Windows 2012 R2 as a supported OS?

  64. MilanBanjac says:

    @steve siyavaya – no, it will never be supported:

    Brent Alinger [MSFT]

    26 Feb 2014 4:56 AM

    @Rowbby – We have no plans to support Windows Server 2012 R2 as the OS used for Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 deployments.

  65. Thanks for answering Milan !

    Exchange 2010 has about 11 months before it enters Extended support in January 2015.


  66. SeanEvans says:

    Hey Rhoderick, thanks for this article. I didn’t know about the lack of support with 2012R2/Exchange 2013.

    Didn’t stop us installing it though! Touch wood – haven’t had any issues on the servers we’ve deployed so far but as you say; it’s not a case that we *will/won’t* get issues but more of the official support for the combination due to evolving technologies. We’ll be pushing out 2013 SP1 asap – our first is going in now.

    I’m happy with the products and support so far, hope they keep up the good work 🙂


  67. Hi Sean, that was exactly the reason that I put this post out there in the first place. Folks were doing this and it was not clear that it was an unsupported position until last week.


  68. Robert Turpie says:

    Hi all,
    We have Exchange Server 2010 SP2 running on server 2008R2. We recently upgraded our DC’s to Server 2012R2. I know that this is unsupported and want to upgrade Exchange to 2010SP3 roll up 5 ASAP.
    Will I still be able to upgrade Exchange successfully. You have to install Exchange SP3 before installing roll up 5. I don’t want to restart the Exhange servers after SP3 install and it all go wrong as we have 2012R2 DC’s.
    Exchange is currently working with no issues as far as I can see.
    Any advice greatfully received

  69. Hi Robert,

    You are correct that the 2012 R2 DC is not supported with the SP2 build of Exchange 2010. Being totally honest the product group will likely not have tested this upgrade scenario. Scenarios go from supported state X to supported state Y. In your case, maybe replicate this in a lab (maybe take some backups or VM captures) and run through the scenario to make sure it works for you. I would still ask you to restart after installing SP3, as we expect the machine to be restarted at that point.

    Let us know how you get on please.


  70. Robert Turpie says:

    Hi Rhoderick

    Thanks for the response. Unfortunately we don’t have a lab environment at the moment so will have to risk this live!
    We have just successfully ran the Exchange setup /PrepareAD command and I can confirm the schema upper limit value is now 14734 (Exchange 2010 SP3).

    The next step is to upgrade the Exchange servers. I don’t think that after installing SP3 it asks for a restart. If not, would it be more prudent to straight away install Update rollup 5 and then restart? Or do you think I should restart after SP3 installation, hope all comes up ok, and then install Update 5?



  71. Service packs may or may not prompt for a restart after installation. I’m currently writing up a 2013 article that shows the differences in GUI vs cmdline install. But regardless, the box should be restarted after installing either Exchange or a service pack.


  72. steve siyavaya says:

    @Milan @Rhoderick Thanks for the replies.

  73. brian7m3 says:

    I am running a Windows 2012 server and I just upgraded Exchange from 2013 RTM to 2013 SP1. Is it supported to do an in place upgrade to Windows 2012 R2?

  74. brian7m3 says:

    Never mind. Reading further I guess it’s not supported unless someone else knows otherwise. Thanks

  75. Its not supported to upgrade the OS inplace on an Exchange server Brian .


  76. i’ve installed RU5 Exch 2010 SP3 and now i got some problems with connecting users to exchange server. Can somebody say where can i solve them?

  77. All questions are solved. Thanks.

  78. Steve says:

    Er… I’ve got Exchange 2007 SP3 running right now (hub, mailbox, client access) on a Windows 2012 R2 member server right now and the forest and domain functional level are also set to 2012 R2. Everything seems to work fine, including EMS.

  79. Hey Steve,

    I’ve also heard that others have done similar things for Exchange 2010. Please remember that "not supported" does not equal "does not work". The official statement from the product group is very clear that the only supported version of Exchange to be installed
    onto Windows Server 2012 R2 is Exchange 2013 SP1.


  80. A Developer says:

    Your Developer and Version managers Really SUCKS!
    The new OS version should supports older version of components. maybe someone need to work with elder ones!!!
    this is a fact that Microsoft wont accept or maybe this is just a TRICK TO SELL their products that is more sensible answer!!!!

    So please do not think that people are Stupid!!!!!!.

  81. A Developer says:

    Your Developer and Version managers Really SUCKS!
    The new OS version should supports older version of components. maybe someone need to work with elder ones!!!
    this is a fact that Microsoft wont accept or maybe this is just a TRICK TO SELL their products that is more sensible answer!!!!

