Office 365 Hybrid Migration Step By Step Procedure Explained

Admin ~ Modified: April 12th, 2024 ~ Microsoft Exchange Server ~ 10 Minutes Reading

Office 365 hybrid migration is often used by organizations to move some of their On-premise Exchange mailbox data to Office 365. Let’s have a detailed discussion on this migration method.

What is Hybrid Migration in Office 365?

If an organization wants to retain its On-premise servers while simultaneously moving to the cloud(Office 365), then hybrid migration comes into the picture. Similar to Office 365 Cutover migration and Office 365 Staged migration the complete procedure is a bit lengthy.

With a hybrid deployment, organizations can have the experience and administrative control they have with their existing on-premises Microsoft Exchange organization to the cloud. It applies to all hybrid environments with on-premises Exchange server and Office 365 deployed and their Active Directories synchronized.

A hybrid deployment can act as an intermediate step to moving data completely to Office 365. 

Advantages of Deploying Exchange Hybrid Migration

Deploying Office 365 Hybrid migration enables various features. Such as;

  • You can route mail between on-premises and Office 365 securely.
  • Offers mail routing with a shared domain namespace. For example, if the domain is then you can use it for both on-premises and Exchange Online.
  • You can have a unified global address list (GAL) also known as a ‘shared address book’.
  • With a hybrid deployment, it supports free/busy and calendar sharing between on-premises and Office 365.
  • It will be possible to control inbound and outbound mail flow centrally. Further, you can configure all inbound and outbound Office 365 messages to be routed through the on-premises Exchange.
  • A single Outlook on the web URL can be used for both the on-premises and Exchange online environments.
  • It gives the ability to move existing on-premises mailboxes to the Exchange Online organization. Also, if you want, you can move Exchange Online mailboxes back to the on-premises Exchange.
  • You can manage mailboxes centrally using the on-premises Exchange admin center (EAC).
  • It offers Message tracking, MailTips, and multi-mailbox search between Mircosoft Office 365 and On-premise Exchange.
  • You can get cloud-based message archiving for on-premises Exchange mailboxes. With a hybrid deployment, you can use Exchange Online Archiving. 

Things You Need To Consider Before Implementing Office 365 Hybrid Migration

There are certain things that need to be taken care of for hybrid migration. Such as;

  1. Fulfilling Hybrid deployment Pre-requisites

Before configuring hybrid deployment, it’s necessary to ensure that the on-premises environment meets all the requirements for a successful migration.

  1. Take Care of Exchange ActiveSync Clients

When you migrate mailboxes from on-premises to Exchange Online, the clients (including Exchange ActiveSync devices) need to be updated so that they can use Exchange Online. Though Exchange ActiveSync Devices are automatically reconfigured after the deployment, you need to still make sure it has been reconfigured.

  1. Mailbox Permissions for Migrations

You need to make sure that all the On-premises mailbox permissions such as Send As, Full Access, Send on Behalf, and folder permissions are explicitly granted and that all objects are mail-enabled prior to the migration. So, you need to plan for configuring these permissions in Exchange Online(if applicable).

  1. Additional Configuration Steps

Since hybrid deployment supports migrating data from on-premises to Office 365 and vice-versa. Moving mailboxes from the Exchange Online organization to the on-premises organization requires a few additional configuration steps and you need to consider them if you want to move back some data from Exchange Online to On-premise Exchange.

  1. Setting Mail Forwarding

You can set up mailboxes to automatically send mails sent to them to another mailbox. Though mail forwarding is supported in Exchange Online, forwarding configuration is not copied to Office 365 when mailboxes are migrated here. Hence, before migration, you need to ensure that the forwarding configurations are exported.

What Components Do You Require For Office 365 Hybrid Migration?

For hybrid migration deployment, you are going to need the below components.

  • Exchange Servers: Whether you use the latest or older version of Exchange, for hybrid deployment, you need to configure at least one Exchange server on your On-premise.

So, if you are using Exchange 2013 or earlier versions then you must install one server running the Mailbox and Client Access roles. And, if you are using Exchange 2016 or a later version then you must install one server running the Mailbox role.

[Recommendation: For configuring hybrid, it’s best to install the Exchange server with the latest CU(Cumulative Update) and RU.]

  • Microsoft Office 365 Subscription: Since in a hybrid deployment some data will be moved to the cloud(Office 365), so, you need to purchase licenses for each mailbox migrated to or created in Exchange Online.
  • Hybrid Configuration Wizard: To configure a hybrid deployment between On-premise Exchange and Office 365, Hybrid Configuration Wizard is used. It provides a modernized process to set up hybrid deployment.
  • Azure AD Authentication System: When you configure a hybrid deployment, a trust factor is needed between the On-premise and Exchange Online environment. And, Azure Active Directory Authentication system does that. It is a free cloud-based service. 

As a matter of fact, a hybrid deployment needs to have a federation trust with the Azure AD authentication system.

  • Azure AD Synchronization: To recreate on-premises Active Directory information for mail-enabled objects to the cloud, Azure AD synchronization uses Azure AD Connect. So, when you configure a hybrid deployment, you need to implement Azure AD Connect on a separate, on-premises server to synchronize your on-premises Active Directory with Office 365.

How to Do Office 365 Hybrid Migration?

The process of executing hybrid migration is not an easy task. Because there are so many things you have to consider, check every single component, and other permissions for carrying out the migration. 

Let’s have a look at the detailed steps of the migration.

Step 1: Create Endpoint For Migration

The first step to executing remote move migrations is to create an Exchange migration endpoint. Migration endpoint includes establishing a connection for the on-premises Exchange server. It usually runs the MRS proxy service which helps in executing remote migrations to and from Office 365.

