How to Migrate Distribution Group to Office 365 Safely – Comprehensive Guide

Migrate Distribution Group to Office 365 Safely – Comprehensive Guide

Published By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 13th, 2023
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category Office 365

Is it possible to migrate distribution group to Office 365? If yes, then how? And, for Office 365 admins, it’s natural to have such types of questions come to mind.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. In this write-up, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the distribution group and its migration to Office 365.

So, without further ado, let’s start with a quick overview of the distribution group.

Introduction of Distribution Group in Microsoft 365

A distribution group is oftentimes called a distribution list. So, don’t get confused with the terminologies. In general distribution groups play a crucial role in organizations, which can facilitate effective communication and collaboration among members of various teams, departments, or project groups.

These are essentially a collection of email addresses, which include users, contacts, or other data. When an email is sent to a distribution group, it gets delivered to all the members of the group simultaneously, ensuring that important messages reach everyone who needs to be informed. Hence, it is created for sending email notifications to a group of people. Here, members of the group can receive external emails if the admin has enabled the same.

If there is a need to broadcast information to a set of people then in such scenarios distribution groups are the best fit.

Migrating distribution groups to Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) offers several advantages that can enhance communication, collaboration, and overall efficiency within an organization. But, the question remains the same. That is;

Can We Move the Distribution Group to Office 365?

To start with, according to Microsoft, you can upgrade the distribution group to Microsoft 365 groups in Outlook. In this way, you can experience all the features and functionality of Office 365.

However, to upgrade a distribution list, you must be a global admin or Exchange admin and the group must have an owner with a mailbox.

And, through EAC, you can upgrade the distribution group. However, sometimes distribution groups fail to upgrade. 

The reasons could be any of the following:

  • The distribution lists(DLs) must be not eligible to be upgraded.
  • Even if they are upgraded, DLs with MemberJoinRestrictions or MemberDepartRestriction configured as closed can’t be upgraded.
  • If the owner of the distribution group is not permitted to create Office 365 group then it is not possible to upgrade the same.

So, what can you do if the upgrade doesn’t go the way you planned? Well, you can still migrate distribution groups to Office 365 using Powershell and a reliable method. Let’s get into it:

Quick Way to Convert Distribution Group to Office 365 Using 5 Steps

  • Step 1. Download, install, and run the software.
  • Step 2. Choose Office 365 as source & destination.
  • Step 3. Check the required items & apply the filter.
  • Step 4. Login with Office 365 admin credentials.
  • Step 5. Select desired groups & click on the start button.

However, if you have good command over the PowerShell scripting language, only then you can scan & upgrade the DLs.

Moreover, there are certain eligibility criteria you need to go through before upgrading to Office 365. Such as, 

  • The distribution groups that you want to upgrade must be cloud-managed, simple, and non-nested distribution groups.
  • It must not contain more than 100 owners
  • The DLs have an alias containing special characters.

From the above, you can say that to execute the distribution group migration to Office 365, upgrading is not a foolproof solution.

So, here comes the role of a tried and tested professional tool.

Also Read: How to Execute Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Step By Step

Migrate Distribution Group to Office 365 Step By Step Using Trusted Software

When it comes to migrating user mailboxes, groups, etc, there is no need to look for different tools to do the job. Because the Most Secure SysTools Office 365 Migration Tool makes it easier & does it all. 

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Now, you might be wondering, why choose this tool for migrating the distribution group.

There are various benefits of using the tool. Such as, 

  • The interface is really simple, even a non-technical user can operate the same.
  • You don’t need to have experience with PowerShell scripting language as the migration process doesn’t involve the same.
  • There is zero chance of failure while migrating the distribution group to Office 365.
  • You can also migrate multiple distribution groups to Microsoft 365 in one go.
  • Using this software you can also migrate the shared mailboxes to Office 365.
  • Moreover, the tool makes sure the entire process runs smoothly without causing any data loss.
  • You will get different options to fetch the groups through which you can conveniently choose the option as per your need.

And, many more…

Hence, without a second thought, you can rely on this professional tool to perform the distribution group migration to Office 365.

Let’s have a look at the software operations to carry out the migration.

You would also love to know: What are the Admin Roles and Responsibilities in Office 365?

Step-by-Step Procedure to Move Distribution Group to Office 365

The procedure is simple and easy to conduct. Just follow the below steps & migrate the distribution group(s).

Step 1. Download the Office 365 migration tool and run it on your desktop.

Step 2. Then, under the ‘Set Up’ section, select both the source and destination as ‘Office 365’.

migrate distribution group to office 365 script

Step 3. Next, remain on the same page, scroll down, and tick the ‘Groups’ including other necessary fields.

migrate distribution group to office 365

[Note: Don’t forget to mark the ‘Use Group Mapping’ sliders ]

Step 4. Then, move to the ‘Source’ tab. And, enter the ‘Admin Email’ and ‘Application ID’. After that, validate the permissions & click on ‘Next’.

distribution groups to office 365 migration

Step 5. Next, move on to the ‘Destination’ tab. And, provide the ‘Admin Email’ & ‘Application ID’. Then, validate the permissions & press ‘Next’.

Step 6. After that, in the ‘Resources’ tab, you will find three options to define the distribution group(s) from the source account. Just select any one option from ‘Fetch Group’, ‘Import Groups’, and ‘Download Template’.

migrate distribution groups to office 365 powershell

Step 7. Then, verify the source and destination permission by clicking on the ‘Validate’ button and ensure they come out green just like the figure shown.

Step 8. Next, press the ‘Start Migration’ to migrate distribution groups to Office 365 safely.

move distribution group to office 365

Step 9. After the completion of the process, you can save a copy of the report by clicking on the ‘Download Report’.

Must Read: Migrate Mailbox from On-Premise to Office 365

Wrapping Up 

To experience a more powerful solution for collaboration, the best option is to migrate the distribution group(s) to Office 365. Though you can upgrade the distribution groups to O365, there are certain limitations that make it an unreliable approach. Hence, it’s best to opt for a trustworthy professional tool to execute the migration process.