Blog

  1. Add Participants to Teams Group Chats with @Mentions December 9, 2022 1:00 am - A new feature allows people to add participants to Teams group chats through @mentions in the compose box. It's a nice feature that should have been there a long time ago. Microsoft says that adding new group chat participants this way saves a whole two clicks over the old way. Will those two clicks make any difference to you?
  2. Checking the Release of Quarantined Messages December 8, 2022 1:00 am - On the surface, it seems easy to report when someone releases a quarantined message. As it turns out, things aren't quite as easy as it first seems. Audit events are available in the unified audit log, but they don't tell the full story. But by putting that data together with information about messages in quarantine, we can create a composite view that's closer to what's needed.
  3. Running Exchange Online Historical Message Traces for Sets of Mailboxes December 7, 2022 1:00 am - A question was asked about the best way to find out if shared mailboxes received email from certain domains over the past 60 days. Exchange Online historical message traces can extract trace data to allow us to check, but the process of running the message trace and then analyzing the data is just a little disconnected.
  4. Reporting Distribution List Membership with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK December 6, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft will deprecate the Azure AD and MSOL PowerShell modules in June 2023. It's time to convert scripts that use cmdlets from these modules and the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK is probably the best answer. This article explains how to generate a report of Exchange Online distribution list memberships, a task often handled in the past with Azure AD cmdlets.
  5. Adding New Azure AD Users to Groups Automatically December 5, 2022 1:00 am - Several methods exist to add new user accounts to groups automatically. Dynamic group membership is an obvious option, but other choices exist, including org-wide teams (if your organization is under 10,000 accounts) and using PowerShell to manage the automatic addition of new members to a standard distribution list or Microsoft 365 group. This article examines the various methods. Once you understand what's possible, you can make the right choice.
  6. Teams Feedback Policy Controls the Suggest a Feature Option December 2, 2022 1:00 am - A new setting in the Teams feedback policy controls the display of the Suggest a Feature option in the Teams help menu. It's up to an organization to decide how they want users to communicate with Microsoft. The Teams feedback policy gives that control, if you want to use it.
  7. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros December 2022 Update Available December 1, 2022 1:11 am - The December 2022 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook is now available for subscribers to download. As always, monthly update #90 contains a mixture of additions, updates, and deletions of information about the Microsoft 365 Office workloads, Azure AD, and PowerShell. There's lots of good stuff for people to read -- all 1,320 pages.
  8. No Way Back to Exchange Server for Auto-Expanding Archives November 30, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is introducing a block to stop customers attempting to move auto-expanding archives to Exchange Server. No very of the on-premises server has ever supported auto-expanding archives, so it's reasonable to have a block. It's still possible to move a primary mailbox back to Exchange Server, but its auto-expanding archive must stay in the cloud. It's a good factor to take into account if an organization plans to use auto-expanding archives in the future.
  9. The Fuss About the Azure AD Tenant Creation Setting November 29, 2022 1:00 am - A fuss erupted about the Azure AD admin center setting to control Azure AD tenant creation by users. Allowing people to have their own tenant can be a good thing, especially for developers who want to have a tenant as a sandbox to test code in. In this article, we discuss what the control is, what it does, and how to set it with PowerShell.
  10. Creating New Azure AD User Accounts and Updating Passwords with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK November 28, 2022 1:00 am - The automation of Azure AD account creation and password updates are straightforward using the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK. A little preparation always helps, but once you have all the necessary information, it's easy to code up the necessary script to generate a new password and add the account - or set of accounts.
  11. Microsoft’s Cloud Email Signatures Solve a Problem for Outlook November 25, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft says that the roaming (or cloud) email signatures feature is now fully deployed. The new approach solves an Outlook problem, but it's not a universal panacea for the management of email signatures within large organizations where you want consistency in the signatures used by everyone. You'll need an ISV solution to get that kind of functionality.
  12. The Role of SharePoint Online in Microsoft 365 November 24, 2022 1:00 am - SharePoint Online is a critical piece of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Its document management service is consumed by many apps like Teams, Yammer, and Planner. OneDrive for Business, the personal side of SharePoint Online, also contributes to SharePoint's success with components like the synchronization client. Without SharePoint Online, Microsoft 365 would be a very different offering and a worse platform to work with.
  13. How to Limit Teams Desktop Clients from Signing into Specific Tenants November 23, 2022 1:00 am - A policy setting called RestrictTeamsSignInToAccountsFromTenantList is available to restrict the ability of Teams desktop clients to connect to Azure AD tenants. It's a fact that floated under our radar for a while, but now that we know about it, we're telling you too. Of course, you probably knew about this capability anyway, but someone probably didn't!
