Migrating Exchange Mailboxes to Office 365 What You Need to Know

Updated On - December 20, 2023 by Savita Sharma | Reading Time: 7 minutes

Exchange Server has been used for a long time all over the globe, but over time, the market has been tilted toward Office 365. Office 365 is a one-stop solution that offers multiple applications and services within a single subscription. Office 365, a cloud-based software as a service, attracts a lot of users, and all are searching for a way to migrate Exchange mailboxes to Office 365.

This write-up will cover all the manual ways and an alternative professional solution. Also, below, I have listed reasons for users to choose Office 365 over the Exchange Server.

Why Users Migrate from Exchange Server to Office 365

  • One-Stop Platform: Office 365 is a subscription-based service that enables you to include a range of essential modern applications in your subscription. With Office 365, you can subscribe to Microsoft Office products (such as PowerPoint and Word), SharePoint, Outlook, Teams, Yammer, and more.
  • Zero Downtime: Office 365 offers an impressive auto-update feature, ensuring it automatically updates to the latest version without any downtime, allowing you to use your account without interruptions.
  • Accessibility: Office 365 operates in the cloud, eliminating the need for software or hardware installations. You can access it with a single tap, even on your smartphone, anywhere worldwide, whether during a vacation, a road trip, or any event.
  • No End-of-Life Concerns: Unlike Exchange Server, which has a 10-year lifespan, Office 365 has no end-of-life concerns. You won’t need to update your Office 365 version every 10 years.
  • Infrastructure Cost Savings: Office 365 has subscription plans addressing the needs of every end user.Office 365 is a cloud-based service; hence, there is no need to deploy the hardware machinery and all to get the benefits.

Manual Ways to Export Exchange Mailboxes to Office 365

1) Staged Migration:

As its name clarifies, this method to migrate Exchange mailbox to Office 365 is completed in stages (two or more). Usually, medium-sized and large enterprises use this method.

In the first stage of staged migration, migrate the data of a specific date range. After relocating in the first phase, domain transfer and MX record updating occur.

After enabling the domain in Office 365, migrate the remaining data.

Checks Before Moving for the Staged Migration:

  • Cross-check that the On-Premise Domain and Office 365 domains are identical.
  • Create and sync On-Premise users in Office 365. You can use Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync Service.
  • List up the On-Premise Exchange user list. For the migration batch, use the CSV file to list the users.
  • Create an Outlook Anywhere migration endpoint that will be needed for each migration batch.

Steps to Migrate Exchange to Office 365: Staged Migration

  • Go to Exchange Admin Centre >> Recipients >> Migration.
  • Click on the (+) New icon and choose Migrate to Exchange Online.
  • Select Staged Migration as the migration type and click on Next.
  • Now, please select the desired CSV file for the migration batch and validate it.
  • Must authenticate the migration endpoint information and then click on Next.
  • Under the Move Configuration >> enter the migration batch name >> Next.
  • Select the Auto Start or Manual Start. Using the New button, create the Migration batch.
  • Again, visit Exchange Admin Centre >> Recipients >> select Migration.
  • On the migration dashboard, select the batch >> Start.
  • You will get a Syncing Status on the dashboard as migration initiates.

2) Hybrid Migration: What, When, and How?

Hybrid Migration is when you use both on-premises and Office 365 cloud. Creating a hybrid setup is more like a bridge when you migrate mailbox items to Office 365, and your Azure Directory is still connected.

Detailed Steps to Migrate Exchange to Office 365:

Creation of Endpoint

Creating endpoints is a crucial step as it consists of connection settings for the On-Premises Exchange Server that runs the MRS proxy.

Enable Proxy Service

If the proxy service is not enabled, then you must enable it. Follow the below steps for the same:

  • Open the Exchange Admin Centre.
  • Servers >> Virtual Directories >> Client Access Server.
  • Now, make a selection for the EWS virtual directory.
  • Make a click on the Edit.
  • Check the “Enable MRS Proxy Endpoint” and click on the Save.

Configure Hybrid Environment: Establish a hybrid configuration between the on-premises Exchange servers and Office 365. This enables secure communication and allows for a seamless coexistence. Steps to Migrate Exchange to Office 365

Migrate Mailboxes: Select specific mailboxes or groups of mailboxes to be migrated from the on-premises Exchange environment to Office 365. This can be done using the Exchange Admin Center or PowerShell commands. Migrate mailboxes

Manage Coexistence: During the hybrid migration, users can access their mailboxes either in the on-premises Exchange environment or Office 365, depending on their migration status. The hybrid environment ensures synchronized access and synchronization of mailbox data.

Complete the Migration: Monitor the migration progress and ensure that all desired mailboxes have been successfully migrated to Office 365. Gradually increase the number of mailboxes in Office 365 until the entire organization is migrated.

