Show Exchange Message Size Limits in SBS 2008/2011

Full mailboxIt seems like every month I get a call about someone not being able to send or receive an email due to size limits. If you know where all the limits are in the Exchange Management Console (and if you’re aware of the 30% bloating that happens with email attachments) you can usually resolve that issue pretty quickly. If you’re new to Exchange, or a bit rusty, it might take longer.

Here’s a way to see all of your Exchange attachment limits in one screen.

Simple PowerShell Script to Show Exchange Message Size Limits

1. Copy and paste the following commands into Notepad.exe:

get-transportconfig | ft maxsendsize, maxreceivesize
get-receiveconnector | ft name, maxmessagesize
get-sendconnector | ft name, maxmessagesize
get-mailbox |ft Name, Maxsendsize, maxreceivesize

2. Save that text document with a .PS1 file extension, and you now have your PowerShell file. I named my file “email_limits.ps1”.

Example contents of file email_limits.ps1:Contents of file email_limits.ps1

Note: You can reuse this .PS1 file on any SBS 2008 (Exchange 2007) or SBS 2011 (Exchange 2010) servers.

3. Copy that file to your SBS server in a folder on the C: or D: drive.
I use a folder called “Scripts” on the D: drive.

4. Right-click the Exchange Management Shell and Run as Administrator.
Open Exchange Management Shell using Run as administrator
(Say Yes to any User Account Control prompt, if needed.)

5. In the Powershell window type the name of your .PS1 file (including the full path) and hit Enter.
Example: D:\scripts\email_limits.ps1


Example 1
SBS 2008 / Exchange 2007 (showing increased limits for a true 20 MB)*
Output of email_limits.ps1 on SBS 2008 / Exchange 2007

Example 2
SBS 2011 / Exchange 2010 (w/ factory defaults)
Output of email_limits.ps1 on SBS 2011 / Exchange 2010

*As you can see from Example 1, the Fax connector is still set at 10 MB, but the other limits have been changed to 29257 KB to allow for true 20MB attachments with the attachment bloating.
Formula for calculating overhead: (x MB * 1024) /.70 = limit in KB
Example: (20 MB x 1024) /.70 = 29257KB

Of course, you can also use PowerShell to change the limits, but I don’t have a script saved for that because the Set-ReceiveConnector, Set-SendConnector, etc.  commands require that the server name be included in the script.
Example: Set-ReceiveConnector “Windows SBS Internet Receive Servername” –MaxMessageSize 29MB

If I need to change the limits, I still just go old school and use the GUI in the Exchange Management Console.

Remember – there are four common places in Exchange where the email attachment size could be limited:

  1. Transport limit
  2. Receive limit
  3. Send limit
  4. Mailbox limit

We’ll show you where each one of those is located.

Exchange 2007 / 2010 Management Console Size Limit Locations

  • 1. Transport Limit

    Exchange Management Console | Organization Configuration | Hub Transport | Global Settings | Transport Settings | Properties | General | Transport Limits

    Attachment limit for Exchange Transport settings

    Note: a blank transport limit box means ‘unlimited’.

  • 2. Receive Limits
    (In SBS 2008 or 2011 there are typically 3 Receive Connectors)

    Location of Exchange 2010 Receive Connectors

    Exchange Management Console | Server Configuration | Hub Transport | Receive Connectors | right-click the receive connector | Properties | General | Maximum Message Size (KB)

    Attachment limit for Exchange Receive settings

    Note: The “Default {servername}” is your internal / .local connector.
    The “Windows SBS Internet Receive {servername}” is your external / .com connector. You’ll notice the difference in the Properties window on the FQDN line – one is .local and the other is .com/.org/etc.

    Also, regarding the internal connector, you may sometimes need to increase your “Default {servername}”(.local) connector to accommodate on-site scanners / multi-function copiers that scan to PDF and email internal employees. If so, this is where you do it. Just make sure the employees can receive attachments that large.

  • 3. Send Limit

    Exchange Management Console | Organization Configuration | Hub Transport | Send Connectors | Windows SBS Internet Send {servername} | Properties | General | Maximum Message Size (KB)

    Attachment limit for Exchange Send connector

  • 4. Mailbox Limits

    Exchange Management Console | Recipient Configuration | Mailbox | {username} | Properties | Mail Flow Settings | Message Size Restrictions | Properties | Maximum Message size (in KB)


    Message size limits per for an individual user

    Note: a blank message size limit box means ‘unlimited’, but the user will still be restricted by the other the limits (shown in 1-3 above).

