Importing users from Active Directory into Office 365

Today I ran into an issue where I had to quickly import x amount of users into an empty trial tenant from
Office 365 in order for to prepare the future mail migration.

Because I’m trying to get everything running through PowerShell, I thought this would be a nice moment to
document everything for future use and for other people to see how it’s done [or give tips 😉 ]

Getting user information from Active Directory

First of all I had to get the current user information from Active Directory in a format that I can use in
Office 365.

So we start up PowerShell on the Windows 2008R2 Standard server and get all the details I need:

Now this would give me all the users in the entire domain, something I’m not quite looking for.

So in order to narrow it down, I’ll just query all the users in a specific OU using the SearchBase parameter:

This is better, however now I notice that in my case I have some subfolders with disabled/template users.
Again, I’d like to narrow it down to ONLY the users in the specific OU, no recursion.
For this I will need to further define my query using SearchScope:

This gives me all the results I would like to have, but maybe a bit too much detail for me to export.

In order to see what properties I’d like to export, I need to know what properties I would like to
import on the Office 365 side of things:

    • FirstName
    • LastName
    • DisplayName
    • UserPrincipalName
    • UsageLocation

I can’t get all of those properties from my current AD query, but those that I’m able to get,
I can provide in the format I would like them to be in.

The details I can get from AD are

    • FirstName = GivenName
    • LastName = SurName
    • DisplayName = Name
    • UserPrincipalName = EmailAddress

Using the property parameter we can get the users’ email address and using Select-Object we output the
information in the format we would like to have it:


I can now export this information to a csv file:


Creating Office 365 users based on exported Active
Directory data

Now that we’ve exported our required data, we can simply import this data into our Office 365 tenant

Using the Connect-O365 function which I’ve created in the Connect to Office 365 using PowerShell post,
you can easily perform bulk operations like this:

Once connected, we will need to collect/set some default data required for our bulk user import:

Change the UsageLocation according to your requirements.

Now we’ve got all the information we need to create our new user accounts!

There we go, all the users are imported in your tenant!

Some tips in case you’re running into errors:

    • Be sure to have the email address domain configured in your Office 365 tenant as accepted
    • Be sure to have all your AD information filled in!

You will get automatically assigned passwords for these created accounts and you’re good to go 🙂



It never hurts to Get-Help

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