  14. How to Pause Membership Processing for Azure AD Dynamic Group Membership November 22, 2022 1:00 am - The Azure AD admin center now includes the option to pause processing for the membership query for an Azure AD dynamic group. This article reviews how the new feature works and what it might be used for, including a PowerShell script to report the membership processing status of all Azure AD dynamic groups.
  15. How to Use (and Disable) the Teams Games for Work App November 21, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released the Teams Games for Work app to enterprise and education tenants. The intention is to bring people together through game play. The technology in the game isn't very different to anything we've seen before and the games are OK, even if it's slightly weird to play them in a Teams meeting. The question is, is an app like Games for Work needed? If not, it's easy to block the app.
  16. Yammer Adds Stories to Storyline November 18, 2022 1:00 am - Yammer stories are an extension of the previously announced storyline feature. A story is a short photo or video snippet to update other people about an event, happening, or other news. You can create stories through the Yammer apps or Viva Engage in Teams. Creating stories is easy and the interaction is smooth. The question for an enterprise is how best to use this new capability,
  17. Microsoft 365 Change Notifications Get Relevance Indicator November 17, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft 365 message center notifications now boast a "relevance recommendation." This is a visual marker computed by Microsoft based on aspects of the change. It's intended as a way to highlight important changes so that administrators can dedicate more time to understanding the impact of these changes on their tenants. Sometimes the recommendation isn't perfect, but you can tell Microsoft what you think and go ahead with your own assessment of how important any individual change really is.
  18. Teams Allows Users to Delete Chats November 16, 2022 1:00 am - The Teams Delete chat option allows people to remove chats from their chat list. It's a nice way to restore some order to a list that can be very cluttered with long-dead chats. Some subtle differences exist between leaving a chat and deleting a chat that you might need to explain to users before deploying the feature, which is controlled by a setting in the Teams messaging policy.
  19. Analyzing the Use of Sensitivity Labels without the Activity Explorer November 15, 2022 1:00 am - The unified audit log contains records generated when users and applications apply sensitivity labels to emails and documents. This article explains how to use PowerShell to retrieve the data and create a report to help tenant administrators understand the usage of sensitivity labels.
  20. Outlook Groups Support for Folders and Rules November 14, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook Groups now boast support for folders and rules. In other words, group owners and members (if allowed) can create new folders and move and copy items from the inbox to those folders. They can also create rules to process inbound email arriving into the group inbox. It's all well and good, but there are a few points to understand about how things work.
  21. Using PowerShell to Manage Azure AD Custom Security Attributes November 11, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD custom security attributes can mark user and service principal objects for special processing, which is how the app filter for conditional access policies works. It's nice to be able to interact with data through PowerShell and the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK cmdlets support setting, updating, and retrieval of Azure AD custom security attributes. Everything works, but it's a pity that it's a little clunky.
  22. Creating a Teams Directory with PowerShell November 10, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Teams doesn't come with a Teams Directory, so it's hard to know if a suitable team already exists when people ask for a new team. This fact contributions to teams sprawl where multiple teams exist to serve the same purpose. Teams sprawl creates an obstacle to effective collaboration and runs the danger that some important information is tucked away inside teams that no one ever goes near. Creating a Teams Directory helps team owners and users know what teams already exist inside a tenant. It's an idea that just makes sense.
  23. Use the Audit Log to Monitor Membership Changes in Selected Microsoft 365 Groups November 9, 2022 1:00 am - A reader asks how to monitor membership changes for some specific high-profile groups. You can buy a commercial product to do the job or use PowerShell to exploit the information held in the Office 365 audit log. A combination of a custom attribute assigned to the sensitive groups and an audit log search does the job.
  24. Exchange Online Mail Flow Rules Move to New EAC November 8, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is moving the creation and management of mail flow rules to the new EAC from November. The UX in the legacy EAC should disappear in December 2022. The new UX is prettier and works better (apart from the rule wizard), but it's a little disappointing that we have essentially the same way of managing mail flow rules in 2022 as we had in 2006. You can only hope that things might improve in the future.
  25. Microsoft Launching New Teams Webinars Experience November 7, 2022 1:00 am - Message center notification MC454809 announces that Microsoft will deploy a new Teams Webinars experience to tenants at the end of November with worldwide availability complete in early December. The new Teams Webinars experience is based on customer feedback and addresses issues like branding, registration control, and scalability. A new Teams events policy is available to control who can create webinars.
  26. Microsoft Dumps Bulk Distribution List Migration to Microsoft 365 Groups in Legacy EAC November 4, 2022 1:00 am - A November 3 announcement says that Microsoft will deprecate the bulk distribution list migration feature in the legacy EAC on February 1, 2023. Although no one will probably be surprised by the news, it's disappointing that all Microsoft can suggest is a manual conversion process for those who want to move (simple) distribution lists to Microsoft 365 groups. Is it too much to ask to have a PowerShell script to do the job?
