How to fix Domain Error When Moving to Exchange Online via Hybrid Migration

Migration from on-premises Exchange Server to Exchange Online is not easy. Things may go wrong, especially if some steps are missed or there is an issue with your Hybrid setup during configuration, migration, and post migration clean-up.

In this article, we are going to discuss the domain error when moving to Exchange Online during a hybrid migration and the possible solutions to resolve the issue.

Take a scenario: you have an Exchange Server 2013 with third-party antivirus and spam filtering with outbound email encryption. The mailbox migration works fine and the data is being moved. The MX record is still pointing to the on-premises server and the SPF record to Office 365 has been added. From the Office 365 portal when setting up Duo SSO (Single Sign on), you get the domain error while the domain is being confirmed. The problem here is that if the domain ownership is not confirmed, you won’t be able to use the domain in the Office 365 tenant.

There could be different scenarios when having an on-premises Exchange Server with Hybrid Setup:

Single Exchange Server and Hybrid Setup.

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Single Exchange Server with an Edge Server and Hybrid Setup.

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Hybrid Setup with MX record pointing directly to the Office 365 tenant.

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Other combinations include having the MX record pointing to a third-party service for filtering, encryption, or signature management.

How to Verify your Domain in Exchange Online?

To verify the domain in your Exchange Online, follow the given steps:

  • Log in to the Office 365 portal.
  • Open the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  • Click on Settings and then click on Domains.
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  • Find the domain to verify. Usually, it is shown as Incomplete Setup.
  • After opening the domain, you need to verify it by selecting one of the options (see below).
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After you have added the records, you should be able to use the domain. You may leave the MX record pointing to the on-premises until the migration is complete.

Now, try to change all the DNS records to Office 365. This would lead to delivery of some emails to the Office 365 portal. If the domain is still not verified, you could end up with several emails bouncing back.

You should also consider removing the antivirus and encryption option temporarily to determine if these third-party applications are stopping the domain from being verified and then try again. It is to be noted that this needs to be done during a maintenance window and protect it as soon as the testing completes as the system would be exposed. This way you can determine if the problem is with your on-premises setup or the Exchange Online. It’s best to consult with your Exchange Server supplier or open a support ticket with Microsoft for further assistance.


Migration is a painful process if not planned right. Even if the planning is done right, there is still a possibility that something would go wrong. For this reason, you would need the right migration solution. Stellar Converter for EDB is one of the best tools for such operations. With this tool, you can open any version of Exchange Server mailbox and public folder database and export the data to PST file or other file formats, such as EML, MSG, PDF, and HTML. You can open the databases from a Windows operating system or Server operating system without having an Exchange Server installed. You can browse through the datastore showing all the Exchange Server system databases, user mailboxes, and public folders in an Outlook-like interface with full HTML preview.

You can selectively export any user mailbox, shared mailbox, archive mailbox, and disabled mailbox (without having the need to create an Active Directory user and assign it to it). There is no need to setup a hybrid system and move your mailboxes and resources. With Stellar Converter for EDB, you can migrate data directly to your Office 365 tenant.

There is no size limit on the Exchange Server database and the mailboxes. Also, the tool has the ability to export from multiple database files. Stellar Converter for EDB is a must have tool to export and migrate data from Exchange database files.

Asim Boss

Muhammad Asim is a Professional Blogger, Writer, SEO Expert. With over 5 years of experience, he handles clients globally & also educates others with different digital marketing tactics.

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