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How to Migrate Exchange Mailbox to Office 365 – Step by Step Guide

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How to Migrate Exchange Mailbox to Office 365

This blog describes the process through which a user can migrate Exchange mailbox to Office 365 in one batch is called the Cutover Migration. In this batch migration, distribution groups and all global mail contacts are migrated.

Now, as users are frequently querying about how to migrate on-premises Exchange mailbox to Office 365, a complete step by step guide to do the same is discussed in this post. One can use this manual method to have a successful migration without any expert help.

Before starting the process of Exchange 2010, 2013, 2016 mailbox migration to Office 365 step by step, it is necessary to prepare a beforehand migration plan to avoid unfavorable situations.

Migrate Exchange Mailbox to Office 365 using Cutover Migration Step by Step

Let us now begin the process of migration. To start the migration process, a user needs to modify the Exchange Server environment a little bit such as turn off the directory synchronization before start using the cutover migration process. To do the same, one can go to the Office 365 admin center and follow the path:

“USERS> Active Users> Active Directory Synchronization”

After that, follow the given steps:

Step 1: Configure Outlook Anywhere on the Exchange Server

Email migration service to connecting on-premise Exchange Server uses Outlook Anywhere (RPC over HTTP). For Exchange 2013 it will configure automatically. But, it is not the case with Exchange 2010, 2007, and 2003. One just needs to configure and setup Outlook Anywhere manually only.

Step 2: Use Trusted Certification Only

It is always advised to the users to use the certificate provided by trusted Certification Authority (CA) only with Outlook Anywhere configuration. It will permit Office 365 to execute Exchange 2010 mailbox to Office 365 migration operation. A user needs to add Autodiscover services and Outlook Anywhere also to the certificates to complete the Cutover Migration process successfully.

Step 3: Use Outlook Anywhere to Check Connection with Exchange Organization

To test the connection settings, a user can use any of the following methods:

1. One is suggested to use MS Outlook, which is different from the corporate network to build a connection with on-premises Exchange mailbox.
2. Another method that a user can use to check the connection is after connecting Office 365 to the email system, wait for the automatic check.

Step 4: Set Permissions

For the on-premises user account, it is necessary to have the required permissions to access the on-premises mailboxes that are necessary to migrate to Office 365 and it becomes easy to connect with migration administrator or Exchange organization.

Step 5: Necessary Permissions

The Admin must have any one of the following permissions to migrate the mailboxes:
1. The Admin that has to migrate must have FullAccess permission of each individual on-premises mailbox.
2. It is necessary to have to Receive As permission by the migration administrator for an on-premises mailbox database where users mailboxes are contained.

Step 6: Turn Off Unified Messaging (UM)

If the Unified Messaging is enabled for the on-premises mailboxes, which a user wants to move, it is suggested to disable it before starting the migration. After completing the migration process, enable the Unified Messaging again.

Step 7: Make a New Security Groups

If the on-premises Active Directory groups are security groups then, the email migration service cannot be detected easily. However, they do not provide the provision to move groups, which is security groups in Office 365. Therefore, before starting the cutover migration, a user must create an empty mail-enabled security group to have security groups in Office 365 also.

Step 8: Confirm the Domain name

While migrating, the SMTP address of every respective on-premises mailbox is used for generating the new email address for Outlook 2016 mailbox. However, it is important to make sure that the on-premises domain is a confirmed domain in the Office 365 migration to begin the cutover migration.

Step 9: Build Office 365 connection with Email System

A user needs to make an Outlook Anywhere migration endpoint to complete the cutover migration. As a user completed the migration endpoint creation process, he can require it to transfer Exchange 2010 to Office 365.

Step 10: Move Exchange Mailbox to Office 365

After successfully completing all the above-discussed steps, a user will be required to create and execute the migration batch. Therefore, to create & run the cutover migration batch follow the steps given below:

Create a Migration Batch

The best part about the cutover migration is that all the mailboxes are migrated in one migration batch. The steps to create a cutover migration batch is given below:

1. First of all, in EAC, go to Recipients and choose Migration.
2. After that, choose New + and click on Migrate to Exchange Online option.
3. Now, click on Cutover Migration >> Next option to continue.
4. Check the migration endpoint to confirm the information being provided is correct or not. If Yes, press Next to continue.
5. Type the name of the migration batch and click on the Next button. After this, the name of the migration batch is visible on the list of the Migration.
6. Now, choose the one options given below to begin the batch page.

Manually start the batch later: The migration batch is created but not initialized and the status indicates it is Created.

Now, to begin the process, choose valid migration batch from the Dashboard, and click on Start option.

Automatically start the batch: With a Syncing status as a new migration batch is saved, the batch is started automatically.
7. In last, click on New option to create the new migration batch.

Begin the Cutover Migration Batch

After creating a migration batch, which is ready to start manually, a user can use Exchange Admin Center and follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Open EAC and navigate to Recipients >> Migration option.
2. Now, choose the valid migration batch on the migration dashboard and click on the Start button.
3. The status will change to Syncing automatically as the batch starts successfully.

Confirm the Synchronization Worked Successfully or not

1. On the migration dashboard, a user can easily follow the sync status. If any error occurs, go to the log file for detailed information about the same.
2. As migration proceeds, confirm if the users get created in Office 365 admin center or not.
3. As the migration is done, the sync status is changed with Synced.

After successfully following the above all procedures the cutover migration is completed successfully.

Also Read: How to Perform Exchange 2013 to 2016 Migration in Few Steps


Exporting Exchange to Office 365 is not at all an easy process. Considering the requirement of a user to migrate Exchange mailbox to Office 365, we have discussed the manual procedure to do the same that a user can follow without any external help. To complete this migration successfully, a cutover migration process is used.

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