  27. Upgrade of Teams Policy Cmdlets Enables Use in Azure Automation November 3, 2022 1:00 am - This article explains how to make Teams policy assignments using an Azure Automation runbook and some of the modernized cmdlets available in the Teams PowerShell module. Not everything worked as smoothly as we'd like, but like most PowerShell scenarios, there's usually a workaround available to get the job done. It just needs to be found.
  28. Running Exchange Online Historical Message Traces November 2, 2022 1:00 am - Exchange Online historical searches are the way to retrieve message trace information that's older than 10 days (but less than 90 days). You might not have to run historical searches very often, but when you need to, you'll be glad that the facility exists.
  29. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros November 2022 Update Available November 1, 2022 1:00 am - The 89th monthly update for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook has been released for subscribers to download. The November 2022 update contains the normal mixture of new features, updates to existing features, corrections and clarifications, and all the other stuff that happens to keep the world's best book covering Office 365 as up-to-date and technically accurate as we can make it.
  30. Azure AD Conditional Access Policies Get App Filter October 31, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD conditional access policies can now use an app filter based on custom security attributes to restrict access to specific apps. It's a neat idea that should be popular in larger enterprises where the need exists to manage large numbers of apps. In other news, the Graph X-Ray tool is available in the Windows Store and a neat cmd.ms tool is available to provide shortcuts to Microsoft 365 sites.
  31. Microsoft Cloud Revenues Slow Slightly in FY23 Q1 Results October 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft Cloud revenues reached $25.7 billion in Microsoft's FY23 Q1 results. That sounds good, but it's a slowing over the rate seen in previous quarters. It might be the case that the size of the installed base is not growing as quickly as it once did, but Microsoft is making sure that it extracts as much revenue as it can from its cloud customers. That's a trend you can expect to continue
  32. Azure AD Conditional Access Policies Add Check for External User Types October 27, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD conditional access policies can exert fine-grained control over the type of external users who can connect and what tenants they belong to. The new capability works especially well alongside Azure B2B Collaboration (guest users) and Azure B2B Direct Connect (used by Teams shared channels). It's yet another way to impose control over who you allow to connect to your tenant.
  33. Microsoft Hardens Authenticator App to Prevent MFA Fatigue October 26, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has made number matching and additional context generally available for its Authenticator app. The new capabilities help users to avoid MFA fatigue. In other words, instead of being challenged with a simple request to approve a sign-in, users must respond by entering a number selected by Azure AD. At the same time, Authenticator can display additional information, such as where the sign-in originated from. It all helps to make Authenticator a more secure way of approving user sign-ins.
  34. Migrating from Stream Classic to Stream for SharePoint October 25, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released the preview version of the Stream migration tool to move videos from Stream classic to Stream on SharePoint. The tool uses the same Mover technology as employed to migrate data from other repositories to SharePoint Online. Generally, it works well. The big decisions are all around what content to move and what can be left behind.
  35. Outlook Reactions to Respond to Email October 24, 2022 1:00 am - Users will soon have the option to use Outlook reactions to respond to emails received from people inside the same tenant (well, it also works with some other tenants). It's the same kind of feature that already exists in Yammer and Teams, but whether this kind of response works with email remains to be seen. It's a cultural thing!
  36. Outlook and Teams Premium Both Claim Sensitivity Label and Meeting Recap Features October 21, 2022 1:00 am - The new Teams Premium product ($10/.user/month) and Outlook both claim that they will support sensitivity labels and a meeting recap. That's confusing, especially if Outlook delivers the features at no cost. However, when you look into the matter a little deeper, it's obvious that what Teams Premium will deliver is very different to what you can expect to see in Outlook. All of which proves why it's important to read announcements carefully and put them into context with what you already know about how products work.
  37. Report SSPR Status for Azure AD Accounts October 20, 2022 1:00 am - In most situations, it's a good idea to enable Azure AD accounts for SSPR (self-service password reset) to avoid the need for administrators to update user accounts when things go wrong. This article explains how to report accounts that are not yet set up to use SSPR. It's a check that should happen regularly, perhaps with the aid of Azure Automation.
  38. Assigning Permissions to Azure AD Apps to Use the Microsoft Teams PowerShell Module October 19, 2022 1:00 am - Before an app or an Azure Automation account can use the Teams PowerShell cmdlets in a script or runbook, it must have the permission to act as an administrator. In this article, we cover how to assign the necessary role to a service principal.