    So please do not think that people are Stupid!!!!!!.

  82. Jocke says:

    OMG, Just figured I’ve installed exchange without SP1 on a 2012r2 server.
    I thought I downloaded an installer with SP1 included but now about 2-3month later i figure not.

    Should I do a "If ain’t broke don’t fix it" or install Sp1 (and then cu5)? It’s on Cu2 at the moment

  83. Mark says:

    Say we have an Exchange 2003 environment still, and the domain that sits in is all still happily(!) at 2003 – if there are trusted domains/other child domains that are planning on upgrading to 2012 or later – is there going to be an issue still? provided
    the Exchange environment and the domain that sits on is still running at the "correct" functional levels and OS levels for Exchange and DCs?

    The concern is that associated mailboxes across trusts and such may suddenly stop working…? would a workaround for this be to ensure that at least a few DCs stay at 2008 R2 at a maximum in a trusted/child domain while other DCs that are non-exchange / trust
    facing can be uplifted to a newer OS? how the communication works across trusts isnt exactly clear to me from the article…


  84. Jocke – I have to recommend that you get that into a supported state. Always better to be on the good side!

    Mark – That’s a good question. I doubt that any testing would have happened with Exchange 2003 and a 2012 DC in any shape or form. In terms of support, Exchange 2003 left extended support on the 8th of April this year, are you planning to upgrade that to Exchange
    2010 at all?

  85. An internet exchange point (IXP) is a physical network access point through which major network providers connect their networks and exchange traffic. The primary focus of an exchange point is to facilitate network interconnection through an exchange access
    point instead of third-party networks.

    Internet exchange points were created to minimize the part of an Internet service provider’s (ISP) network traffic that had to go through an upstream provider. IXPs provide a common place for ISPs to exchange their

  86. Internet Exchange Points and Service Providers

    IXPs and ISPs require highly scalable and flexible networks that enable complexity and cost reduction without compromising performance, reliability, or customer experience. Brocade solutions deliver by combining industry-leading density with wire-speed performance
    for L2, IPv4, IPv6, MPLS, and OpenFlow forwarding. With comprehensive routing protocols and support for native Hybrid Port OpenFlow, IXPs and ISPs can deploy efficient architectures for their routing

  87. Mark says:

    Rhoderick – Yeah – plans move at various speeds though and one domain using e-mail resources can move faster than another.

    My theory is that;
    Worst case – needs a handful of 2008 R2 boxes to communicate with on the "foreign" (non-exchange) domain
    Best case – its working over trust for authentication only so the OS level of a "foreign" domain isn’t even going to come into question…


  88. Adeel says:

    i am installing exchange 2013 on my based OS server 2012 r2 after completing all the steps correctly the last and the 15th step stops itself and giving me such error
    install_exchangeschemaldapfilenamesrollelnstallpath+setupdata+rolesshemaprefix Schema0.ldf

  89. PK82-MS says:

    Thank you for this clarifying post



  90. alex says:

    Hi Rhoderick.
    I have one question. I just installed a 2012 R2 server in a 2003 forest and prompted to be an AD server.I realized that the schema should be already extended. Now I need to do a new exchange 2010 SP3 installation on another domain-joined server 2008 R2. From
    the article it seems that exchange 2010 SP3 ru5 support 2012 R2 AD, but it doesn’t seems to a path for me as I first need to install a pure exchange 2010 SP3 and install the RU?

    Please assist.


  91. Exchange 2010 SP5 says:

    is guess Exchange 2010 SP5 is a typo

  92. Hi Alex, yes that is the only way to get to that build with Exchange 2010.

    Exchange 2013 and CUs are a different beast since they are basically a service pack in Exchange 2010 terms.


  93. Yes that was a typo. Corrected – thanks!


  94. Andreas Stockerer says:

    Is it now possible/supported to Upgrade from Exchange SP1 and higher running on Server 2012 to Server 2012 R2 in-place ?

  95. ShanaMiah says:


    As far I know Microsoft are still not supporting Exchange 2010 SP3 on Windows 2012 R2.

    I hope Microsoft bring support for Windows 2012 R2 in one of thier Exchange Roll Ups. If any one in the Exchange development team wants to put a comment on this happening I am sure that there many of us out thier willing to listen.



  96. Hi Andreas,

    There have been no changes in the in-place support position.


