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Issues in Exchange Server & Their Resolution

Published By Aldrich Calvin
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On June 7th, 2024

The Exchange Server is the backbone through which businesses worldwide conduct their day-to-day operations. It is during these heavy workloads that some Exchange Server issues arise and create all sorts of problems.

Moreover, timely identification and swift action against these errors can be quite beneficial. As the saying goes prevention is better than cure. Therefore this article addresses all the major issues present in an Exchange server and provides the tips to resolve them. Let’s get an idea of what ‌we are going to cover here.

Quick Overview of the Exchange Server Problems

The most common Exchange Server Issues are as follows:

  1. Email Delivery Failures: It is said to occur when an email sent from a location fails to deliver at its target.
  2. Exchange Database Corruption: An Exchange database is declared corrupt if it does not respond to commands accurately.
  3. Cyber Security Threats: Exchange servers host some of the most critical data which makes them a prime target for cybercriminals.
  4. Server Performance Degradation: One of the most common issues, comes to notice when any on-premise Exchange is unusually slow.
  5. Regulatory Compliance Concerns: Different countries have different laws when it comes to data privacy and storage not following them can have legal consequences.
  6. Failure in sending or receiving emails: Exchange server issues can lead to a problem where users are unable to send or receive emails to other users.
  7. Outlook being very slow or unresponsive at times: Problems in the Exchange server can lead to Outlook being very slow and even unresponsive at times.
  8. Unable to get in touch with the Exchange server: Due to the Exchange server facing issues, it sometimes cannot be connected to, and it may cause problems.
  9. Memory usage is high: This issue can affect the performance the system due to issues in the Exchange server.
  10. The disk latency is high: This can cause slow response times and poor performance of the system due to issues in the Exchange server.
  11. Sudden Hardware Failure: If the hardware on which the Exchange server is hosted doesn’t get proper updating and maintenance it can fail and disrupt regular workflow.
  12. User-Generated Error: Sometimes ‌inexperienced individuals may fail to follow the proper procedure and thus create problems of their own making.

Exchange Server Issue of Email Delivery Failure

Result of this Error: It can disrupt business communication and delay the transfer of information. Moreover, users may not realize this error before it is too late. Which in turn causes missed opportunities and even damages an organization’s reputation. Sometimes the situations may be reversed where the Exchange server is not able to fetch external emails accurately.

Reasons behind this Problem: Emails may fail to deliver for a variety of reasons such as misconfigured MX records, IP blacklisting, or DNS disruption.

How to avoid: Doublechecking the MX records after rerouting, sending a demo mail to simulate actual communication, and informing the stakeholders about any email disruption to avoid confusion and embarrassment.

Exchange Database Corruption Issue

Consequences of Corrupt Databases: It is a well-known fact that any problems within the database can prove to be catastrophic. Some database errors that users may encounter are

  • Exchange error 1018: When there is a page-level error within the system.
  • Exchange error 1216: Arises during an inconsistency within a header or log file.
  • Exchange error 1056749110: Indicates a failure during a data migration.

Why databases corrupt in the first place: Reasons could vary on an individual basis however some of the things to look out for are software, bugs, user-generated errors, etc.

check if there is Corruption in the Exchange Mailbox –

Open and run eseutil /mh to check if your database is in the dirty or clean shutdown state.

If the results tell you that it is in a clean shutdown state, then the database free from errors. If it shows a dirty shutdown state, then there are inconsistencies in the EDB file and it is very crucial to perform the recovery.

Now, run the PowerShell command given below to find a corruption in Exchange 2019, 2016, and 2013.


There are four corruption types that can be found out:

  1. AggregateCounts
  2. ProvissionedFolder
  3. SearchFolder
  4. FolderView

The Eseutil can only help repair database if it is dismounted. When we, however, input the PowerShell commands, it will help us repair individual and several mailboxes without the need to dismount the database.

Cyber Security Threats Within an Exchange Server

Root cause for this threat: Well it’s not hard to imagine as an Exchange server contains the most critical information of organizations. Moreover, it is a well-known fact that data is the new oil, so nefarious entities always try to break in and steal or compromise the data. Old servers like version 2013 are perticularly vulnerable especially after Microsoft announced end of support for Exchange 2013.