  39. Updating Microsoft 365 User Accounts to use a New Domain October 18, 2022 1:00 am - A reader asked how to update user email addresses and UPNs. As it turns out, this is not a very difficult technical challenge. The problem lies in the aftermath. It's easy to update the primary SMTP address for a mail-enabled object or assign a new user principal name to an Azure AD account. Then problems might come into view, like needing to adjust the Microsoft Authenticator app to make MFA challenges work for the new UPN.
  40. Researchers Worry About Office 365 Message Encryption October 17, 2022 1:00 am - An October 14 report says that Office 365 Message Encryption shouldn't be used because its encryption scheme might reveal email content. Well, that might be the case if an attacker can hijack connectivity from Office 365 to another email service. But the relatively low levels of OME usage and the difficulty of acquiring enough email to understand message structure makes this a less than practical attack in the wild.
  41. Reporting Who Made Azure AD License Assignments October 14, 2022 1:00 am - This article explains how to use PowerShell and the Office 365 audit log to report Azure AD license assignments. The output isn't pretty, but it works. The code works by finding two different audit events for each license assignment and combining information from both events to create a view of what happened. It's rough and ready and can be improved, but the principal is proven and that's what I set out to do.
  42. Making Sure Apps Can Run Exchange Online Management Cmdlets October 13, 2022 1:00 am - This article describes how to use the Exchange.ManageAsApp permission to allow Azure AD apps to run Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlets. You can do this in the Azure AD admin center for registered apps, but when the time comes to allow Azure Automation runbooks to sign into Exchange Online with a managed identity, you must assign the permission to the automation account with PowerShell. Easy when you know how, hard when you don't!
  43. Outlook logo OWA’s Sweep Feature Uses Both Inbox and Sweep Rules October 12, 2022 1:00 am - The Outlook Sweep feature is available in OWA and the Outlook Monarch client. The idea is that you clean up your mailbox by 'sweeping' unwanted items into somewhere like the Deleted Items folder. As it turns out, the Sweep feature uses both Inbox and Sweep rules to get its work done. Overall, Sweep is a pretty useful piece of functionality.
  44. Unread Only Toggle Available for Teams Activity Feed October 11, 2022 1:00 am - Teams clients now have an unread only toggle for the activity feed. The toggle hides previously read notifications to highlight messages awaiting attention by the user. Apart from hiding work you've already done, the toggle might just surface some items you haven't yet taken care of.
  45. Microsoft Introduces Authentication Strength for Conditional Access Policies October 10, 2022 1:00 am - A new setting for Azure AD conditional access policies allows organizations to dictate the authentication strength of accepted connections. This is part of a Microsoft effort to move MFA-enabled Azure AD accounts away from the relatively insecure SMS-based challenges to methods that are less susceptible to attack.
  46. Scripting Azure AD Authentication Methods October 7, 2022 1:00 am - A script written by a Microsoft program manager to remove authentication methods from an Azure AD account caused me to write a script to capture all the authentication methods used in a tenant. I have other similar scripts, but this one records some additional detail for each method. And I have a moan about why the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK includes so many cmdlets for interacting with authentication methods. Some consolidation would be nice.
  47. Outlook for Windows Gets External Mail Tagging October 6, 2022 1:00 am - External tagging has been available for OWA, Outlook mobile, and Outlook for Mac since 2021. Now it's coming to Outlook for Windows. Some might wonder about why it's taken Microsoft so long to add external tagging to the Windows client. It might be that they're waiting for the Monarch client, but it's more likely the difficulty of retrofitting new features into the Outlook GUI.
  48. Exchange Online Archive Mailboxes Move Away from Purview Compliance Portal October 5, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is moving the listing of archived mailboxes from the Purview Compliance portal to its natural home in the Exchange Admin Center. In this post, we look at how you can report the current status of archive mailboxes (both user and shared mailboxes) in a Microsoft 365 tenant.
  49. Using Hidden Membership for Microsoft 365 Groups October 4, 2022 1:00 am - Hidden membership is supported for Microsoft 365 Groups and distribution lists. Hidden membership means that no one except members and admins can see who's in a group. It's a useful feature if you don't want people poking around to find out who's in a group or distribution list. One thing to be aware of is that once a Microsoft 365 group has hidden membership, it has it forever. Distribution lists on the other hand can flip between hidden and visible membership.
  50. Now that Basic Authentication is Turned Off in Exchange Online, What Happens Next? October 3, 2022 1:00 am - Now that October 1 has arrived, Microsoft has started the process to permanently remove basic authentication from 7 email connection protocols. So what happens next? Well, for many organizations, not much. They're the ones that have already transitioned to modern authentication. For others, some unpleasant surprises might lie ahead as people discover that stuff just doesn't work anymore.
