Recover deleted Active directory user account and restore Mailbox in Server 2008 and Exchange 2010

Scenario:  Restore user account where the account was accidentally/ purposely deleted and the mailbox resides on an Exchange 2010 in a mixed 2003, 2008 environment. The deleted mailbox is now showing in disconnected mailboxes.

The first step is to recover the deleted user account in AD. Hoping that you have left the tombstones on the server to either 60 days or 180 days which is the default for windows 2003 and up.

There are several ways too restore the account, the most painstaking one using system state restore after booting into directory services restore mode which means downtime.

The easiest and simplest way is using adrestore CLI available from Microsoft, if you need GUI is the best.

Download it from the link and install on the DC.

The how to is available from the developers site and

Now that you have restored the user account the next problem is to connect the disconnected mailbox which is rather easy, just open EMC 2010 right-click on a disconnected mailbox, select Connect and choose a matching user in this case.

If the online maintainence hasn’t run then the deleted mailbox will not show in disconnected mailbox, you will need to run this command in PS

Clean-MailboxDatabase databasename

And now you can connect the mailbox to the user you just restored

16 thoughts on “Recover deleted Active directory user account and restore Mailbox in Server 2008 and Exchange 2010

  1. Pete May 8, 2013 / 1:59 am

    This is exactly what happened to me – 20 AD Users deleted from AD.
    I tried using the ADRestore.NET tool which simply returned ‘0 Tombstones found’ – great?..
    Tried using LDAP – and searching deleted objects and found nothing. Exchange 2010 has completed Purged them somehow, i can’t find a way to restore the AD objects done by Exchange yesturday… Please help.


  2. Godwin Daniel May 8, 2013 / 10:39 am

    Hi Pete, can you elaborate on what you have done so far, is this 2003/2008 mixed mode domain? what Server OS are you running on the main DC? what sort of backup are you running?
    Did you run logged on as domain admin on one of the DC’s?
    Have you followed the steps here to display deleted objects container:

    are there any errors logged in the eventlogs when you run a query using ldp.exe ?

    if you are running 2008 R2 DC i would suggest you give this a read before jumping to a authoritative restore using a backup.


  3. Steve Lamont September 17, 2013 / 2:18 pm

    You TOTALLY saved my ass, the steps worked a treat and got my user back again. Thanks a million. PS Works with Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 SP2


  4. Laith October 9, 2013 / 7:08 am

    You save my day, Daniel! It works like a charm on Win 2003 forest functional level with Exchange 2010 SP2.


  5. Ephraim Tawanda Pawandiwa October 13, 2013 / 9:25 am

    i have run the command Clean-MailboxDatabase databasename targeting the correct database in the Exchange Management Shell successfully but nothing displays in the disconnected mailboxes even after I do refresh.

    Kindly assist


    • Godwin Daniel October 18, 2013 / 11:22 pm


      guess this a bit delayed, have you tried the usual re-opening the emc or restart IIS and exchange system attendant?


  6. Ricardo April 29, 2014 / 11:45 pm

    Thanks Godwin you save my day i accidentally deleted a CEO AD acct and exchange acct but this help me a lot. Thanks once again.


  7. Adrian October 1, 2014 / 10:16 pm

    Any idea where download this tool all the links are dead 😦


    • Godwin Daniel October 2, 2014 / 8:58 am

      Thanks for letting me know, I have updated the link, please check it out.


  8. Chris October 22, 2014 / 3:51 pm

    This was AWESOME!!! You Saved my ass 🙂


  9. Eric November 10, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this guide and utility. This saved me so much time!


  10. itseeker March 25, 2015 / 11:29 am

    Wow This software has been deleted from several places, but you sir saved me from hassle. Thanks a lot!!! 😀 You rock!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ANTONIO May 5, 2021 / 5:41 pm




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