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Migrate IMAP mailboxes to Microsoft 365 – Office 365 – Exchange online

Here are the steps required in sequence to migrate an IMAP domain to Exchange Online.

  1. Add the domain to your Microsoft 365 tenant. You don’t have to complete the mail server setup.
  2. Add domain users to Microsoft 365. Each user must have a Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard, or Premium license
  3. Prepare the csv file for migration, separated by commas. In the first line put EmailAddress, UserName, Password. In the following lines the data: “EmailAddress is the Microsoft account,” UserName “is the imap server account and” Password “is the imap server password

example of csv

EmailAddress,UserName,Password
terrya@contoso.edu,contoso\terry.adams,1091990
annb@contoso.edu,contoso\ann.beebe,2111991
paulc@contoso.edu,contoso\paul.cannon,3281986
  1. Log in as an administrator in Microsoft 365 and go to the Exchange admin center. (Note: this guide is for the “classic” Exchange administration interface. Select “recipients” on the left; select “migration” at the top.
  2. At the center of the page there is a button with three dots: …. Selecting it, the endpoint is inserted, that is the Imap source server. In the next window add the new endpoint (IMAP).
  3. Create a new migration. launch the migration
  4. once the migration is complete, in the tenant, you can finish configuring the domain for what concerns the mail server, following the instructions on the tenant and changing your dns

The Rules of Migration

You can put all users in a migration. When a migration ends in error, you can delete a user from it and put the same user in another migration. You can have multiple migrations at the same time but the same user cannot exist in more than one migration. Migration can exist for up to 60 days.

It is not a migration

In reality, Microsoft does a more sophisticated operation than a “trivial” migration: it makes a sync. Synchronize entire imap mailbox to Exchange mailbox in one direction (from imap to exchange). It is sophisticated but less effective than a normal migration: it is not in real time but after 24/30 hours. So if you want to replace the mail server, users would lose at least 24 hours of email.

Configuring perspectives

On Outlook clients, you can add the new Exchange account online. It will be the same as the old mailbox, but will be managed by Exchange. For a while you will then have 2 mailboxes that manage the same mail but on different servers: one is the old imap server, the other one the new Exchange server. When the migration is finished and you have also moved the mx records on the dns, you can delete the old mailbox. Before doing this, however, you must also memorize the contacts and the calendar from the “old” to the “new”:

Contacts: select all contacts, right click, select “move” and then “copy to folder …”, Exchange mailbox contacts.

Calendar: To move appointments between 2 calendars: both calendars and drag appointments from old to new.

Problems in migration

If you have any problem you can investigate using PowerShell. First install ExchangeOnlineManagement.

Connect to the tenant:

Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName <your Admin Username>

The password request screen appears.

List of all endpoints in the tenant

get-migrationendpoint|FL

endpoint test

Test-MigrationServerAvailability -Endpoint <Identity of the endpoint from above>

view sync configuration of single user

Get-SyncRequest -Mailbox  <user>

esport migration result for a user

Get-MigrationUserStatistics <user> -IncludeSkippedItems -IncludeReport 
-DiagnosticInfo "showtimeslots, showtimeline, 
verbose" | Export-Clixml C:\temp\MigMyUser.xml

Exchange mailboxes have a 35MB limit. If you have to move something bigger during the migration you have to change this limit.

Set-Mailbox -Identity <user> -MaxReceiveSize 150MB

Documentation:

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Outlook for Exchange online: Change the default address book

Exchange online Outlook accounts has the Global Address List (GAL), as a default address book: the one that contains corporate accounts. To set the user’s address book (conatcts) as default, synchronized on Outlook online, you need to:

  1. open Outlook
  2. at the top of the main page there is an icon-button “Address Book”.
  3. In the window that appears select “tools – options”.
  4. select “Start with contact folder”
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Remove Thunderbird from default email client on Windows

Scenario

Even though Outlook is set as the default email client in Windows, when you use that program’s “Send as email” function it brings out a Thunderbird dialog box instead of Outlook.

Solution

Open regedit. (‘Start’ > Run > type regedit)

Check registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\Mail

right side double click on ‘Default’ Enter Microsoft Outlook in ‘Value Data’

Windows 10 may have some variants

  1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Clients\Mailto
  2. HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\mailto\shell\open\command
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Opening a csv file in Excel. How to keep all leading zeros in fields

When you open a csv file in Excel, if you have data that contains zero (0) at the beginning, it will be transformed into numbers losing the leading zero. Let’s see how to avoid losing the leading zeros.

Do not open the csv file with Excel. Instead, open Excel with a new sheet. Go to the “Data” tab and press “from text / csv”.

Upload your csv file now. A new window appears which performs a data transformation.

Above you have some important choices.

Excel figured out which the csv file delimiter is. Note: use this procedure also when you are importing data saved in a csv file with a different delimiter from your standard.

Excel tries to figure out the data type for each column “based on the first 200 rows”; I recommend that you select “based on the entire dataset”. This way Excel should understand that the column with zeros contains text and not numbers. Press “Load” to end the procedure or “Transform Data” to force other choices if necessary.

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Set up an Office 365 account on GMail

This article was born from the difficulties encountered in setting up a Microsoft Office 365 mail account on the Gmail mail client on a smartphone. But

Reading Office 365 in Gmail is not recommended.

In the Gmail add account screen, the most obvious attempt is to add the account using “Exchange and Office 365”.

You will see the mailbox added correctly and working but we have encountered problems: in some accounts on Gmail you do not see all the mail folders in the mailbox.

Solution

The solution is to perform an installation in imap.

Install the account using “Other”:

Once you have entered your email account, the “Manual Configuration” button appears.

Push it. The procedure will ask you in sequence:

password
address of the mail arrival server: outlook.office365.com
address of the mail receiving server: smtp.office365.com

The procedure does not require the specification of ports. For the sake of completeness, we recall all the parameters of the Microsoft Office 365 imap and smtp.

IMAP settings – Server name: outlook.office365.com – Port: 993 – Encryption method: SSL

SMTP settings – Server name: smtp.office365.com – Port: 587 – Encryption method: TLS or STARTTLS

Important

By doing this you deactivate the synchronization of address book, calendar and email. To solve it, simply go to the Outlook app, in the account and reactivate the synchronization.

But remember that the best thing for Office365 is to use the Outlook app on smartphones. Reading Office 365 in Gmail is not recommended.

 

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Email – how to move your address book from Thunderbird to Outlook

  1. export the Thunderbird address book in .CSV format without special configurations
  2. while importing the .CSV file into Outlook, after choosing the “Contacts” folder in which to import the contacts, click on “Map Custom Fields“, select the fields of the .CSV file and associate them with the fields of the Outlook address book.