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Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration- Easy and Seamless Methods

Are you in a situation where you want to perform hosted exchange to Office 365 migration? But have no idea where to start. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can transfer hosted exchange data to Office 365 using different methods. 


What is Hosted Exchange Server? 

Microsoft Hosted Exchange is a server that is hosted on a server. This helps the users to not worry about maintenance. They also don’t have to worry about buying new expensive hardware or licenses for expansion. 

But unlike an Exchange server, Hosted Exchange Servers can only be used for emails. It doesn’t contain any of the other Microsoft tools like Teams, planner, Office apps, etc 

Now let us look at some of the methods that we can use to transfer data from hosted exchange to Office 365.


How to Perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration

Transferring data from a Hosted Exchange to Office 365 is a complex task. Hence it is important for us to know the right method to migrate the data between them. Let us peek into them one after the other. 

There are a couple of methods that we can use for the migration process including both manual and automated methods. Today we are going to discuss two methods that we can use. One manual method and a professional IMAP migration tool that we can use to perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration. 


Steps Perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration Using minimal Hybrid Configuration. 

Minimal hybrid configuration or express migration is a toned down version of full hybrid migration. Hence, using this migration method users can avoid Full hybrid migration and can be performed with minimal subset configurations. 


Domain Ownership Verification

The first step that we have to do in this method is to make sure about the ownership of the domain that we want to use. This is an important step since only after the domain verification can admins add email IDs in Office 365 environment. Use the steps below to check the domain ownership and verify it. 

  • Use your credentials and log in to your Office 365 account. 
  • Go to settings and select the domain options. 
  • Press on Add domain button located on the domains page. 
  • In the next wizard that opens enter the domain name your organization uses and click on next. 
  • Click on the TXT record tab to verify the domain. This usually helps to verify the ownership. 
  • Once you add TXT wait for around 15 minutes and then move to the next step. 
  • Now Click on the done option and then on verify now. After this, a verification page will open. 
  • Select the option to manage your own DNS records option and end the process without going to the next steps. 


Begin Hosted Exchange Minimal Migration 

To start the migration process first we have to use the admin credentials to sign into Office 365 account. Make sure that the system that you are using is a domain joined to the hosted Exchange server. 

  • Open the Admin center of Office 365,  and then go to Setup>>Data migration from the first menu. 
  • In the next data migration page select the exchange option. 
  • Download the Office 365 Hybrid Configuration Wizard by clicking on the download application button and run it. 
  • Proceed from the welcome screen by clicking on next. 
  • On the On-premise Exchange Server Organization page, keep all the settings as it is and click on the next button. 
  • On the page use your Hosted Exchange Server credentials, log in and validate the accounts. 
  • On the hybrid features page select the minimal hybrid configuration and click on next.
  • Press on the update button on ready for update page to prepare for Hosted Exchange to Office 365 migration. 


Provisioning Users 

  • When you reach the user provisioning page, click on the “Synchronize my users and passwords” option and go to the next page.
  • To synchronize the data we need to download Azure AD connect wizard on your system. 
  • Download and run Azure Ad connect and set it up using the express default settings. 

Once user provisioning is done the user will be migrated to the data migration page of Office 365. Here all the user’s data that have been synced will be shown. This is a one-time process that is turned off in Microsoft Office 365 by default. 


Allocating the Right Licenses to Office 365 Users 

It is important to assign the right licenses to Office 365. Since cloud mailboxes will only be assigned to a user who has a valid license. And these cloud mailboxes are needed to import the data to the source. 

Users can assign the mailbox licenses by going to Admin center>>users>> Active users. 


Starting Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration

Both assigning users and mailbox transferring are done now. Let us now start the migration process. Follow the steps below to d them. 

  • Click on the setup potion and then click on data migration followed by Exchange. 
  • Select the mailboxes that you want to migrate and press the Start migration button. 

The migration status can be viewed on the Data migration page. 


Update Public DNS Records 

In order to receive new emails to Office 365,  the user has to point the MX record to Office 365 after the migration process. Users also have to set up different records like CNAME, TXT, and SRV. 


Perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration Using Professional Tool 

The above mentioned method can be a bit overwhelming for some users. Since the previous method involves a lot of technical steps, someone who is not technologically sound would find it difficult to execute them. This might risk the chances of data loss.

 Now let us look at the best in the industry Professional Migrator Wizard IMAP Migration Tool. Here are the steps to perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration 


Steps for Professional Tool

  • Download and install the tool. 
  • Select the source and destination as IMAP and Office 365 respectively and click on the next button and move to next step. 
  • Check emails under the workload section. 
  • If needed the user can add a date filter to filter out data before the migration process. 
  • Now select the others option from the drop down menu as IMAP server. 
  • Click on validate button and provide the required permissions. 
  • Validate permissions on the destination by entering your destination admin email and application id. Click on next button once the permissions are validated. 
  • In the next screen, there are multiple options provided for importing users. Select the best option as per your need. 
  • Once the user data is imported you have to map them to the destination. 
  • Now in the next screen, we need to add the source app password for the desired accounts that you want to migrate. And then press the validate button on top right. 
  • If needed the users can set priorities for accounts that they want to migrate first. 
  • Finally, click on start migration button located in the top corner to start hosted Exchange to Office 365 Migration


You can view the progress of the migration in the Completed tab. Also, once the migration process is completed the users can use the download report button to get the migration report in CSV format. This report can be used to ensure that all the files were imported successfully. 


Also read: Easy to understand Office 365 migration checklist



In this article, we have talked about how you can perform Hosted Exchange to Office 365 migration using two methods.  We have also seen that using the manual method might be a little overwhelming to users who aren’t good with technology. The manual method also poses the risk of data loss if not executed properly. Hence we recommend using the above mentioned tool for the easiest and safest migration process. 

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