Bottom line: Use the sample .PS1 script to quickly make sure that all limits are set properly. Life is too short to dig through the GUI and check 4 or 5 locations manually if you don’t have to.

If you have any feedback or helpful PowerShell scripts that relate to email limits in Exchange 2007 or 2010, please feel free to post them in the comments.

More details: Official SBS Blog

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Recent SBS and WHS KB Articles – August 2011

More info and updates for your network admin pleasure.

SBS 2003

SBS 2008

SBS 2011 Standard / Essentials

WHS 2011 / Windows Storage Server Essentials 2008 R2

  • KB #2554637 – SBS 2011 Essentials, WHS 2011, WSSE 2008 R2 –

    The client-side package of Update Rollup 1 for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, for Windows Home Server 2011, and for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is available

  • KB #2554634 – WHS 2011 – Update Rollup 1 for Windows Home Server 2011 is available


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Tip – Showing Thumbnails in SBS 2008 / SBS 2011

Each month when we do test restores of client servers, we pick a few files to demonstrate and verify that the files are valid. And typically the files we choose are JPGs because you can ‘see’ that there is content in them, not just some hollow Word or Excel doc that ‘looks’ OK.

Using JPGs works great for SBS 2003. However, Server 2008 doesn’t show thumbnails by default, even if you select the Icon view, like this…

The Large Icons view shows icons, not thumbnails

…you don’t get thumbnails. You get little pointless icons.

But it’s easy to turn those icons into real thumbnails:

In Windows Explorer click Tools | Folder Options | View | uncheck the box that says Always show icons, never thumbnails | click OK.

In Folder Options, uncheck Always show icons, never thumbnails

Now you see thumbnails, even though the menu says ‘Icons’:

Look ma, thumbnails!

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SBS 2008 View User OWA Enabled/Disabled Status

Some people like to turn off Outlook Web Access (OWA) for certain employees for security reasons. Of course, you can individually double-click users in the console to see if OWA is enabled…

OWA status per-user via the SBS 2008 console

…or via the Exchange Management Console…

OWA status in the Exchange 2007 Management Console

…but there is no speedy way in the SBS 2008 console to get a master list of the OWA status for all users.

Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy way with a simple PowerShell cmdlet.

To see OWA status for all users:

  • Click Start
  • All Programs
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Exchange Management Shell
  • Copy the following PowerShell cmdlet to your clipboard:

Get-CASMailbox | ft DisplayName, OWAEnabled

  • And paste it into the Management Shell window:

Past the cmdlet into the PowerShell window to see a list of OWA status for users

That will give you an output similar to the following which shows the OWA status for ALL users:

Output of the PowerShell cmdlet - OWA Status

Voilà, the OWA status master list!

But it doesn’t stop there. You can also add the fields SamAccountName and ActiveSyncEnabled to add depth your report.

Below are some other options with PowerShell cmdlets you might like.

Export above report to a CSV file:

Get-CASMailbox | Select Name, OWAEnabled | Export-CSV c:\file.csv

See OWA Enabled users only:

Get-CASMailbox | where { $_.OWAEnabled } | ft DisplayName, OWAEnabled

See OWA Disabled users only:

Get-CASMailbox | where { !$_.OWAEnabled } | ft DisplayName, OWAEnabled

See ActiveSync Enabled users only:

Get-CASMailbox | Where-Object { $_.ActiveSyncEnabled } | ft DisplayName, SamAccountName, ActiveSyncEnabled

See ActiveSync Disabled users only:

Get-CASMailbox | Where-Object { !$_.ActiveSyncEnabled } | ft DisplayName, SamAccountName, ActiveSyncEnabled

**One of my personal faves**
See both the ActiveSync and OWA status for all users:

Get-CASMailbox | ft DisplayName, SamAccountName, ActiveSyncEnabled, OWAEnabled

See ActiveSync information for a particular user:

Get-ActivesyncDeviceStatistics -Mailbox mailboxname

PowerShell output showing Activesync mobile device info

Source: TechNet Exchange 2007 Library

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Recent SBS KB Articles – August 2010 Part Deux

Here’s another batch of new/updated SBS KB articles

SBS 2008 Recent KBs:

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KYSBSUG August 2010 – SBS 2008 Disaster Recovery

KYSBSUG August 2010 Meeting #78 –
SBS 2008 Disaster Recovery Using Hyper-V

KYSBSUG - Kentucky Small Business Server User GroupPresenters: Tim Barrett & Kevin Royalty
Date: Wednesday August 18, 2010
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM Eastern
Venue: Money Concepts
Address: 323 Townepark Circle, Louisville, KY 40243
Map: Click here
Registration URL: Click here to register today!


