How to clear old unused distribution lists from Exchange 2010 programatically

If you are an Exchange administrator you would most likely have hundreds of distribution lists in your organisation and no idea which ones are being used. Well I had this problem and decided to do something about it. I set out to see who was actually using these DL’s and remove all the ones that have not been used in months. I will be looking at Static DL’s. If you use Dynamic DL’s then the concept will be the same however some of the syntax may differ slightly.

High level overview of steps

Here are the steps I went through on a high level to identify and remove unused Distribution Lists in my Exchange 2010 SP1 environment:

  1. Increase Exchange MessageTrackingLogs from the default of 30 days to 90 days
  2. Export list of ALL distribution lists
  3. Export list of ALL active distribution lists based off Exchange Tracking Logs
  4. Compare the results and output the inactive DL’s
  5. Hide all unused DL’s from the GAL
  6. Delete all unused DL’s from Exchange

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