Error “Object is Read Only” During Exchange Server 2007 Public Folder Database Removal

During a transition from Exchange Server 2007 to Exchange Server 2010 you may encounter an error removing a Public Folder Database from the Exchange 2007 server.

The error message tells you that the “Object is read only because it was created by a future version of Exchange”.

[PS] C:\>Remove-PublicFolderDatabase "EXCH07\Public Folder Database"

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Removing Public Folder Database "EXCH07\Public Folder Database".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [S] Suspend  [?] Help
(default is "Y"):y
Remove-PublicFolderDatabase : Object is read only because it was created by a f
uture version of Exchange: 0.10 ( Current supported version is 0.1
At line:1 char:28
+ Remove-PublicFolderDatabase  <<<< "EXCH07\Public Folder Database"

The solution is to use the Exchange Server 2010 Management Shell to remove the Public Folder Database. From an Exchange Server 2010 server run the following command to retrieve the identity of the Public Folder Database you wish to remove.

[PS] C:\>Get-PublicFolderDatabase -Server EXCH07 | fl name, identity

Name     : Public Folder Database
Identity : EXCH07\Second Storage Group\Public Folder Database

Then run this command to remove the Public Folder Database, using the Identity that was retrieved in the previous command.

[PS] C:\>Remove-PublicFolderDatabase "EXCH07\Second Storage Group\Public Folder Database"

Are you sure you want to perform this action?
Removing public folder database "EXCH07\Second Storage Group\Public Folder Database".
[Y] Yes  [A] Yes to All  [N] No  [L] No to All  [?] Help (default is "Y"): y
WARNING: The specified database has been removed. You must remove the database file located in E:\Data\SG2\Public
Folder Database.edb from your computer manually if it exists. Specified database: Public Folder Database

The Public Folder Database is now removed from the Exchange 2007 server.

About Paul Cunningham

Paul is a Microsoft Exchange Server MVP and publisher of Exchange Server Pro. He also holds several Microsoft certifications including for Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013. Find Paul on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, or get in touch for consulting/support engagements.


  1. Worked great! Thanks!

  2. Worked for me also, strange thing is that even if you check the ExchangeVersion on the Public Folder Database is 0.1! where does it find that the version is 0.10 ?!?!? :)

  3. Worked perfectly! Thanks.

  4. William Benson says:

    You’ve help me out a lot over the years Paul thanks.

  5. OK, its been a while since this article but Exchange 2013 throws a spanner in the works in that whilst it causes exactly the same error, because it no longer has public folder databases (it just uses the normal mailbox database instead) the Remove-PublicFolderDatabase command no longer exists?!


  6. Alan, did you manage to solve your issue? I’ve run into the same: Migrated Public Folders from Exch2007SP3RU10 to Exch2013CU1, and now I can’t remove the Public Folder Database from the Exch2007.

    Running the command on the new server is not possible as Remove-PublicFolderDatabase is not available on Ecxh2013.

    • Mike, I’ve got the same issue. You get anywhere with it?

      • No, not yet. I’m not sure though if it is really necessary for us as we’re just trying to get rid of that Exch2007, and I’m guessing the uninstallation will work eventhough the public folder database has not been removed.

        • That’s all I’m trying as well, but it didn’t uninstall for me because there is a PF DB.

        • Darn it, at what stage are you getting that error? I’m afraid the only way around this is via ADSIedit, although that feels awkward…

  7. I can’t really recall exactly what I did I am afraid. I know I had a really bad week trying to get everything across but in the end I managed it and have since taken the old Exchange 2007 server off-line.

    Maybe I never worked out how to remove it from 2007 and just left it until I took the server off-line?

    • I recall using ADSIedit for something too, but I think I just killed the server and then used ADSIedit to remove the server from the domain…

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