Add Office 365: Exchange Online e-mail address on every mailbox with PowerShell

When carrying out hybrid Exchange deployments to Office 365: Exchange Online one of the challenges I commonly face is the disablement of the e-mail address policy on stacks of mailboxes. To handle mailflow in a hybrid scenario every mailbox needs an e-mail routing address matching the tenant e-mail domainname ( Now this requirement is covered by running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard in stage 8: configuring mailflow. This phase simply adds the new e-mail routing address to the “Default Policy”.

This new configuration automatically adds the new e-mail address on every mailbox which has the e-mail address policy enabled on it. Now this is where the challenge appears. What to do when a lot of mailboxes within your Exchange organisation do not have the e-mail address policy enabled?

The easiest fix is enabling the e-mail address policy on every mailbox with a simple one-liner of PowerShell right? Well in a lot cases this solution doesn’t suffice because this would mess up naming conventions. A lot of IT departments knowingly disabled the policy on mailboxes over the years to configure the desired e-mail address by hand for their end-users.

To automatically configure or add the new e-mail address on every mailbox without enabling the e-mail address policy I use this great PowerShell script.

The Add-O365MailAddress script is used to add your Office 365 e-mail address on every mailbox within your Exchange Organisation.

The Add-O365MailAddress script is used to add a new Office 365 e-mail address on every mailboxes where it is currently not present.

Make sure script execution is set to unrestricted by running “Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Force”

Please note that this script is only tested on Windows Server 2008 R2 and higher servers which have the Exchange Management Shell installed.

$mailbox = Get-Mailbox -ResultSize Unlimited -Filter {EmailAddresses -notlike “**”}
foreach ($user in $mailbox) {


$email=$alias + “”

Set-mailbox $user.Identity -EmailAddresses @{add=$email}

Export-Csv -Path c:\temp\mailboxes_output.csv



The script iterates trough every mailbox in the Exchange Organisation. Every mailbox which does not have a present Office 365 routing address (contoso.mail.onmicrosoft) is put in the pipeline. Next the script will add the new e-mail address on every selected mailbox which is required for for Office 365 hybrid mailflow.

Hybrid Configuration Wizard : Exception=The remote server returned an error: (407) Proxy Authentication Required

A while ago we were facing some issues when running the Exchange 2013 Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) for Exchange Online. As it is recommended to bypass proxy servers for most of the Office 365 services. This is absolutely necessary for Exchange Online in a hybrid scenario.

When running the  HCW it actually runs a large series of PowerShell commandlets which you develop by configuring the New-HybridConfiguration cmd-let with all the required parameters. Once configured it actually goes through these eleven phases:

  1. Creation of Hybrid Configuration Object (New-HybridConfiguration)
  2. Check Tenant Prerequisites
  3. Upgrading Hybrid Configuration from Exchange 2013
  4. Check Prerequisites
  5. Configure Recipient Settings
  6. Creating Organization Relationship
  7. Configure Free/Busy Settings
  8. Configure Mail Flow
  9. Configure MRS Proxy Settings
  10. Configure IntraOrganization Connector
  11. Configure OAuth

Now when we were facing this issue we ended up getting stuck at phase 6 which is configuring the Organization Relationship. One which is rather complex. The Hybrid Configuration Wizard threw this error:

ERROR: System.Management.Automation.RemoteException: Federation information could not be received from the external organization.

ERROR : Subtask NeedsConfiguration execution failed: Configure Organization Relationship
Exchange was unable to communicate with the autodiscover endpoint for your Office 365 tenant. This is typically an outbound http access configuration issue. If you are using a proxy server for outbound communication, verify that Exchange is configured to use it via the “Get-ExchangeServer –InternetWebProxy” cmdlet. Use the “Set-ExchangeServer –InternetWebProxy” cmdlet to configure if needed.

The client did have a proxy and reverse proxy within their infrastructure and as the solution and technical design required the traffic from the Hybrid Exchange server should have direct route to the Internet, so it bypasses any proxyserver. I was able to double-check this with the Network Administrator and all was configured correctly as written in the technical design.

When we digged through the logging on the Hybrid server which is located in the D:\Program Files\Exchange Server\Logging\Update-HybridConfiguration directory. We found an error message:

Exception=The remote server returned an error: (407) Proxy Authentication Required

This error was thrown after running the Get-FederationInformation cmd-let and pointed the cause to a proxy server, or at least a proxy setting. After reading several TechNet articles we found out that the commands run by the HCW are run under the context of “Local System”. As such, these commands are subject to the proxy settings of the “Local System” user profile and not my administrator profile settings.

The default value of “Automatically Detect Settings” in the Internet Options is always “Enabled” and is configured on per unique user. So this configuration also applies to “Local System”. This default setting, combined with the client’s PAC file, the HCW was directing “Local System” to use the proxy server.

