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Migrate Distribution Lists to Office 365 Groups in Outlook

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Migrating your organization distribution lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook is primarily done to inhibit its features and functionality. Some feasible methods are available to move distribution groups to Office 365 groups in Outlook like through Office 365 options or PowerShell cmdlets.

With the continuous updates in Office 365, a new feature has been included i.e. Office 365 groups in Outlook which is far better and powerful solution for collaboration of groups.

Office 365 group in Outlook allows you to select a group of people for communication and provides a set of collected resources to share among them. Provision of automatic permissions for the resources is facilitated. The resources and features that Office 365 group provides to members of the group are Shared inbox, Shared files library, Shared calendar, Shared OneNote notebook, Guest access, Content is discoverable, Self-Service creation, etc. Read more about why moving to Office groups in Outlook.

Only cloud-managed and un-nested Distribution Lists can be upgraded to Office 365 groups.

You cannot upgrade a Distributions List – managed On-premises, including alias with special characters, including members without owner, including >100 owners, with configured as a forwarding address for shared mailbox, including Sender Restriction in another DL, a security group, having member RecipientTypeDetails (apart from MailUser, UserMailbox, SharedMailbox, TeamMailbox), having child groups, etc.

Perform Yourself

To migrate Distributions Lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook, you can either use the options available in Office 365 interface or execute the PowerShell commands for direct migration.

Let us start with the methods one after another.

Migrating Distributions lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook using Office 365 features

Before starting, the person who is performing the procedure must have global administrator rights for Office 365 or be an Exchange admin.

Now, follow the given steps to migrate one or multiple Distribution Lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook.

  1. Login to your Office 365 account as global administrator. Go to Admin Center and select Exchange.
  2. Login to Office 365 account as global administrator

  3. Now, in the opened Exchange Admin Center, go to Recipients and then click Groups.
  4. A notice appears saying that eligible distribution lists or groups are available to upgrade to Office 365 groups in Outlook. Click Get Started to continue.

    Open Exchange Admin Center

  5. Now, from the Distribution Lists, select the lists you want to upgrade and move to Office 365 groups in Outlook.
  6. After selection, click the Start Upgrade icon.
  7. upgrade Office 365 groups in Outlook

  8. In the appeared information dialogue box, click OK to confirm the upgrade. The upgradation process starts from there. The process will take time as per the number and size of distribution lists for upgrade.
  9. confirm the upgrade

    Note: Use Available for upgrade and Upgraded DLs to analyze the status of the upgraded and available for upgrade Distribution lists.

Migrating Distributions lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook using PowerShell

Using PowerShell, you can migrate single as well as multiple Distribution Lists, but the cmdlets are different for each operation.

To migrate a single Distribution List, run the following cmdlet

Upgrade-DistributionGroup –DlIdentities <Dl SMTP address>

At the place of <Dl SMTP address>, provide the SMTP address of your Distribution List

To migrate multiple Distribution Lists, run this cmdlet.

Upgrade-DistributionGroup –DlIdentities <DL SMTP address1>, < DL SMTP address2>, < DL SMTP address3>, ………

At the place of <DL SMTP address1>, < DL SMTP address2>, < DL SMTP address3>, provide the SMTP respective addresses of your Distribution Lists.

To migrate all eligible Distribution Lists, run any of the following commands.

To get the eligible DLs in the tenant and upgrade them, run the following command –

Get-EligibleDistributionGroup | Upgrade-DistributionGroup

To get the list of all DLs and upgrade the eligible DLs, run this command

Get-DistribtuionGroup | Upgrade-DistributionGroup

Summary

Users can make well use of Office 365 feature to upgrade the distribution lists to Office 365 groups in Outlook. It is easy to perform this by using in-built features in the user interface of Office 365. Or, users have privilege to do this using PowerShell cmdlets. Both methods are feasible, and they can use any to perform the upgrade process.

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