How to create and manage Microsoft 365 security groups

Microsoft 365 security groups, formerly known as Office 365 security groups, allow admins to easily manage access to e.g. SharePoint sites by grouping together users that require identical permissions. This way you only need to assign access once for the entire group, not for each user individually. In this article, we will show you how to create a security group as well as add and remove members from this group using Microsoft/Office 365 admin center and how to streamline the process using PowerShell cmdlets.

Creating and managing security groups
Continue reading "How to create and manage Microsoft 365 security groups"

How to set up out of office replies in Office 365

Out of office messages in Office 365 (let’s assume Office 365 = Microsoft 365, to make things easier) are an extremely useful thing. Not everyone knows though that this simple automatic reply is more than just an email. In this article, I’ll quickly go over the basics: what out of office message in Office 365 is and how to set it up for your account. For the real treat, I’ll show the easiest way to set up an out of office reply for another user (or all users).

Out of office in Office 365
Continue reading "How to set up out of office replies in Office 365"

End of Mainstream Support for Exchange 2016

End of Mainstream Support for Exchange 2016 is planned for October 13, 2020. It means that 5 years after its release, this on-premises server enters the Extended Support period. The end of extended support (or end of life) for Exchange Server 2016 is planned for October 14, 2025. Read on to learn how this affects you, what to do next and what will be the last on-premises Exchange version.

Exchange 2016 end of mainstream support
Continue reading "End of Mainstream Support for Exchange 2016"

Blocking basic authentication in Office 365 (Microsoft 365)

The support for basic authentication in Microsoft 365 (for connections to Exchange Online) is soon to be discontinued. The complete shutdown has been postponed to the second half of 2021. While it gives organizations more time to prepare, it’s a good idea to get tenants ready before the deadline. Continue reading this article to learn more about basic authentication in Microsoft 365, how to block it on your own and when exactly it will be disabled.

Disable basic authentication office 365
Continue reading "Blocking basic authentication in Office 365 (Microsoft 365)"

VBScript: create an HTML Outlook email signature for the whole company

In one of my previous articles, I’ve shown how to create simple email signatures in Outlook using VBScript. In this article, I will show you how to take your email signatures to a higher level. I will use VBScript to create an HTML email signature for every Outlook (for Windows) installation in your organization. The script will create a professional email signature with data taken from Active Directory. Next, I will explain how to use GPO to distribute the script to every user in your organization.

Active Directory Outlook Signatures VBScript HTML
Continue reading "VBScript: create an HTML Outlook email signature for the whole company"

Manage student profile pictures in Microsoft 365, Teams, Outlook and more

As the digital transformation increasingly affects education, IT administrators in schools all over the world have their hands busier than ever. With limited time available to get everything ready for online classes and modern communication between teachers, students and parents, every second matters.

One of the challenges IT administrators have to face when working with schools is managing student and teacher photos that show up across various platforms and communicators, such as Microsoft Teams. Even though this task seems trivial, it might surprise you just how long it takes to set up photos for everyone. With very limited time and resources that are devoted to IT in most schools, it is crucial to make things as easy as possible. I’ll show you the simplest and a completely free way to manage profile pictures for school staff and students in Active Directory and Microsoft 365, to make remote teaching more personal.

Student profile pictures - manage in Microsoft 365 and Active Directory
Continue reading "Manage student profile pictures in Microsoft 365, Teams, Outlook and more"

How to block access to your Exchange Online organization using Client Access Rules

Client Access Rules in Exchange Online are rules that you can use to control which client connections are allowed and not allowed to access your Exchange Online organization. They let you define the conditions based on various properties of a client. These can be, for example, the protocol they use to connect, their IP address or an Active Directory attribute. Thanks to that, you have an option to block (or allow) certain client connections to better protect your Office 365 organization.

Continue reading "How to block access to your Exchange Online organization using Client Access Rules"

How to recover user emails in Microsoft 365

If you are a Microsoft 365 administrator, it’s only a matter of time before you are tasked with restoring deleted emails (or other mailbox items). While you can use eDiscovery to recover deleted items, there is an easier way which lets you restore deleted items straight back to where they originated from. Below, I’ll describe how to recover deleted Microsoft 365 users’ mailbox items with PowerShell and with the Modern Exchange Admin Center.

Recover Users Emails In Microsoft 365
Continue reading "How to recover user emails in Microsoft 365"

How to prevent users from changing profile photos in Microsoft 365

Update: This post was updated on July 22, 2020.

When you set up user photos in Microsoft 365 (Office 365), they propagate through the whole Microsoft 365 tenant and apps integrated with Azure AD. This means that they are displayed in Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more. By default, any user can change their photo to anything they like. This might be a problem for admins who want to keep everything in order. In this article, I’ll show you why and how to block users from changing their photos in Microsoft 365.

How to prevent users from changing profile photos in Microsoft 365
Continue reading "How to prevent users from changing profile photos in Microsoft 365"

SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 migration

SBS (Small Business Server) 2011 is basically Windows Server 2008 R2 packed together with Exchange 2010 into a single suite. As such, you would expect migrating SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 (Office 365) to be similar to migrating Exchange 2010 to Office 365. As it turns out, there are some differences that impact the migration process. Read on to learn why it’s a good idea to migrate from SBS 2011 and what options you have for migrating data to Microsoft 365, which is the most popular migration destination.

SBS 2011 to Office 365 migration
Continue reading "SBS 2011 to Microsoft 365 migration"