Create new Outlook profile after Office 365 mail migration using GPO (Manual)

You want to move your mailboxes from Exchange on-premise to Office 365, and you want to give you users a smooth transition experience, then you will definitely need to implement the following to automatically create and configure a new Outlook profile on all Windows devices.

ZeroConfigExchange (ZCE)

Within Outlook Microsoft has created ZeroConfigExchange to setup new profiles with minimal user interaction. Depending on your exact configuration Outlook will be configured fully automatically, or the user is required to fill in his email address and/or password.

ZCE is a registry setting that tells Outlook to create a new prfile using the SMTP address from Active Directory, and to run Autodiscover.

Steps

In just a few simple steps ZCE can be configured and setup.

Step 1: Go to the GPO management console, and open the desired User policy, and to to:

User Configuration – Preferences – Windows Settings – Registry

Step 2: Create a new registry item. For the Hive select HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
Fill the key path with one of the entries below, depending on your version(s):

  • For Outlook 2016, 2019 and Office 365:
    Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover
  • For Outlook 2013:
    Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover
  • For Outlook 2010:
    Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\AutoDiscover

Fill the Value name with the following entry: ZeroConfigExchange

Change the valuetype to RegDword, and set the ValueData to 1.
The settings should look like this:

When Outlook Profiles Already Exist

The next steps will setup the new Outlook profile. We will create 2 keys. One will set the new Profile name, and the other will configure this new profile as the default profile!

Step 3: We will add 2 more registry keys on the same location in the GPO. So create them with the following information. (change 16.0 to 15.0 if you’re using Outlook 2013).

Change the thick to any value you like for the below keys, this will be the new Outlook profile name! First key is the default profile:

HiveHKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key pathSoftware\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook
Value nameDefaultProfile
Value typeREG_SZ
Value dataOffice365

The following key is how the new profile will be named

HiveHKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key pathSoftware\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Profiles\Office365
Value name(Default)
Value typeREG_SZ
Value data

Step 4: Now that all settings have been applied, the users will need to logoff or reboot their computer to effectuate the settings.

Bonus tip:

If you move from on-prem with synced identities, it might be that there is legacy settings, and you want to make sure that clients don’t connect to your on-prem environment. Add the following register key to your GPO, this will enforce connection to Office 365. (If you set the value to 1, it will do the opposite)

HiveHKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key pathSOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\outlook\autodiscover
Value nameExcludeExplicitO365Endpoint
Value typeREG_DWORD
Value data0x0 (0)

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