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Microsoft to Drop Support for Distribution List Migration to Microsoft 365 Groups

Rabia Noureen

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Microsoft 365 Apps

Microsoft announced yesterday that it would deprecate the distribution list migration feature in the legacy Exchange admin center (EAC) in February 2023. The company recommends customers to use a manual conversion process to move distribution lists to Microsoft 365 Groups.

Back in 2017, Microsoft introduced the distribution list migration feature to let organizations upgrade their DLs to Microsoft 365 Groups. The company positioned the release as an important milestone to boost Azure B2B collaboration.

However, the launch of Microsoft Teams significantly changed how people collaborate with each other. It’s now one of the fastest-growing applications in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, which has seen unprecedented growth during the past few years. Microsoft announced that the app had crossed 270 million monthly active users in January 2022.

Manually convert old distribution lists to Microsoft 365 Groups

Microsoft believes that the importance of Microsoft 365 Groups has disappeared over time. Essentially, the primary task of these groups is to coordinate group resources and act as a membership service for Microsoft Teams. Moreover, the distribution list migration functionality is only available for simple lists and doesn’t support dynamic DLs.

“This feature was designed to provide continuity for DL users and to enable continued collaboration without having to make new groups from scratch. As Microsoft 365 Groups is now a mature feature, we are deprecating the feature for migrating DLs to Groups. The deprecation will happen on February 1, 2023,” the Microsoft 365 Groups team explained.

Microsoft to Drop Support for Old Distribution List Migration to Microsoft 365 Groups

Going forward, Microsoft has advised organizations to convert eligible DLs to Microsoft 365 Groups manually. It is important to note that this change was criticized by some IT administrators who noted that Microsoft should provide some tools to automate migrations. Let us know in the comments section below if you’re still using the distribution list migration feature in your organization.

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