Error: This mailbox database is associated with one or more move requests…

Recently, I was migrating from Exchange 2016 to Exchange 2019 and when I tried to uninstall Exchange 2016, I encountered the following error message:

Error: This mailbox database is associated with one or more move requests. To get a list of all move requests associated with this database, run Get-MoveRequest -SourceDatabase and Get-MoveRequest -TargetDatabase . To remove a move request, run Remove-MoveRequest .

I went through the basics:

  • ran the Get-MoveRequest commands with mailbox databases attached (with and without specifying the database), but it didn’t list any request
  • ran the Get-MailboxExportRequest command and removed the completed exports

After googling a while, I found this Microsoft document which seemed unrelevant at first: Can’t move mailboxes to Exchange Online – Exchange | Microsoft Docs

But this phrase took my attention:

Another example for an orphaned local move request for a primary or archived mailbox would be if there’s no move request on-premises for it, but there are attributes set, such as the following:

  • msExchMailboxMoveSourceMDBLink
  • msExchMailboxMoveTargetMDBLink
  • msExchMailboxMoveSourceArchiveMDBLink
  • msExchMailboxMoveTargetArchiveMDBLink

A quick Powershell oneliner (below) found 3 users with msExchMailboxMoveTargetMDBLink attribute set to the mailbox database, but these users were already migrated to Exchange Online, so I was sure that this is an orphaned local move request.

get-aduser -Properties msExchMailboxMoveTargetMDBLink -filter * | ? {$_.msExchMailboxMoveTargetMDBLink}

So the solution was to open ADUC, find the users, open Attribute Editor, find the attribute and hit on Clear:

Use at your own risk 🙂

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