To fix this you have to download a tool like PsExec which can run Internet Explorer under the context of “Local System”. Once you are running IE under the local system user simply disable the setting and save changes. Run the following cmd-let:

psexec.exe -i -s -d “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” in CMD with administrative priviliges.


This workarround allowed me to bypass the proxy settings in the PAC-file the client used and succesfully complete the Exchange Hybrid Configuration Wizard. Have fun running the HCW! 🙂

Import distribution groups to Office 365: Exchange Online with PowerShell

Today we faced an issue where a client needed to migrate their GroupWise distribution groups to Office 365. Since there is no easy way doing this we developed a PowerShell script to automate this proces. Well, actually it are two scripts.

The scripts are divided in one, creating the distribution groups and part two is adding the members to the newly created groups. First we have to gather the input for creating the distribution groups in Office 365. For this I only used the required attributes for creating a distribution group.

$import = Import-Csv -Path “C:\temp\Create-DG.csv” -Delimiter “;”
foreach ($item in $import) {
New-DistributionGroup -Name $item.Name -DisplayName $item.DisplayName -PrimarySmtpAddress $item.PrimairyEmailAddress -Type $item.Type
Export-Csv -Path “C:\temp\New-DistributionGroup_LogFile_$(get-date -Format ddMMyyyy).csv”

Once the distribution groups are created we can head on adding the members to them using the PowerShell script below.

$import = Import-Csv -Path “C:\temp\Add-DGMembers.csv” -Delimiter “;”
foreach ($item in $import) {
Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity $item.GroupName -Member $item.UPN -Verbose
Out-File -FilePath “C:\temp\Add-DGMembers_LogFile_$(get-date -Format ddMMyyyy).log”

As we can see both the scripts import a .csv file containing the content. The .csv files and the PowerShell scripts can be downloaded below.


Please note that the distribution groups can be either created on-premises in Active Directory and then synced to Windows Azure Active Directory (Office 365) or either directly created in Office 365 with the help of remote PowerShell. Based on your infrastructure and migration scenario it can differ which is the best way to go. Functionally there will be no difference for Exchange Online. However in some hybrid scenarios it can be best to create the distribution groups on-premises and sync them to Office 36 with the help of Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync).

Change explicit User Principal Names to match Office 365 domain suffix

Most Enterprise Office 365 clients will use Active Directory Federation Services and Windows Azure Active Directory Sync, also known as DirSync for Single Sign-On functionality with Office 365.

Standard AD FS will use the on-premises UPN to access services in Office 365. Therefore Microsoft advises to make sure User Principal Name suffixes and e-mail adress suffixes match to make life simpler. Most ADS domains still use an internal routable domainname for instance contoso.local. However when implementing AD FS with Office 365 it permitted to have an “internet routable” domain suffix for instance

The best solution for this before implementing and running a DirSync is to create a new User Principal Name suffix to match your Office 365 domain suffix. This can be done by adding a new UPN suffix by going to:

  1. Open Active Directory Domains and Trusts
    2. Right click on the top level of the tree in the left pane and select properties
    3. Add the new internet routable UPN suffix e.i.

Next step is to change the explicit User Principal Names for all the designated user objects in Active Directory which you plan to synchronize to Office 365. The easiest way to do this is with the help of allmighty PowerShell.

I wrote this easy one-liner which allows you to target a specific OU in Active Directory. Don’t forget to use the Active Directory Module for PowerShell.

Get-ADUser -Filter * -SearchBase ‘OU=Users,DC=fabrikam,DC=local’ -Properties userPrincipalName | foreach { Set-ADUser $_ -UserPrincipalName “$($_.samaccountname)”}

After succesfully running the cmd-lets you will notice the new UPN suffix is configured for the targeted user objects in ADS.

GetSafeOrdinal FATAL ERROR Could not find column LastModifiedTime in PartitionProperties

Migrating from one SharePoint version to another can be harder then it seems at first glance. Thinking through your migration strategy and prerequisites is the first and foremost important step, but no migration is without issues, and no issue is without an error you nor Google has seen before.

In our case this issue happened when migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 and upgrading the User Profile Service Application. This caused the error:

GetSafeOrdinal: FATAL ERROR: Could not find column ‘LastModifiedTime’ in PartitionProperties. Please check if the Content and Federated Services farm are of compatible versions.

After rerouting our steps we found out that our customer had ordered and installed a SharePoint .iso in their native language and not in English, where the old SharePoint environment was in English but with a language pack installed in their native language. So where the environment seems Dutch on both versions when using Central Administration, basically these are actually two different languages. Migrating the UPS Sync database from one environment to another caused this error, but recreating the UPS Sync database (and keeping the migrated and upgraded UPS Social and UPS Profile databases) solved this error. All other databases could be migrated and upgraded but this particular one caused a little headache, but nothing is unsolvable – right? 🙂