Move Between Office 365 Accounts While Keeping the Same Domain Name

To change plans within Office 365 you need to set up a new account and migrate your data as if you were a new user. You can use MigrationWiz to easily move between accounts using the same domain name by following a few simple steps.

For this migration scenario, we suggest purchasing a MigrationWiz Premium License and perform a “big bang” style migration for the entire domain if possible. The following instructions are for those who would like to keep the same domain name while avoiding any down time to end users, or data loss during the transition.

During the migration you will:

  • Create new mailboxes with temporary .onmicrosoft addresses at the destination
  • Migrate mailbox data from the source to destination mailboxes
  • Move MX records and the domain to the destination Office 365 organization
  • Add the final email addresses (with your domain) to the destination mailboxes

How you can do this:

  1. Add the domain to the destination Office 365 account to obtain the TXT verification records.  Note that you should not click the Verify button as the verification will fail.  This step is only to obtain the TXT verification records.
  2. Add the TXT verification record to DNS so that it may replicate throughout the internet for use later.
  3. Change the MX record for the domain you wish to transfer to a very small TTL (i.e. one minute)
  4. Import your users into the destination Office 365 account using the *.onmicrosoft.com email address for the new accounts.
  5. Configure a MigrationWiz connector with Office 365 for both the source and destination servers
  6. Specify to use administrator credentials for both the source and destination end-points using the *.onmicrosoft.com email address of the admin account
  7. Import your mailboxes into MigrationWiz using the *.onmicrosoft.com email addresses for both the source and destination
  8. Submit your mailboxes for migration to perform a first pass
  9. Optionally add a backup MX provider as the lowest priority to your DNS MX records. This will allow your mail to queue up on the provider while your domain is being moved. You will only need it for up to 24 hours (in most cases your domain can be moved in no more than a few hours). We recommend doing this at least 1 day before your migration if possible for replication through the internet to occur.  Note that email is fault tolerant such that this step is really optional as mail will get queued up on the senders server for 24 hours before stopping delivery.  As long as your domain is moved within 24 hours, you will not lose any mail even if you do not perform this step.  Senders may receive a DSN if the domain is not moved within 4 hours though.
  10. Change the primary MX record from Office 365 to domain that is not reachable. i.e. unreachable.example.com
  11. Wait the TTL period set in step #1 before continuing
  12. Submit a second migration pass to pickup any residual items
  13. Delete all users, contacts and groups from the source Office 365 account.  This step is important to ensure that no object reference the domain.  Just removing the email address from objects is not sufficient.
  14. Remove the domain from the source Office 365 account
  15. Wait 30 minutes for domain removal replication
  16. Verify the domain in the destination Office 365 account.  Note that since you previously added the domain to the account, all you are doing is clicking the Verify button.  If you are unable to verify your domain and see an error saying the domain already exists on another account, contact Microsoft Support at 1-866-291-7726 (US Toll-Free) and tell them that the domain needs to be manually deprovisioned from Forefront.
  17. Add the corresponding email address for the newly added and verified domain to each user
  18. Wait 1 hour for the domain to replicate to FOPE.  If you do not wait this period before continuing, new incoming email may bounce because FOPE does not recognize the domain.
  19. Point the primary MX record for the domain back to Office 365
  20. Optionally remove the backup MX provider

Note that per step #5, you should configure your migrations to use the secondary smtp domain that Microsoft assigned to you. This is used purely to lookup your mailbox only.

 

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