Step 2: Enable Proxy Service

In On-premises Exchange client access servers, it is necessary to enable the Mailbox Replication Proxy(MRS) service. If not enabled then you need to follow the below steps.

  1. Open Exchange Admin Center(EAC) 
  2. Then, go to the Servers
  3. There, select Virtual Directories
  4. Next, select Client Access Server
  5. Then, choose the EWS virtual directory
  6. After that, click on the Edit option
  7. Now, click on the MRS Proxy enabled checkbox
  8. Next, tap on the Save option, and finally, press OK
Step 3: Use EAC to Move Mailboxes

You will find a remote migration wizard in the EAC. Using this wizard you can migrate on-premises Exchange mailboxes to Exchange Online or move the mailboxes from Exchange Online to an On-premise environment.

Firstly, let’s see the procedure to migrate On-premise mailboxes to Office 365.

  • Open Exchange Admin Center
  • Now, go to Office 365 and then click on Recipients
  • Next, select the Migration option and click on the Add option
  • After that, select Migrate to Exchange Online
  • Now, choose ‘Remote Move Migration’ from the ‘Select a Migration Type’ window and click Next
  • Next, under the ‘Select the users’ window’, press the Add + option
  • Then, choose the On-Premises User and click Add
  • After that, tap on OK and then Next
  • Now,  Enter the Windows user account credential window will pop up, here enter the credentials of the on-premises administrator account then hit Next
  • Now, check whether the FQDN of desired on-premises Exchange server is listed or not under Confirm the migration endpoint window.
  • Under the Move Configuration section, enter the migration batch name under the New migration batch name field.
  • Below that, under the Target delivery domain, specify the domain for the mailboxes that you want to migrate to Office 365
  • Next, select Move primary mailbox along with the archive mailbox option.
  • After that, navigate to the Start the Batch option
  • Then, choose one Recipient
  • Next, select the Automatically start the batch option
  • Then, tick the checkbox of Automatically complete the migration batch and Click New

Related: Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Step By Step Guide

 Procedure to Migrate Exchange Online Mailboxes to On-Premise
  • Go to the Exchange Admin Center then Office 365
  • After that, click on the Recipients
  • Then, tap on Migration and click Add
  • Now, choose the Migrate from Exchange Online option.
  • Next, choose the Select the users that you want to move option, under the Select the user window, and Click Next
  • Now, press the Add + icon
  • Then, select the Exchange Online users that you want to migrate to the on-premises environment and click Next
  • Next, Confirm the migration endpoint window will pop up, here check the listing to ensure the FQDN of your on-premises Exchange server is listed or not, then click Next
  • After that, navigate to the Move Configuration window
  • Then, under the New migration batch name text field, specify the migration batch name
  • Now, Under the Target delivery domain for the mailboxes, provide the target delivery domain
  • Next, navigate to the Start the batch page. Then, choose one recipient for receiving a batch complete report
  • Now, make sure that the Automatically start the batch option is selected
  • Also, tick the checkbox to Automatically complete the migration batch
Step 4: Remove Batches

This is one of the important steps i.e. batch removal you should not miss. Cause this ensures that no same users are migrated again. By this, you will be able to reduce possible errors. 

For batches removal follow the below steps:

  • Go to EAC >> Office 365 >> Recipients
  • Then, select Migration and tap on Completed Migration Batch 
  • Now, click on the Delete option
  • Then, confirm your preference by tapping on Yes
Step 5: Re-activate OWA for Offline Access

Enabling offline access in Outlook Web App(OWA) lets you access the mailboxes when you don’t have network connectivity. So, when you are migrating Exchange mailboxes to Office 365, you need to reset the offline access setting in the browser to use Outlook on the web offline.

[Suggestion: Skilled professionals who have years of experience in executing hybrid migration may perform the migration successfully. Hence, only those who know ins and outs of both On-premise and Office 365 environments may try this migration method.]

Also Read: How to Fix for Microsoft Teams Chat Disappeared Issue?

Limitations Of Office 365 Hybrid Migration

As you can see, the entire process is very lengthy and demands technical expertise in executing an error-free migration.

Secondly,  a hybrid environment involves managing different platforms and applying policies simultaneously. And, it can be difficult and time-consuming for the IT team of your organization to manage the hybrid infrastructure. So, what’s the solution?

Solution: It’s advised to demolish the hybrid structure and completely move your On-premise mailboxes to the cloud i.e. Office 365.

Manually moving data from On-premise Exchange to Office 365 can be a challenging task. That’s why experts recommend using a professional automated Migrator Wizard Exchange Migration Tool for the migration. It can help you perform the migration quickly, and efficiently.

Download Now Purchase Now

Salient Features Of the Tool:
  • It lets you migrate mailbox items such as emails, contacts, and calendars in one go.
  • The tool retains the hierarchy of the folder structure at the destination after the migration.
  • It allows you to start & stop the migration process as per your requirement.
  • If any data is missed during the initial run then it lets you re-do the process through the Re-run migration option. Most importantly, it doesn’t migrate the items that are already being migrated.
  • Also, it migrates the newly arrived items through Delta migration.

Also Read About: Microsoft Office 365 Migration Checklist – That You Sould Follow


Office 365 hybrid migration is a process used by enterprises who want to stay in a hybrid environment i.e. to keep both On-premise and Office 365. But, deployment of a hybrid configuration is not that easy. Moreover, managing both platforms can be challenging. That’s why it’s recommended to migrate all your workloads to the convenient platform, Office 365 to manage them efficiently.