Home » Blog » Data Migration » How to Migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365; Step-by-Step Explaination

How to Migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365; Step-by-Step Explaination

Nilesh Kumar | Modified: September 22, 2023 | Data Migration | 6 Minutes Reading

Summary: Learn the procedure to migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 step-by-step with the methods given here. We are explaining the professional solution in detail and the manual solutions are descripted in brief. Find out why there appears to be a problem with the manual methods. Starting now!

There is no denying that cloud platforms have been booming since we entered the digital era. Hence, many organizations are willing to switch from traditional on-premise Exchange servers to cloud interfaces.

Why not?

If you are using an Exchange server then you might be familiar with the fact that managing the same is very complex. Hence, Exchange 2016 to Office 365 migration is what users prefer.

Also, not to mention, other extra costs also include Exchange Server’s maintenance.

Further, to manage the server activities, you need a dedicated staff who must hold the expertise in handling the Exchange server.

Nowadays, many organizations prefer to use Office 365 instead of the on-premise server. However, the migration process is the biggest challenge you may encounter.

Since Office 365 is a completely new environment, and if you are not sure how to migrate, keep on reading this article. Here you will find the most convenient approach for migration.

Quick 5 Steps to Migrate Exchange 2016 to Microsoft Office 365

  • Step 1. Download, install, and run the tool on your PC.
  • Step 2. Opt Exchange & Office 365 as migration platforms.
  • Step 3. Check the required mailbox categories & apply the filter.
  • Step 4. Login with Exchange & Office 365 admin credentials.
  • Step 5. Validate permissions and click on start migration.

Different Ways to Migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 Step-by-Step

Well, you can fulfill the goal using both manual and automated methods.

Usually, the migration process depends on the organization and its business needs. What volume of data do they want to migrate and its type, etc? And most of the experts suggest using the automated method for hassle-free migration

However, to discuss the manual method, Microsoft provides distinct ways for migration. First, let’s have a look at the same, and later we will move to the alternative method.

Manual Methods Offered by Microsoft for Exchange 2016 to Office 365 Migration

Depending on the number of mailboxes, features, and other facts, migration can be done through Cutover, Staged, Hybrid, or IMAP migration. Let’s briefly understand them one by one.

1. Cutover Migration

Here, you can move all the mailboxes from the old on-premise Exchange service to a cloud-based service like Office 365. It is available for Exchange server 2003 and later versions.

However, you can migrate up to 2000 mailboxes at once using this migration.

2. Staged Migration

Oftentimes referred to as ‘Phased Migration’. You can migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 step-by-step in batches. It supports only Exchange servers 2003 and 2007 for migration

Hence, clearly, you cannot use this method to migrate data from Exchange 2016.

3. Hybrid Migration

This migration is applicable to all hybrid environments. You can migrate data for Exchange Server version 2010 or above.

For that, you have to install Azure AD connect.

4. IMAP Migration

Internet Message Access Protocol migration to move mailboxes from Exchange. However, you can only transfer emails. If you wish to migrate Contacts, Calendars along with emails during Exchange 2016 to Office 365 migration, it is not possible with this process.

You know manual methods have their pros and cons. Let’s now discuss the limitations of the manual method.

Difficulties You Will Face While Using the Manual Methods

Just imagine, you have a large volume of mailboxes you want to migrate, about 5000 in number. Then Cutover Migration will fail you there.

You may overcome the situation using Staged migration. But, as you already know that this migration is limited to only 2003 and 2007 Exchange Servers.

To migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 step-by-step, it is not possible & depending on the same will be a waste of time.

Now, if you talk about hybrid migration, it is very complex and hard to configure. You will have to create a hybrid environment in both source & destination so that the data can be accessed in either.

And the concern in IMAP migration is that it can migrate 500,000 items. And that too only emails.

Hence, the one and only solution is to opt for the automated method. No wonder experts suggest this method!

Quick Method to Migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 Step-by-Step

The best option for data migration from an on-premise server to the cloud is to use the Exchange to Office 365 Migration Tool.

Download Now Purchase Now

With the help of the tool, you can perform batch migration as well as concurrent migration. Also, you can track the real-time progress of the migration process.

The convenient and user-friendly interface of the software will allow you to migrate data files to Office 365 in the right way.

There are various functions that the tool provides to its users for a beneficial & successful migration.

First, the steps.

Migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 By Following the Software Steps

Step 1. Download the software and launch it. Now, go to the ‘Set up’ section and choose the Source as Exchange and Destination as Office 365.

enter source and destination users

Step 2. On the same screen, under the ‘Workload Selection’, select the categories you want to migrate. Use the Date-filter feature to migrate the data selectively from a time period.


Step 3. Now go to the ‘Source’ tab and fill in the required details. Click on the Validate button to assign permissions and hit the Next button.

Source screen

Step 4. Now, go to the ‘Destination’ window to migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 step-by-step. Fill in the Office 365 Admin ID and Application ID. Then, click on the Validate button & press Next.

Office 365 as destination

Step 5. Next, in the ‘Users’ tab, you need to specify the users to be migrated. For that you can use any of these options: Fetch Users or Import Users.


Step 6. Once you map the Source and Destination users, hit ‘Validate’. After all the accounts are verified, click on Start Migration.

Validation Completed

Wait for the procedure to complete. It will take a few minutes. After Exchange 2016 to Office 365 migration is completed, you can access your data in the Office 365 account.

There are three options that you can apply for executing the procedure again:

  • Retry Failed Items: You can migrate the skipped or failed data files using this feature.
  • Re-Run Full Migration: It is possible to run the procedure again for all the data.
  • Delta-Migration: This feature allows migrating only the new data files after the first procedure. It will eliminate any duplicates created.

Also Read: How to Migrate Microsoft Office 365 to Google Workspace?

To Conclude

After reading the article, you must have gained an idea of how to migrate Exchange 2016 to Office 365 step-by-step. The manual methods are useful but only for technical professionals who have all the expertise required.

For those who are not technically inclined, the simple technique for the same procedure is explained in this article. Hence, you can follow the experts’ advice and start your migration today.