Migrate from Exchange or Office 365 to G Suite

The process of migrating from Microsoft® Exchange to G Suite involves these major steps. Click on a step for more information about the tools, resources, and best practices to assist you in a smooth migration.

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Step 1: Provision users in G Suite

The first migration step is to establish G Suite user accounts for your users. Google provides a variety of options for creating user accounts. Learn more about options for creating user accounts.

If you have a modest number of users, the most straightforward way to provision users is to create a comma-separated value (CSV) file containing information about the users and upload it into G Suite.

You have a couple of more sophisticated options when migrating from Exchange:

  • Use Google Cloud Directory Sync to provision users, groups, profiles, and shared contacts based on data in an LDAP directory such as Microsoft Active Directory®
  • Implement a single sign-on (SSO) service using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) standard

Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) provides a configuration wizard for mapping data from your LDAP user list to your G Suite users, groups, profiles, and shared contacts. The mapping can include rich user profile data such as addresses, phone numbers, and job titles. Once the mapping is in place, GCDS connects to G Suite and performs a one-way synchronization from the LDAP directory. You can schedule the synchronization to run periodically to capture changes in the LDAP directory.

Note: GCDS does not synchronize passwords in most cases, since passwords are encrypted in the LDAP directory. It can synchronize passwords only if there is an LDAP attribute that stores the password as plain text, a base-16 encoded SHA-1 hash, or a base-16 encoded MD-5 hash.

For larger deployments with G Suite, Education, or ISPs, G Suite offers a SAML-based SSO service. This service provides you with full control over the authorization and authentication of hosted user accounts that can access G Suite. Learn more about setting up the SSO service.

The G Suite team typically provides only reactive support for SSO. However, you can get professional assistance with SSO setup from one of our partners in the G Suite Marketplace.

Step 2: Configure mail delivery to G Suite

Once you have established G Suite user accounts, you can configure your domain to deliver mail to those accounts. Learn more about delivery options.

The most straightforward way to configure mail delivery is direct delivery to the G Suite mail servers. You can elect to set up dual delivery during initial migration.

With dual delivery, incoming mail continues to be delivered to your Exchange server, which processes each message and also forwards a copy to G Suite. One advantage to this configuration is that it does not require you to change the mail exchange (MX) records for your domain.

In order for dual delivery to work, each user in your domain needs to have a secondary email address in G Suite to which the Exchange server can forward mail. You have two options for establishing the secondary email addresses:

For details about configuring dual delivery through your Exchange server, see Configure dual delivery - Legacy server primary.

Step 3: (Optional) Migrate data from the legacy system to G Suite

Use the following information to help you import your organization’s email, contacts, and calendars from Exchange or Office 365® to G Suite. 


If you want to...

Then use...

Migrate email, contacts, and calendars on behalf of your users from:

  • Office 365 (Exchange Online)

  • Exchange Server (2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007)

Data migration service

Must be super admin

Migrate email, contacts, and calendars on behalf of your users from:

  • Exchange Server (2010, 2007, 2003, and 2000)

  • PST archives

G Suite Migration for Microsoft Exchange (GSMME)

Must be super admin

Migrate email, contacts, and calendars stored on local machines

G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GSSMO)

Allow your organization’s users to migrate their own Exchange data (recommended for 20 or fewer users)

G Suite Migration for Microsoft Outlook (GSMMO)

  1. As a super admin, set up GSMMO for your organization.

  2. Tell your users to run GSMMO.

Step 4: Configure the G Suite environment

To ease the transition to G Suite, you might want to configure the environment so that it feels familiar to users coming from your legacy system. This section describes how to recreate some of the functionality from Microsoft Exchange.

Can a user continue to use Microsoft® Outlook® or another email client?

Yes. G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook is an Outlook plug-in that enables a user to access G Suite email, calendar, and contacts from an Outlook client. The product synchronizes all data between G Suite and Outlook.

G Suite also supports using any email client that uses IMAP, including mobile devices.

Can a user delegate access to their account?

Yes, as long as the administrator enables the functionality. To enable users to delegate access to other users, the administrator needs to choose Settings and then Email from the Google Admin console, and select the check box Let users delegate access to their mailbox to others in the domain.

When this check box is selected in the Admin console, users can delegate access to their email accounts.

Can I create a global address book of shared contacts?

Yes. All users and groups in your domain are automatically added to the global address book, and you can add additional entries using the Shared Contacts API.

Learn more about sharing contacts using G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Can I create shared calendars?

Yes, as long as the administrator enables the functionality. See this Help Center article about the administrative options for calendar sharing. The Admin console settings determine which options users have for sharing their calendars.

G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook synchronizes a user's calendars between Outlook and G Suite. You can create calendars in either place and have them appear in the other. See this Help Center article for some best practices, and this article for information about sharing calendars using G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

How do I create Public Folders?

G Suite does not support Public Folders in the sense that Exchange uses them. However, you can implement similar functionality by using groups to create a shared mailbox, or by using shared folders in Google Drive.

Can I use a Google-hosted SMTP server to send mail on behalf of a printer, scanner, fax machine, or web form?

Yes. If the sending device supports SSL, you can connect to smtp.gmail.com on port 465 or 587 and send mail to anyone, including users outside of your domain. The SSL connection requires authentication using a G Suite user name and password. If the sending device does not support SSL, you can send mail to users within your domain by connecting to aspmx.l.google.com on port 25. No authentication is required to send mail using the standard G Suite mail server, aspmx.l.google.com.

Step 5: Train users on G Suite

Training users on G Suite before rolling out the applications is an important factor in a successful deployment. Google offers a variety of resources for end-user training, including video tutorials, getting started guides, and quick reference sheets. The G Suite Deployment site includes many resources for your users, as does the G Suite Learning Center.

Step 6: Roll out G Suite to your organization

The G Suite Deployment site provides many resources for managing a pilot or full deployment of G Suite, from planning to ongoing user support.

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