  51. Office 365 for IT Pros Office 365 for IT Pros October 2022 Update Available October 1, 2022 3:27 pm - The October 2022 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook is available for subscribers to download. This is the 88th in a series of updates since the original launch of the book in May 2015. Although some might consider this month to be a light one in terms of changes made inside Microsoft 365 because everyone's waiting for Ignite, we still had lots to do and many changes to process. Just like every month.
  52. Microsoft Makes Outlook Monarch Client Available to Office Insiders September 30, 2022 1:00 am - A new Outlook Monarch build is available for Office Insiders to test. Still a prettier version of OWA, Monarch is maturing, and this build is usable, especially if you prefer OWA rather than desktop Outlook. However, if you need offline working, you need to wait a little longer because that feature still isn't there.
  53. Detect Underused Azure AD Accounts (with Expensive Licenses) September 29, 2022 1:00 am - This article describes how to adapt the Microsoft 365 licensing report script to highlight Azure AD accounts that haven't signed in for a long time. Because Microsoft charges for licenses on a monthly basis, every month that goes by racks up cost for underused accounts. The new version of the script tells you what accounts to check to help you focus on driving down licensing costs.
  54. The Importance of the Office 365 Audit Log for IT Forensics September 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft DART (cybersecurity response team) published an interesting article about the essential sources of Microsoft 365 audit data used for forensic investigations. The Office 365 audit log gets a big mention and DART seems pretty impressed by the new audit log search that's available in preview in the Purview Compliance portal. I'm not impressed by the performance of the new interface and will continue to use PowerShell. As it turns out, so will DART.
  55. Sharing Excel Workbooks in Teams Meetings September 27, 2022 1:00 am - Teams meeting participants can open Excel workbooks through the Share Tray and collaborate with everyone in the meeting through Excel Live. The new feature builds on several existing capabilities, including co-authoring and autosave for Office documents and it's a useful addition to how people can work together during online meetings. The only thing to remember is that all the workbooks used by Excel Live need to be in OneDrive for Business, but that shouldn't be a big issue.
  56. Teams Adds Video Messages to Chats September 26, 2022 1:00 am - Teams video messages are clips of up to 1 minute in length that can be sent in 1:1, group, and meeting chats. They're a powerful way to deliver a message to chat participants, but they come with a downside in that support for eDiscovery is poor. But that's not a reason to eschew their usage. Who doesn't like receiving video messages from their closest friends?
  57. Checking Audit Logs for Azure AD Consent Permission Grants September 23, 2022 1:00 am - Audit logs hold lots of information, including records for when Azure AD consent permission grants happen. Checking the audit data can detect illicit grants. Records are in the Azure AD audit log and are also ingested into the Office 365 (unified) audit log, so there's two places to check. The audit data is interesting and could help administrators work out if a permission grant is illicit. But only if checks are made and people review the reports.
  58. Outlook for Windows Gets Loop Components September 22, 2022 1:00 am - Like OWA and Teams chat, Outlook for Windows boasts the ability to add Loop components in messages. The implementation is very similar to OWA, as you'd expect, which means that some of the same shortcomings seen in OWA are in Outlook for Windows. Such is life.
  59. Microsoft Brings Scheduled Send to Teams Chat September 21, 2022 1:00 am - The Teams scheduled send feature allows users to set a time when Teams will deliver chat messages. The feature works for Teams enterprise and consumer users. It isn't available for channel conversations. If you're used to the delayed send feature in OWA and Outlook, you'll know the value of being able to schedule a message to arrive at the most appropriate time!
  60. Video Recording Feature Now Available for Stream for SharePoint September 20, 2022 1:00 am - The Stream for SharePoint browser client includes the ability for people to record short (up to 15 minute) videos. The input comes from workstation cameras (including software cameras like Snap Camera) or the screen. Videos are stored in OneDrive for Business and can be updated and shared from there. The question we have is what role will Clipchamp play in the Microsoft 365 video playbook?
  61. End of the Road for Teams Linux Desktop Client September 19, 2022 1:00 am - According to notifications sent by Microsoft to customers that have users of the Teams Linux client, Microsoft plans to retire the client in early December and replace it with a progressive web app (PWA). The news is not unexpected. The Teams Linux client has always lagged its Windows and macOS counterparts and was buggy to boot.
  62. Microsoft Launches Expanded Reactions for Teams September 16, 2022 1:00 am - Instead of being limited to five emojis to express reactions to Teams chat and channel messages, Microsoft is making over 800 emojis available as expanded reactions. Whether this will make any difference to the way anyone uses Teams is entirely personal. For me, I think I shall remain content by using the limited set available to date because it's just too much hard work to choose from over 800 options.
