Microsoft Automates Easing of EWS Throttling for Migrations

Automated Lifting of Throttling Restrictions

Microsoft recently made an interesting change to the automated support handling capabilities of the Microsoft 365 admin center to handle requests for Exchange Web Services (EWS) throttling to be lifted for up to 90 days without human intervention.

Migrations from other platforms often use EWS to move information to Exchange Online mailboxes. When large amounts of data flow from the other platform, EWS throttling is likely to be imposed to conserve resources. It was always possible in the past to create a support request to ask Microsoft to lift throttling for EWS temporarily to allow migrations to proceed and Microsoft would invariably grant the request. Now, tenants can request throttling to be lifted through a simple automated process. Here’s how:

  • Go to the Help (?) section of the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  • Click the Need Help icon.
  • Enter “EWS throttling” as the search phrase.
  • Click Run tests when asked to check your environment (Figure 1). Essentially, the tests check what EWS throttling applies to the tenant.
The Support Assistant wants to run diagnostics to test the tenant for EWS throttling
Figure 1: The Support Assistant wants to run diagnostics to test the tenant for EWS throttling
  • The support assistant checks the tenant settings and concludes that EWS is throttled (the normal situation). You’ll then be offered the chance to update the settings to the tenant EWS policy to lift throttling for 30, 60, or 90 days.
  • Select the number of days you’d like to adjust the policy for and then Update Settings (Figure 2).
  • After a short delay, the support assistant should confirm that the settings have been changed.
The Support Assistant prepares to lift EWS throttling restrictions
Figure 2: The Support Assistant prepares to lift EWS throttling restrictions

The new setting will be effective for the tenant in about 15 minutes and you should then be able to start migration transfers at full speed.

The Support Assistant is only able to automatically lift throttling for EWS-based migrations. It can’t deal with migrations based on other protocols, such as IMAP4 (like migrations from Gmail).

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