Your customer calls and says, "Our server is completely destroyed, but we have the backups."

What’s your next move? Do you have hardware on standby? Do you have a well-documented plan so you can spring into action?  Or will you just wing it?

Join us this month for a joint presentation with CiNPA and KYSBSUG as we talk about disaster recovery of SBS and show how to restore an SBS 2008 native backup and ShadowProtect backups into Hyper-V. This talk is based on real-life recovery situations and personal experiences.

Registration URL:
Due to limited seating, registration *is* required.
Click here to register today!

Click here to register today!

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Recent SBS KB Articles– August 2010

Here’s the latest info on new SBS KB articles.

SBS 2008 Recent KBs:

SBS 2003 Recent KBs:

SBS 2008 Installation Help:

SBS 2008 Migration Help:

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SBS 2008 View All Mailbox Sizes

Do you miss the handy “Mailboxes” view from SBS 2003 that showed you how big the mailboxes are in Exchange 2003?

Old school Exchange 2003 Mailboxes view in SBS 2003

Unfortunately, the Exchange 2007 Management Console in SBS 2008 doesn’t come with that nice handy feature baked into the console. But you can still get that information using (gasp) PowerShell. It’s as easy as just copying and pasting.

  • Click Start
  • All Programs
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Exchange Management Shell
  • Copy the following PowerShell cmdlet to your clipboard:

Get-MailboxStatistics | Sort-Object TotalItemSize -Descending | ft DisplayName,@{label="TotalItemSize(MB)";expression={$_.TotalItemSize.Value.ToMB()}},ItemCount

  • And paste it into the Management Shell window:

Paste the cmdlet into the PowerShell Management Shell

  • Then hit Enter.

That will give you an output similar to the following:

List of mailbox sizes in Exchange 2007 via PowerShell

It’s basically the same info as SBS 2003/Exchange 2003, but not as pretty.

Source: TechNet Exchange Forum

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Webcast – Hyper-V 101 with Wayne Small

This is one webcast you definitely don’t want to miss!

Wayne Small [SBS-MVP] Title: “Third Thursday Webinar: Hyper-V 101
Presenter: Wayne Small [SBS-MVP]
Date: Thursday 04/15/2010
Time: 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight (GMT –4)
Host: Third Tier
Link to attend: Click here for Live Meeting

Wayne Small from Sydney Australia, Third Tier consultant and owner of has been deploying Hyper-V based solutions to 80% of his clients. Hyper-V can be simple to deploy, yet powerful enough for high availability applications. It is also technology that your clients really don’t understand at all. So how does he sell it to them? Wayne will tell us how to get up and running, the impact this technology can have your business and how to sell the idea to your clients.

Have you heard all the hype about Hyper-V?  Want to get your clients up and running on Hyper-V in an hour?  Want to know the key things to look out for with Hyper-V and how to avoid the pitfalls?  This session will run through all of the basics on Hyper-V as it relates to our SMB clients.  It will cover the various flavors of Hyper-V available, what to use when and how to get your first Hyper-V client quoted, and installed.  Wayne will walk through a typical scenario that he’s deployed in the past and how he’s addressed the clients concerns and taken advantage of Hyper-V to save the customer money, and increase their uptime.

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Exchange 2007 SP2 on SBS 2008

Exchange 2007 Microsoft has (finally) released the wrapper / installation tool for the Exchange 2007 SP2 install on SBS 2008 (and there was much rejoicing!) Previously, if you tried to install SP2 for Exchange on SBS 2008 you had to start messing with the registry per KB 973862. Thankfully, that’s no longer necessary with the installation tool. You can download it from the Microsoft download site.
Title: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 Installation Tool for Windows SBS 2008
Date Published: 12/28/2009
Download size: 604 KB
File name: SBS2008-KB974271-ENU.msi
Download URL: Click here

The Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 Installation Tool for Windows SBS 2008 provides a step-by-step wizard that simplifies the installation of Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 on a computer that is running Windows SBS 2008. The wizard also detects and helps you repair some problems that are common during installation. Without this tool, Windows SBS 2008 administrators must follow a series of manual steps, which are outlined in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article You cannot install Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 on a Windows Small Business Server 2008-based computer.