  63. Exchange Online Statistics Revealed at MEC 2022 September 15, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft revealed some interesting Exchange Online statistics at the MEC 2022 event. 300 K physical mailbox servers is a staggering amount, but 7.3 billion mailboxes might be even more surprising. Also at MEC we discovered more about the campaign to remove basic authentication from Exchange Online and how well Microsoft's Greg Taylor can communicate in Irish when he presents about the deprecation of basic authentication.
  64. Viva Engage Storyline Appears in Preview September 14, 2022 1:00 am - Viva Engage Storyline is a new way of posting information to Yammer. Instead of posting to communities, people can post to their personal storyline, with the aim of fostering better communication and creating their personal brand. Storyline works in both the Viva Engage app in Teams and the traditional Yammer browser UI. It's a nice way to post stuff when you don't have a good home for the information, but I do have a nagging doubt that storyline is just another way to share information inside Microsoft 365, which is exactly what's needed.
  65. Outlook Automapping and Offline Files September 13, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook automapping is usually a good thing. Exchange marks a mailbox after a user receives full access permission for the mailbox. Autodiscover publishes details of the new access, and Outlook adds the mailbox to its resource list. But Some downsides exist, like the size of the OST, which mean that sometimes it's better to add a mailbox manually to Outlook and forget about automapping.
  66. MEC and TEC in Two Weeks September 12, 2022 1:00 am - Over the next two weeks, I'll attend and present at the Microsoft Exchange Conference and The Experts Conference (MEC and TEC). It should be fun! It's nice to see conferences gradually returning to normal. I prefer in-person events and am looking forward to TEC in Atlanta on September 20-21. Before then, there's the small matter of presenting two sessions at MEC 2022.
  67. Tips for Working with the Graph Usage Reports API September 9, 2022 1:00 am - This article offers some tips about working with the Microsoft Graph Usage Reports API. In particular, we cover how to detect if the concealment of display names setting is active and how to reset it to allow display names appear in reports. We also cover the strangeness of some of the numbers reported for Teams message counts.
  68. Teams Reactions Captured in Audit Records September 8, 2022 1:00 am - Every time someone reacts to a message in a team chat or channel conversation, Teams captures an audit record and sends it to the Office 365 audit log. The Teams reactions audit records are an interesting source of information. In this article, we show how to use PowerShell to interpret the contents of the reactions, and how to use the data to find the underlying messages.
  69. Microsoft to Close Cortana Scheduler Service September 7, 2022 1:00 am - After debuting in summer 2021, the Microsoft Cortana Scheduler service will close on September 1, 2023. High cost and a lack of users are among the likely causes for Scheduler's demise, but it wouldn't be surprising to see it reappear in the future as part of a high-end Office 365 or Microsoft 365 bundle.
  70. Updating Extension Attributes for Azure AD Registered Devices with the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK September 6, 2022 1:00 am - Azure AD registered devices have 15 extension attributes that tenants can use for their own purposes. In this article, we explore how to use the Microsoft Graph PowerShell SDK to update extension attributes for registered devices, and even better, access the content in the extension attributes afterward.
  71. Microsoft Sets Out to Block Unmanaged Azure AD Guest Accounts September 5, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft launched an effort on September 2 to stop the creation of any more unmanaged Azure AD accounts in unmanaged tenants. A set of tools is available to help tenants to find unmanaged accounts and reset them by reissuing invitations to the affected guest members. There's not much to complain about, but it is something to understand.
  72. Outlook logo Outlook’s Strange Archive Folder September 2, 2022 1:00 am - Outlook boasts a useless Archive folder. At least, I can't come up with any good reason to use the Archive folder. It only confuses people in discussions about archiving. The one good thing I discovered when I revisited the topic is that a registry key exists to stop Outlook moving items into the Archive folder with the backspace key.
  73. Office 365 for IT Pros Monthly Update 87 for the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook September 1, 2022 1:00 am - The September 2022 update for the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook is now available. This is monthly update 87 in a series stretching back to May 2015. Subscribers of the EPUB/PDF version can download the updated files from Gumroad,com while those who bought the Kindle version from Amazon will have to contact Amazon support. Now on to update #88!
  74. Lessons Learned from Using Azure Automation with PowerShell Scripts August 31, 2022 1:00 am - I've spent some time investigating Azure Automation PowerShell recently. In this article, I discuss three learnings that might be of interest to others. Debugging, cost, and tracking the use of Azure Automation PowerShell might not interest everyone, but they've certainly helped me to understand how the platform works.
  75. How to Restrict the Creation of Regular Microsoft Teams Channels August 30, 2022 1:00 am - No Teams administration policy controls the creation of regular channels. Policies are there to control the creation of shared and private channels, but not the regular variety. Team owners can restrict creation on a team-by-team basis, but if organizations want to apply central control, they'll need to do it with PowerShell.