Some types of attacks users must look out for are in the form of phishing attacks and unauthorized access attempts.

Mitigation Strategies: An easy way to enhance the security of an exchange server is to implement a multifactor authentication system. Additionally, users must keep up with the latest security patches or upgrade their servers if necessary. Following these tips can prevent any external Exchange Server issues and maintain the integrity of their data.

Exchange Server Issues Due to Poor Performance

Result of ‌Suboptimal Performance: A poorly functioning Exchange Server has a lot of downsides, like negative user experience, delays in completing critical functions, and longer time in reading and writing data to name a few. There are also instances where the user may see the alert that a connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable at the moment.

What may cause this: Anything from faulty hardware, inconsistent power sources, higher user load, or incorrect configuration can contribute towards below-par performance. One key factor that users may ignore is that Exchange servers get old with time. Here we are not talking about hardware, but the software itself. Moreover, it also loses‌ official support from Microsoft like with the recent Exchange Server 2013.

Monitoring and Diagnosing: Upgrading is just one piece of the puzzle in resolving Exchange server issues. IT admins must make use of built-in diagnostic tools like PowerShell commands to monitor and pinpoint bottlenecks and inefficiencies.

Challenges in Maintaining Regulatory and Compliance Constraints

An Exchange server can also store the data of users who are not part of the organization itself. However, this comes with its own set of licensing agreements that vary from place to place. Therefore, organizations must work hand in hand with ‌local authorities to ensure that everything is within the legal limit.

In case any organization ignores the proper regulatory framework they can face severe legal and financial consequences.

Moreover, Microsoft also places strict guidelines regarding the use of its products. Failure to comply may result in a license being revoked or even a black listing from using its products.

How to prevent Such Exchange Server Issues: For this, you must have an internal legal team that is aware of the regulation and can guide the IT team towards compliance.

Failure in Sending or Receiving Emails

Here are the steps you can follow to solve this issue:

  1. You need to first verify if the Exchange server is reachable and running correctly.
  2. You can check the Outlook account settings and verify that all these settings are correct.
  3. Check the user’s network connection.
  4. Verify the Outlook profile of the user to ensure that all the settings are correct.

Outlook Being Very Slow or Unresponsive at Times

Follow the steps below to solve Outlook being slow or unresponsive:

  1. Check the network connection of the user.
  2. Check if the account settings are correctly configured.
  3. Verify if the Outlook profile of the user is set up correctly.
  4. You can also check the logs in the Exchange server to look for any errors or problems that may have come up.
  5. You can check the computer of the user to look for any performance issue that may affect Outlook.

Unable to Get in Touch with the Exchange Server

You can follow the steps given below to get in touch with the Exchange Server:

  1. You can first verify if the Exchange server is reachable or running.
  2. Check the account settings of the user’s Outlook and verify that they are correct.
  3. Check the network connection of the user.
  4. You can also check the Exchange server logs to see if there are any issues or errors in the server.
  5. Check the profile of Outlook to ensure that the settings are set up correctly.

The System Memory Usage is Very High

High memory usage is a very common issue that affect the performance of your system. It can be caused due to various reasons that includes high user load, the hardware is out of date, and memory leaks. In order to troubleshoot this issue, you can monitor the Exchange server performance counter. This will help you identify the process that is affecting the memory. You can use tools such as task manager to check the memory usage of the process.

If the memory usage is high, then you can try restarting the process to check if this resolves the issue. You can also change the process memory limit by using PowerShell and limit the amount of memory that a process can consume at a time.

The Disk Latency is High

It is another common Exchange server performance that can cause slow response timesand poor system performances. It can be caused due to various reasons such as outdated hardware, insufficient storage, and high user load. To troubleshoot this issue, You can stat monitoring the Exchange server performance counters. This can help you understand which disk is experiencing high latency.

If the performance of the disk is low, you need to upgrade the storage or add more disks in the system. You can also optimise the disk performance by adjusting the caching.


In this article, users saw that Exchange Server issues are ‌part and parcel of server management. However, by being proactive in our problem solving we can resolve them at the earliest. If ‌readers follow this guide they can even completely avoid the issues altogether.