Installation, Step-by-Step:

First, downloaded Exchange 2007 SP2. Pack a lunch, because this baby is big (884 MB)! You can download SP2 here: 

Second, double-click the E2K7SPEN64.exe to extract it, but DON’T start the install of the service pack yet.

Once that’s done (and you’ve downloaded the Installation Tool above) the rest of the installation is almost ready to go. One more important note first.

Note: It goes without saying, but make sure you have a good backup of the server before applying any service packs. Seriously folks.

1. Run the MESIT installer, accept the EULA and click Next.
Accept the EULA - Next

2. Accept the default installation path and click Next.
Accept the default install location - Next

3. At the User Account Control prompt, click Continue.
User Account Control - Continue

4. Once installation of the wrapper is complete, the “Install Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 now” option should already be checked. Click Finish.
MESIT install complete - Finish

5. This will pop another UAC prompt, click Continue.
User Account Control - Continue


5a. You may be prompted to install the Windows Installer 4.5 available at if so, click OK.
Error - You need to install the Microsoft Windows Installer 4.5 - OK
This will exit the SP2 install and you’ll need to download and install the Windows Update Standalone Installer 4.5 first. The download you need for SBS 2008 is file “Windows6.0-KB942288-v2-x64.msu” (2.94 MB).

5b. After downloading the installer, double-click it to run it, and if prompted by User Account Control, click Continue.
User Account Control - Continue

5c. The installer searches for updates,
Searching for updates 
and click OK when prompted to install Hotfix for Windows (KB942288).
Install Hotfix 942288 - OK

The installer runs by itself…
Installer runs by itself
… and will require a server restart when complete.

5d. Reboot your SBS 2008 server.
Installation complete - Reboot

5e. After the reboot is complete, log back into your server, click Start | Windows Small Business Server Tools | Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP2 Installation Tool to continue with the install and pickup at step 6 below.
Re-launch the MESIT

6. Browse to the location where you extracted the Exchange 2007 SP2 files and click OK.
Browse to expanded Exchange 2007 SP2 files 

7. At the “Install Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007” screen, click Next.
Here we go - Next

The wizard will temporarily disable Microsoft Forefront Security.
Under the covers magic

8. After the server environment has been prepared, click Next.
Prep complete - Next

The Installation Tool will pop up a dialog box telling you not to close the window (not that you could because Next, Cancel and the X are grayed out). Ignore this window.
Ignore this window until SP2 wizard is complete and closed

You want the 2nd window that pops up.

9. Click the Install Microsoft Exchange Service Pack 2 link.
SP2 Wizard - Install

There will be a short pause…
The waiting is the hardest part 
…and then the wizard will launch.

10. On the SP2 setup screen, click Next.
Introduction - Next

11. Accept the EULA, and click Next.
Accept the EULA - Next

12. After the readiness check is complete, (takes 1-2 minutes) if all of your prerequisites are green, click Upgrade.
Prerequisites OK - Upgrade

The service pack installation will go through several stages:

  • Organization Preparation (5 minutes)*
  • Preparing Setup (3 minutes)
  • Remove Exchange Files (21 minutes)
  • Preparing Files (1 minute)
  • Copy Exchange Files (8 minutes)
  • Hub Transport Role (9 minutes)
  • Client Access Role (3 minutes)
  • Mailbox Role (4 minutes)
  • Management Tools (1 minute)
  • Finalizing Setup (1 minutes)

Approximate time for SP2 install (excluding nearly 880 MB of downloads and reboots) was about 55 minutes, but YMMV.

*These times were on a virtual SBS 2008 install in a low-end Hyper-V server. AMD Athlon Dual Core Processor 4450B 1.22 GHz, 4 GB RAM. 

13. When the installation completes, click Finish.
SP2 installation complete - Finish 

14. Close the Exchange Server 2007 installation menu.
Close the SP2 wizard - Close

15. On the Installation Tool window, click Next.
MSIT - Next

…the wizard will re-enable Forefront and restore the default settings for the SBS Web services.
More SBS ninja in the background

16. If everything has gone smoothly, you’re out of the woods now. On the “Setup finished successfully” screen, click Finish.
MESIT is done - Finish

17. Start another backup of your server to protect all of your hard work! 🙂

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