We are often asked the best way to create users in a hybrid environment. This article outlines the steps for creating users in a hybrid environment. It also outlines the steps for mail enabling users after the user has already been created in Active Directory on-premises. The following steps apply to both Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2013.

Creating a new user:

  1. Navigate to Exchange Admin Center and login with administrator credentials.
  2. On the left navigation select ‘recipients’. On the top navigation select ‘mailboxes’.
  3. Click the ‘+’ icon and select ‘Office 365 mailbox’ from the dropdown.
  4. In the popup, fill in the required fields and click ‘Save’.
  5. This will create the user in both Exchange on-premises and AD on-premises. This can be verified by navigating to the OU specified in the prior step and finding the user present.

  6. Initiate a delta sync or wait for the next sync cycle to complete.

  7. Navigate to Office 365 Admin portal. (

  8. Verify that the user exists and is syncing.

  9. Assign license(s) to the user as needed.

If the user already exists in AD on-premises and is syncing to Office 365 perform the following steps:

  1. Navigate to where your Exchange Server is installed.

  2. Run the Exchange Management Shell as administrator.

  3. Edit the following command so that the display name of the user replaces ‘Display Name’, the user’s alias replaces <alias> and your Office 365 tenant name replaces <tenantname>:
    • Enable-RemoteMailbox "Display Name" -RemoteRoutingAddress "<alias>@<tenantname>"
  4. Once the command has been edited, run the command in the Exchange Management Shell.

  5. Verify that the user exists in the lists of recipients in EAC as an Office 365 mailbox type.

  6. Navigate to where your Azure AD Connect instance is installed, open a PowerShell instance as administrator and initiate a delta sync by running the following command:

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle Delta