Tech Peak » Exchange On Premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step – Detailed Guide

Exchange On Premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step – Detailed Guide

by Anurag Sharma
Exchange on premise to Office 365 migration step by step

Microsoft users find it a technical and complex task to perform Exchange on premise to Office 365 migration step by step. This is due to the complexities involved and improper knowledge available on the internet This task can be complex for users if they do not have the appropriate knowledge, skillsets & perfect tool. However, there are only a few accurate solutions available that actually solve users’ queries.

In this write up we are going to discuss different approaches to solve this user query.Topics like why we should opt for a modern method and its advantages are also covered. There are also some manual methods & their limitations that we are going to discuss in brief. Stick to this article till the end to clear all your doubts.

Modern Approach to Move Exchange Mailbox to Office 365 Before Deadline

The best & reliable solution for solving this user query is to select a modern solution rather than the old manual methods. To perform this task using the modern approach, users need to download Top Rated Exchange to Office 365 Migration Tool. It can handle all the complexities by itself and users just need to put in some basic effort.

Below are the steps to migrate on premise Exchange to Office 365 after downloading and activating the tool:

Step 1. Launch the tool & Select source as Exchange & Destination as Office 365.
Step 2. Choose the desired categories you want to migrate like emails, contacts tasks, etc.
Exchange On Premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step (Step-2)
Step 3. Enter Exchange credentials & validate permissions to move data without errors.
Step 4. Enter Office 365 credentials for the destination & validate permissions.
Exchange On Premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step (step-4)
Step 5. Add users through the User group mapping feature of the tool for bulk migration.
Step 6. At last Click on the Start Migration button to begin the project.
Exchange On Premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step (step-6)Follow these steps carefully & do not skip any of the stated instructions. This approach can eliminate several errors that users from all over the world face.

What are The Advantages of Using the Modern Approach

We have learned to perform Exchange on premise to Office 365 migration step by step. Now, it’s time to have a look at the advantages of this modern method. Users can get multiple benefits from this tool. However, we’re going to highlight only some of the major ones.

  • This tool can migrate data for multiple users in one shot without any complications.
  • Freshly received data can also be migrated using the Delta-Migration feature.
  • Availability of Date & Category filters for selective data migration for users.
  • A concurrent migration facility is offered by this tool that can increase work efficiency.
  • There is a feature to check the status of the ongoing migration process using the inbuilt dashboard.
  • This tool supports migration for Exchange 2013 & 2016 versions to Office 365. 

Do We Have Any Manual Methods?

When we talk about the manual methods to solve this problem, we do have some ways. Let’s discuss the manual ways to move Exchange mailbox to Office 365.

We are going to discuss three major manual methods, and later on, the limitations of these methods are also going to be covered.

  • Cutover Migration
    Microsoft recommends this method for migrating only up to 150 mailboxes but users can perform this if they have around 2000 mailboxes. This method supports Exchange versions 2003, 2007, 2010 & 2013.
  • Staged Migration
    Here, this method is suitable only if users are operating on Exchange versions 2003 and 2007. However, this is the best manual method for migrating over 2000 mailboxes. This method executes the migration process in different stages. 
  • Hybrid Migration
    This method is suitable only if you want to transfer 150-2000 mailboxes over a period of time. This process is appropriate for Exchange versions 2010 & 2013. Users need to follow the same multiple steps in chronological order that can be very frustrating at times.Also Read: OneDrive Migration Best Practices – The Step By Step Ultimate Guide

Manual Method Limitations for Exchange on premise to Office 365 Migration Step by Step 

Executing Exchange on premise to Office 365 migration step by step manually is indeed a complicated task. But why? Let’s understand in depth.

There are various limitations of the manual method that make organizations change their decision and shift towards the modern approach. Let’s learn what are drawbacks that make these methods a No Go option for businesses.

  • In a cutover migration, the 2016 version of Exchange is not supported.
  • Only 2003 & 2007 Exchange versions are supported in staged migration.
  • The hybrid migration method is only suitable for the 2010 & 2013 versions.
  • No feature to migrate selective data is available in the traditional methods.
  • These manual methods are very slow and can take ages to complete the migration task.
  • Users need to perform multiple steps and go through a lot of complexities in these methods. 
  • The conventional approach leaves a gap for data security issues, your files can get corrupted during the process.


Q.- Are manual methods are reliable solutions to move Exchange mailbox to Office 365?
A.- It can work but IT experts do not recommend using manual methods. This is because they can cause errors and data loss.

Q.- How long does it take to migrate Exchange to Office 365?
A.- This depends on the no. of mailboxes, file size, and the method of migration the user is opting for. There is no fixed time period. It can vary from hours to months.

Q.- Is there any feature to transfer only the emails from Exchange 2016 to Office 365?
A.- Yes, Using the modern approach users can transfer selective data. They can keep the emails and avoid other mailbox items like contacts, calendars, tasks, documents, etc.

Winding Up

After discussing various aspects of this process, finally, we are going to conclude this article. We understood that there are various methods to perform this migration operation but only a few can work well. Also, we discussed the manual methods and their limitations. Now, you have a solid solution to reliably execute Exchange on premise to Office 365 migration step by step.

If you are planning to undergo this migration project, you must opt for the above-mentioned tool without a doubt. Do not forget to consider the shortcomings of different approaches and then carefully follow the instructions mentioned in this article.

Also Read: How can we Restore EDB Database that Contains Exchange Server Mailboxes?

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