3) Cutover Migration:

Cutover Migration is simply the migration in one go. It is best for the small level businesses that have a limited number of mailboxes. Cutover migration asks to fulfill prerequisites before moving for the migration. Cutover Migration for Exchange Server to Office 365

After completing all the formalities, just follow the below-mentioned steps:

  1. Open Exchange Admin Center, select Recipients, followed by Migration.
  2. Then go to File > New > Exchange Online Migration.
  3. Select Cutover Migration as a migration type and click on the Next button.
  4. A page detailing migration endpoint information will load. Before moving on, please double-check the details you’ve entered.
  5. In the Batch Name field on the Move Configuration page, enter the name of the migrating batch, and then click Next. On Migration, you may see the batch name in the list.
  6. Following that, choose an option on the Start the batch.
    Begin the batch processing immediately: If a new migration batch is available in a Syncing state, it will start processing immediately.
    Schedule the process for a later time: The status of the migration batch is set to Created, but no migration has yet begun. Select the desired migration batch from the dashboard, and then click on Start to begin.
  7. To start a new batch of migrations, select New from the menu.

Once you create the migration batch, it will be visible on the migration dashboard. In order to finish the process, you must now initiate the cutover migration batch.

An Alternative Method to Move Exchange mailbox to Office 365

Using manual ways is not a cup of time for all users. Due to technical complexity, data security, and time consumption, professionals search for an efficient, professional solution. Also, professionals need an advanced tool with user-centric features, and manual ways are not a perfect fit. In the end, Exchange mailbox data contain crucial data and hence cannot be compromised.

Free Download100% Secure Buy NowPrice: $89

Regain Software has developed a one-stop solution for Exchange EDB files to answer all the above concerns. Regain EDB Converter is the tool that facilitates an easy migration. It has a lot to offer; some of the highlighted ones are:

  • Users can add multiple EDB files of any size and migrate them to Office 365.
  • Users can convert EDB to PST, MBOX, MSG, and PDF-like prominent file formats along with cloud migration.
  • Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Exchange Server, and Amazon Work Mail can also be targeted.
  • Advanced options like filter and preview facilities and a convenient GUI make this utility best suited for professionals.
  • It is compatible with all versions of Windows O.S. as well as a version of Exchange Server.

Simple Steps to Professionally Migrate Exchange EDB to Office 365:

  • First, install and launch the Regain EDB Converter.
  • Using the Browse or Add Files button, add the EDB files.
    Regain EDB Converter for Importing EDB to Office 365
  • Now, you can view the data within the EDB files. You can cross-check the data and get assured about the data.
    Step 2
  • Click on the Cloud-Migration button present on the ribbon bar. Enter the Office 365 credentials and start migration.
    Step 3
  • You will get a complete log report of the migration process that you can save for the future.

Final Words:

Migration toward the best is obvious, and Exchange users are no exception. We all know the cloud is the future of data management and collaboration in an organization. However, shifting data from Exchange Server to Office 365 is not everyone’s cup of tea. But with Regain EDB Converter Tool, it is. This utility is very easy to operate, and it migrates very speedily. A free demo version of this software is also available to download, that you must download and try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. I am using Exchange 2016, and I have 2200 mailboxes; will Staged Migration be a good option for me?
Ans. No. Staged Migration is not suitable for Exchange 2010 or above versions. However, you can migrate 2000+ mailboxes using this way, but it will cost many days and effort without assurity. You must go with the Regain EDB Converter.

Q2. Will my Exchange mailbox’s folder hierarchy be retained after using the Regain EDB Converter?
Ans. Yes. Your folder hierarchy, meta properties, and data originality will remain preserved. No need to worry about data alteration.

Q3. I am not technically enriched, hence choosing Regain Software over the manual migration. Will I get any technical assistance if I need it?
Ans. Regain Software’s support executives are always here to assist you. With the Regain EDB Converter, you also get free lifetime technical support. You can contact us via the live chat/or by writing mail to support@regainsoftware.com.

Q4. Can I try Regain EDB Converter by migrating EDB to the Office 365 cloud?
Ans. A free trial version of Regain EDB Converter is available to download free. You can migrate thirty items per folder as a demo. With the licensed version, there are no such limitations.


Author: Savita Sharma

I am Savita Sharma Technical Consultant and Writer in Regain Software. My responsibility in company is to update website with latest information regularly. And adding new content to make information easy and understandable. Usually writing on almost all products of Regain Software.

One thought on “Migrating Exchange Mailboxes to Office 365 What You Need to Know”

  1. Avatar Julie says:

    I had no idea that this was possible, but it looks like a great way to transition from Exchange Server mailboxes to Office 365. Thanks for sharing such useful information on how to do this process easily!

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