  97. Hi Shana,

    Please scroll back in the comments. Brent from the PG stated:

    @steve siyavaya – no, it will never be supported:

    Brent Alinger [MSFT]

    26 Feb 2014 4:56 AM

    @Rowbby – We have no plans to support Windows Server 2012 R2 as the OS used for Exchange Server 2007 or 2010 deployments.


  98. Anonymous says:

    This is an interesting tale from a customer who was trying to get a list of Outlook clients that were

  99. Shoeb says:

    I am planning for a migration of Windows 2003 DC & Exchange 2003 to Windows 2012R2 DC & Exchange 2013 separately. I have gone through many articles but could not find the proper sequence/steps to be follows for my environment i.e.
    1. I have One Windows 2003 Domain Controller
    2. I have One Windows 2003 Additional Domain Controller
    3. I have One Win 2003 & Exchange 2003 on a member server in Domain
    Now what process should I take care while migrating to the following?
    4. Migrate Win 2003 to Win 2012R2 Domain Controller
    (I am aware of simple windows migration but since exchange is in domain, should I do this first or should I upgrade/migrate exchange first & to which version?)
    5. Migrate Ex 2003 to Ex 2013 on member server in a domain
    (I am aware that for exchange there is no direct Ex2003 to Ex2013 migration & I have to first migrate Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 then to Exchange 2013, but should I do Exchange migration first or first Windows migration? i.e. step 4
    Kindly if anyone could please suggest me what steps in sequence should I follow according to my environment?
    Thank you so much

  100. Dazadd says:

    I see on the Forest Functional level chart that 12R2 FF is not supported against ANY Exch 2007. Do we know what issues can occur? I want to know if it is important or urgent that we upgrade since it is our plan to move to o365.

  101. Shoeb – Exchange 2003 was never tested or validated with that version of Windows as a DC.

    Do your Exchange migration, and then the AD work.


  102. Darren – what do you need to upgrade the FFL or DFL for?


  103. garrett says:

    I’m in the process of moving Exchange off a SBS2003 to a WS2012R2 Essentials with Exchange 2013. I need to keep the SBS2003 for now since it’s running SQL. What would be the proper steps to proceed to upgrade to Exchange 2013?

  104. Jan Brown says:

    I have Exchange 2007 SP1 running on a Windows 2003 R2 member server and am upgrading my domain controllers from Windows 2003 to Windows 2012 R2. I read in this article that Exchange 2007 SP3 is supported with the Window 2012 R2 domain controller, but I
    don’t believe Exchange 2007 SP3 will work on a Windows 2003 R2 server installation. First, is this correct? And 2nd, will demoting my last Windows 2003 R2 domain controller make my Exchange 2007 fail? I plan to upgrade Exchange in the future, just not for
    a while. Thanks for the help.

  105. Scott Poehlman says:

    Garrett – you cannot run Exchange 2013 directly on 2012r2 Essentials. Non-supported. More info here:

  106. Great post. Thank you.

  107. andreas says:


    i like to re-ask my question from November:

    Is it now possible/supported to Upgrade from Exchange SP1 and higher running on Server 2012 to Server 2012 R2 in-place ?

  108. I’ve seen no changes on this Andreas.


  109. Anonymous says:

    When creating a new Database Availability Group, there was a bit of rude shock when the installation

  110. Anonymous says:

    The year 2015 is almost done, and 2016 is upon us! As in previous years , I thought it would be interesting

  111. Anonymous says:

    This is link throw down for items that we discussed in a Exchange 2013 workshop which I delivered in

  112. Fernando Alves says:

    Hi Rhoderick
    Thanks for this article,
    In my work have domain and forest 2008 r2 and we will migrate to 2012 r2 domain and forest but in table that you show, exchange 2007 sp3 dont have compatible with forest 2012r2, what problem that will can occor ?

  113. Hi Fernando,

    Not something that I can comment on. At this point Exchange 2007 has ~14 months of extended support left so its likely not going to be something that will be validated.

    The forest function level is the one item that is not present in the Exchange 2007 category.

    Do you have a business driver to increase FFL prior to migrating to a new version of Exchange? You need to be planning an upgrade at this point to Exchange 2010 or 2013. Time is ticking……


  114. Suva says:


    Can windows 2012R2 supports exchange 2003R2 SP2 .

    1. No — Exchange 2003 has been out of support for over two years now…..


      1. puru says:

        Rhoderick , Installing Exchange 2010 sp3 in a windows server 2012 r2 standard does gives any issues ?

        1. Not supported to installed Exchange 2010 onto a Windows 2012 R2 server Puru. I will not list out potential issues, as it is not supported.

          DCs can be newer versions of the OS, this is detailed in the supportability matrix.