  76. Use Graph Explorer to Sign into Microsoft 365 Tenants as a Guest August 29, 2022 1:00 am - A little known fact about the Graph Explorer utility is that you can use it to sign into a tenant using a guest access. This might or might not be a good idea, but if you don't want people to do this, it's easy to block guest access by either disabling user access to the app (crude) or using a Conditional Access policy (much nicer).
  77. Yammer Powers Viva Engage and Teams Q&A August 26, 2022 1:00 am - Some recent announcements have shown Yammer's new direction. The Communities app is now Viva Engage and Teams Meeting Q&A app is powered by Yammer. That's all good because it negates some of the tension between Teams and Yammer in terms of positioning within Microsoft 365. The messages that make up Q&A in Teams meetings are captured for compliance purposes, and that's also a good thing.
  78. More Issues with Exchange Online Mailbox Audit Events August 25, 2022 12:23 am - In March 2020, I wrote about mailbox audit events for Office 365 E3 accounts not showing up in the Office 365 audit log. As far as I can tell, Exchange Online deals with new mailboxes properly now. However, there might be some mailboxes in your organization that aren't generating the audit records you thought they are... so it's time to check.
  79. Reporting Teams Channel Email Addresses August 24, 2022 1:00 am - No Microsoft 365 admin portal will tell you about the set of email addresses assigned to Teams channels. Fortunately, it's relatively easy to create a report with PowerShell and just a little Graph magic.
  80. Analyzing Document Label Mismatch Audit Records August 23, 2022 1:00 am - Document label mismatches happen when users create, upload, or update Office documents in SharePoint sites and give the documents a higher-priority sensitivity label than the one assigned to the site. When this happens, SharePoint Online creates a DocumentSensitivityMismatchDetected audit event. Unhappily, that event doesn't tell us who caused the mismatch, but some work with PowerShell reveals all.
  81. Start Teams Group Chats with Distribution Lists, Groups, and Tags August 22, 2022 1:00 am - A new feature allows Teams users to start new group chats by adding participants from the membership of distribution lists, Microsoft 365 groups, or mail-enabled security groups. It's a neat way to add up to 249 participants to a new group chat. And while we're covering the topic of adding people to group chats, we also mention the oft-overlooked feature that allows Teams tags to be used for this purpose.
  82. The Odd Azure AD Selected Visibility is Not Allowed Problem August 19, 2022 1:00 am - Like all apps, the Azure AD Admin center has its own quirks and inconsistencies. In this article, we cover issues creating groups when the admin center doesn't apply sensitivity label container management settings properly, and group-based license management, which only works if the group's security enabled property is set correctly.
  83. How to Define a Default Sensitivity Label for a SharePoint Online Document Library August 18, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft is rolling out the public preview of the ability to set a default sensitivity label for SharePoint Online document libraries. This is likely to be a premium feature when it is generally available. For now, Office documents are supported, but Microsoft promises to support PDFs in the future.
  84. Detecting Exchange Online Shared Mailboxes That Need Licenses August 17, 2022 1:00 am - Exchange Online shared mailboxes only need licenses if they have an archive, exceed 50 GB in size, or are on litigation hold. The rules are there, but how many tenants check their shared mailboxes to make sure that they're in compliance. This article explains how to use PowerShell to detect shared mailboxes that need licenses.
  85. Report the Membership of Teams Private Channels August 16, 2022 12:20 am - In this article, we explain how to create a report about the Teams private channels found in a tenant together with the members and owners of each channel. The PowerShell script is relatively straightforward and once the data is extracted from Teams, it can be sliced and diced in different ways.
  86. Using Azure Key Vault with Microsoft 365 PowerShell August 15, 2022 1:00 am - A previous article explains how to use an Azure Automation runbook to write information to a SharePoint Online site and Teams channel. At the time, I used a stored credential to authenticate and access SharePoint and Teams. Azure Key Vault offers another way to store secrets (bits of information) securely. This article explores how to store secrets in Azure Key Vault and retrieve and use the secrets in a runbook script and interactive PowerShell.
  87. Microsoft Announces New Yammer Administrator Role August 12, 2022 1:00 am - A new Yammer administrator role is available in Azure AD. Assignees of the new role become Yammer verified admins and can make changes to both native and non-native Yammer networks. It's nice to see the new role appearing in Azure AD and no doubt it will be useful to Microsoft 365 tenants that use Yammer, but why did it take so long to happen?
  88. Using the Get-AssociatedTeam Cmdlet to Report Team Memberships August 11, 2022 1:00 am - The Get-AssociatedTeam cmdlet is part of V4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module. It reports the membership a user account has in teams, including where the account has direct membership of shared channels. The cmdlet makes it easy to generate a report of teams membership, and the PSWriteHTML module makes it easy to output nice PDF reports.
