Manage Public Folders using the new Manage Settings Wizard in Exchange 2010 SP1 (TechTip 1)

Those of us that have experience with Exchange 2003 and earlier know that it was possible to manage public folder settings such as add/remove replicas, permissions and so on using the GUI. Furthermore, Exchange 2003 SP2 introduced a new “Manage Public Folder” wizard that made it much easier to perform bulk changes to public folders (see this article for details).

Exchange admins/consultants that were used to being able to manage all public folder related settings using the UI were somehow disappointed by the fact that with the move to Exchange 2007 RTM, they now had to use Exchange commandlets or the public folder related scripts in the “Scripts” folder to manipulate public folders.

With the introduction of the Public Folder Management Console included with Exchange 2007 SP1, the situation changed a little. Now we could create public folders, update public folder content, add/remove replicas using the UI, but we still didn’t have the option of setting public folder permissions and performing general bulk changes to sub public folder unless we switched back to the Exchange Management Shell. This was also true with Exchange 2007 SP2 and Exchange 2010 RTM.

But then Exchange 2010 SP1 saw the light. Exchange 2010 SP1 introduces a “Manage Public Folder Settings” wizard similar to the one we know from Exchange 2003 SP2.

Let’s open the Exchange Management Console and then the Public folder Management Console from the Toolbox. When right-clicking on a public folder, we now have a “Manage Settings” option in the context menu as can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1:
Manage Settings option in the public folder context menu

When selecting “Management Settings”, we’re taken to the page shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Manage Public Folder Settings wizard – Introduction page

If you have selected a top-level public folder, you have two options – Update client permissions and Overwrite settings. If you select a sub- folder, the second option will be greyed out as there isn’t anything to overwrite.

Figure 3: Manage Public Folder Settings wizard – Specify Action page

Let’s click “Add users”. As shown on the “Specify Action” page in Figure 4, this is where we can grant users access to public folders.

Figure 4: Manage Public Folder Settings wizard – Assign Permissions page

We can grant users different levels of permissions just like we are used to via the Exchange Management Shell or the Outlook client (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Public Folder Permission Levels

By selecting “Remove Users”, we can remove already assigned permissions.

Because we chose to manage public folder settings for a top-level public folder, the “Introduction” page also allows us to select “Overwrite settings” as shown back in Figure 2. When doing so and clicking next we can specify the settings that we want to overwrite as shown in Figure 6. This means that settings on the top-level public folder are applied to all sub-folders.

Figure 6: Manage Public Folder Settings – Select Settings page

This means that settings on the top-level public folder are applied to all sub-folders.

Figure 7: Manage Public Folder Settings – Overwrite Settings page

Although public folder functionality has been deprecated for some years now, it’s great to see features like this one getting re-introduced.


Henrik Walther
Technology Architect/Writer
MCM: Exchange 2007 | MVP: Exchange Architecture
MCITP: EMA + EA | MCSE: M + S | TechNet Influent


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