Office 365: Convert Distribution List to Microsoft 365 Group

Requirement: Convert a distribution list to an Office 365 group.

As organizations expand and evolve, communication and collaboration become critical components of their success. Microsoft Office 365 Groups and Distribution Lists are two of the most popular communication tools that are widely used in the business world. While both offer a range of benefits, the Office 365 Group provides more advanced features and can be easily integrated with other Office 365 services. In this article, I will guide you through the process of migrating your Distribution List to Office 365 Group.

Introduction to Office 365 Groups and Distribution Lists

Office 365 Groups is a shared workspace that offers a range of collaborative tools such as email, calendar, OneDrive, SharePoint, and more. It is designed to simplify teamwork and enhance productivity by providing a single platform for communication and collaboration. On the other hand, Distribution Lists are email groups that allow you to send emails to multiple recipients at once. They are simple to set up and manage, but lack the advanced features of Office 365 Groups.

Benefits of Migrating from Distribution Lists to Office 365 Groups

Migrating from Distribution Lists to Office 365 Groups offers several benefits, such as:

Advanced Collaboration Features

Office 365 Groups offers advanced collaboration features that are not available in Distribution Lists. These features include shared calendars, OneNote notebooks, SharePoint sites, and more. These features enable teams to work together more efficiently and improve productivity.

Integration with Other Office 365 Services

Office 365 Groups can be integrated with other Office 365 services, such as Teams, Planner, and Yammer. This integration enables teams to work seamlessly across different platforms and improve collaboration.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

Office 365 Groups provides enhanced security and compliance features, such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and eDiscovery. These features ensure that sensitive information is protected and that regulatory compliance requirements are met.

How to convert a Distribution list to Office 365 Group?

Before upgrading to Microsoft 365 group, please note: Distribution lists allow any E-mail as its member, whereas the Office 365 Groups only supports mailboxes. Furthermore, this change is permanent!

Most people are familiar with distribution lists in Outlook, but did you know that you can convert them to Office 365 groups? This can be a great way to take advantage of all the features that Office 365 groups have to offer. In this article, we’ll show you how to upgrade the distribution list to an Office 365 group using the Exchange admin center and PowerShell.

Converting a distribution list to an Office 365 group is easy and can be done in a few simple steps. Follow these steps to make the switch easy with the Exchange Admin Center!

  1. Login to the Exchange Online Admin Center as an Exchange Administrator or Global Administrator at:
  2. In the Exchange Admin Center, Click on Recipients >> Groups >> Distribution lists >> Select any Distribution List from the Distribution Lists page that you want to upgrade >> Click on the “Upgrade Distribution List” icon from the toolbar.Convert Distribution List to Microsoft 365 Group
  3. Confirm the conversion by clicking the “Upgrade” button on the “Ready to Upgrade?” to convert distribution list to office 365 group
  4. Wait for the distribution lists to be converted to O365 Group. You should see the “Distribution group(s) has been upgraded” notification message shortly. You can also verify that the distribution list has been converted by navigating to the Microsoft 365 group page.change distribution list to office 365 group

After converting your distribution list to an Office 365 group, you’ll be able to take advantage of all the features that come with groups, including chat, calendar sharing, and file sharing. Plus, with Office 365 groups, you can easily manage membership and permissions.

Upgrade distribution list to Office 365 group using PowerShell

It’s an easy process to migrate the distribution list to the Office 365 group through the Exchange Online Admin Center. However, you can only upgrade one DL at a time! To convert multiple Distribution Lists, we can use PowerShell!

Step 1: Connect to Exchange Online using PowerShell and get all eligible Distribution Lists for upgrade

#Connect to Exchange Online

#Get All Distribution Lists eligible for Upgrade
Get-EligibleDistributionGroupForMigration -ResultSize unlimited

Step 2: Upgrade the Distribution List to Office 365 Group

#Upgrade Distribution List to Microsoft 365 Group
Upgrade-DistributionGroup -DLIdentities

You can also pass multiple distribution lists to this cmdlet. E.g.,

Upgrade-DistributionGroup -DLIdentities,,

How about upgrading all eligible distribution lists to the Microsoft 365 group?

Get-EligibleDistributionGroupForMigration | Foreach-Object { Upgrade-DistributionGroup -DLIdentities $_.PrimarySMTPAddress } 
convert distribution list to office 365 group powershell

More on converting distribution lists to Microsoft 365 group is here:

Troubleshooting Common Issues

During the migration process, you may encounter some common issues, such as:

Duplicate Emails

Duplicate emails may occur when the same email is sent to both the Distribution List and Office 365 Group. To avoid this issue, you can remove the Distribution List after the migration is complete.

Incorrect Email Address

Incorrect email addresses may occur when the email address of the Distribution List and Office 365 Group is not the same. To avoid this issue, ensure that the email address is correctly configured before the migration.

Missing Emails

Missing emails may occur when some emails are not migrated correctly. To avoid this issue, you can use message tracking to identify missing emails and re-send them.

Best Practices for Successful Migration

Here are some best practices that can help you ensure a successful migration:

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and prepare a detailed migration plan. Identify the tasks that need to be performed and allocate resources accordingly.

Communicate with Users

Communicate with the users and inform them about the migration process. Provide them with the necessary training and support.

Test the Migration

Test the migration on a small scale before performing the migration on a larger scale. This can help you identify any issues and resolve them before the migration.


Migrating from Distribution Lists to Office 365 Groups offers several benefits, such as advanced collaboration features, integration with other Office 365 services, and enhanced security and compliance. By following the steps outlined in this article and adhering to the best practices, you can ensure a smooth and successful migration. Remember to perform a pre-migration checklist, choose the appropriate migration method, and perform a post-migration checklist to verify.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

5 thoughts on “Office 365: Convert Distribution List to Microsoft 365 Group

  • This functionality had been removed from the Exchange Admin Centre, and Powershell. The new (and definitely NOT improved) way is to create a temporary M365 group and export the DL members then import to the M365 group, then rename and set email address. Microsoft strike again!

  • have you any information on how to upgrade a group when this happens:
    The distribution list “GroupName” is not eligible for an upgrade. You can only upgrade cloud-managed, simple, non-nested distribution lists. Please select an eligible distribution list to upgrade.

    MS websites say to remove the custom address policy but we only have the default policy


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