  89. Microsoft Reducing Recovery Time for ex-Inactive Mailboxes to 30 Days August 10, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft plans to reduce the recovery period for inactive mailboxes newly released from retention holds and policies from 183 to 30 days. The change will be implemented worldwide by the end of September. The reduction in recovery time sounds seriously but it's really not. If you haven't figured out that you need to recover some data from an old inactive mailbox within 30 days, the data probably isn't needed. And anyway, if you really want to, you can keep inactive mailboxes forever.
  90. Populate the Membership of a Teams Shared Channel for All Users August 9, 2022 1:00 am - This article explains how to populate the membership of a Teams shared channel using PowerShell. The idea is to create a shared channel that's used for organization-wide communications, like a HR questions and answers channel. Alternatives like using a dynamic Azure AD group with a filter to find Teams users are also considered.
  91. Upgrading the Microsoft 365 User Activity Report with a 180-day Lookback Period August 8, 2022 1:00 am - A new version of the Microsoft 365 user activity report PowerShell script is available. This version extends the activity lookback period to 180 days, which is helpful when assessing if user accounts are active when people might be on parental leave or sabbaticals.
  92. Microsoft Revamps Its Guidance for Data Lifecycle and Records Management Licensing August 5, 2022 1:00 am - In a welcome move, Microsoft has revamped its guidance for Microsoft 365 compliance licensing, specifically for Data Lifecycle and Records Management. The new text is much clearer about when different licenses are needed to use a feature, which is goodness even if you disagree that a feature should need a high-end license. Now if only Microsoft could do the same for the rest of its documentation...
  93. Microsoft Releases 42 New Sensitive Information Types August 4, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft has released 42 new sensitive information types (SITs) in preview. The new SITs cover credentials used in services such as Azure, GitHub, Amazon, and Google, and can be deployed in Purview solutions like DLP and auto-labeling policies.
  94. Using the Get-TeamAllChannel Cmdlet to Report Microsoft Teams Channels August 3, 2022 1:00 am - Version 4.6 of the Microsoft Teams PowerShell module includes the Get-TeamAllChannel cmdlet. As the name implies, the cmdlet returns details of all channels in a team (regular, private, and shared). To see what it does, we wrote a script to report all the channels in teams in a tenant.
  95. OWA Calendar Supports Display of Varying Time Increments and Time Zones August 2, 2022 1:00 am - The OWA calendar has gained some new features to help users see more detail about events. Users can choose different time slot lengths from 5 to 60 minutes. They can add time zones to the calendar display, and they can choose a different color for events. Nothing earth-shattering, but the changes will please users.
  96. Office 365 for IT Pros 2023 Edition August 2022 Update Available for Office 365 for IT Pros August 1, 2022 1:00 am - Subscribers to the Office 365 for IT Pros (2023 edition) eBook can download the updated files for the August 2023 release. Twenty-one of the 23 content chapters are updated, something that's pretty normal for an Office 365 for IT Pros book update. Lots more change is coming, all of which will be covered in future updates.
  97. Word’s New Can Review Sharing Permission July 29, 2022 1:00 am - Word review mode has been available for a couple of years (online app only). Review mode is a good way of guiding people to do the right thing when they review documents, and now Microsoft is upgrading the Sharing Link dialog UI with a new "Can Review" permission to make it easier for people to use review mode.
  98. $100 Billion Landmark Reached for Microsoft Cloud July 28, 2022 1:00 am - Microsoft's FY22 Q4 results didn't reveal too much in terms of real numbers for Office 365 users, or usage of individual workloads like Teams or SharePoint Online. We do know that the Microsoft Cloud segment reached the landmark of $100 billion in annualized run rate ($91.2 billion actual). How much of that is down to Office 365? That takes some guesswork, but we've done our best.
  99. Teams Native Files Policy Disables SharePoint and OneDrive Access July 27, 2022 1:00 am - The Teams Files policy gives a way for administrators to control if users see the Teams Files tab in every channel and Teams chat, and if they can access OneDrive and SharePoint to upload files. The policy exists for organizations that have standardized on other file storage systems such as Box or Dropbox.
  100. Microsoft Forces Backup Vendors and Customers Toward Teams Export API July 26, 2022 1:00 am - In a July 12 announcement, Microsoft says that they will restrict the use of Exchange Web Services to access Teams message data from September 30. Microsoft wants customers to use the Teams Export API instead. All that's fine, but it means that customers have to change their Teams backup product to one that uses the new API - and they'll be charged for the privilege of using the Export API.

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