Why Typed Variables Matter When Using Microsoft 365 PowerShell Cmdlets

PowerShell pros know the secrets of typed variables and why this matters when cmdlets return data, but some of us have been doing things wrong for years. Which is why I spent a couple of hours contemplating the differences between typed and untyped variables when handling items returned by cmdlets. They say that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. I beg to differ…

How to Create a Report of Managers and Their Direct Reports from Azure AD

Azure AD holds information about managers and their direct reports. It’s easy for that data to go out of date, so we create a report to tell us who are the managers and how many direct reports they have. Azure AD has some cmdlets to retrieve information about managers and direct reports, but as it turns out, the older Get-User cmdlet is the best way to proceed.

How to Decrypt SharePoint Online Documents Using PowerShell and the Graph API

Sensitivity labels are a great way to protect confidential documents stored in SharePoint Online. Sometimes the documents must be decrypted. This article explains how to build a PowerShell script which uses Graph API calls to navigate to a folder in a SharePoint Online document library and decrypt the protected documents found in the folder.

Microsoft Updates Teams PowerShell Module to 2.0

Microsoft has released V2.0 of the Teams PowerShell module. It brings some welcome improvements, notably the inclusion of all the management cmdlets, but has a downside too. The new cmdlets for managing teams templates are not easy to use and some authentication issues affect the Connect-MicrosoftTeams cmdlet after a change in authentication libraries. Microsoft has some work to do to improve this version of the module.

How to Create a Report About the Membership of Microsoft 365 Groups (and Teams)

There are many examples of PowerShell scripts which create reports about the membership of Microsoft 365 Groups. Most are slow. This version is faster because of its per-user rather than per-group approach to processing. The output is a nice HTML report and two CSV files containing a list of memberships in Microsoft 365 Groups and summary data for each user in the tenant.

How to Report Audit Events Generated for Sensitivity Labels

Audit records are a great way to gain an understanding of what happens inside Office 365. We use PowerShell to report actions taken with sensitivity labels such as protecting files and containers. The latest development is the addition of support in the Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise (Office desktop) to log audit events when users interact with sensitivity labels. Unsurprisingly, more events are often logged by the desktop apps than their online equivalents.

New Format Rolls Out for Incoming Webhook URLs Used by Teams and Groups

The inbound webhook connector used by Teams and Microsoft 365 Groups to accept information from external sources is getting a new format. Existing connectors must be updated by April 11, 2021. If not, data will stop flowing into the target channel or group, and that would be a bad thing.

Use the Graph API to Work with Azure AD Access Reviews

You can create an Azure AD Access Review for all guests in teams and groups in your tenant and then see what’s happening with the Graph API. In this case, we use PowerShell with the API to grab the access review data and create a report about the overall status of the review in a tenant.

How to Rebuild Delegate Access for a Calendar with PowerShell

Sometimes delegate access for an Exchange Online calendar goes awry due to corrupted items in the mailbox. To help sort out problems, Microsoft has upgraded the Remove-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet to do the work that used to be done by a multi-phase fix performed using the MFCMAPI or EWS editor utilities. The nice thing is that this method is quick, simple, and works well.

How to Use Bing Images as Custom Backgrounds in Teams Meetings

Bing publishes a new image daily in its home page. You can download the images and use them as custom background for Teams meetings. A PowerShell script automates the task and downloads the images for the last seven days and cleans up any Bing images older than 30 days.. It’s a nice way to use some attractive images to liven up Teams meetings.

Skype for Business Online Connector Retires in February 2021

Microsoft will retire the Skype for Business Online (PowerShell) Connector on February 15, 2021. Office 365 tenants need to check scripts to replace the connector with the Teams PowerShell module, which contains the necessary cmdlets to connect to the policy management endpoint. Once connected, scripts can interact with objects like Teams messaging and meeting policies.

Keeping an Accurate Office 365 Tenant Directory is Important

Many Office 365 features depend on accurate user account data in Azure AD. Here’s how to use PowerShell to track down accounts with missing properties. Once you know which accounts need to be updated, it’s easy to insert the missing properties. Boring, but easy…

Updates for the Exchange Online Management Module

Version 2.0.4 of the Exchange Online Management PowerShell module is now available for download from the PowerShell Gallery. The new release contains many useful enhancements including support for Ubuntu Linux and several versions of MacOs.

Microsoft Launches V1.1.6 of PowerShell Module for Teams

Microsoft has launched version 1.1.6 of the PowerShell module for Teams (MicrosoftTeams). The new module makes the Skype for Business Online connector unnecessary because it contains the New-CsOnlineSession cmdlet needed to create a new session to use the cmdlets used to manage Teams policies.

How to Report Office 365 Account Activity Using the Graph API and PowerShell

PowerShell hash tables are very efficient at retrieving data, which is just what’s needed when thousands of Office 365 accounts need processing. Our script to analyze usage data extracted from the Microsoft Graph was turbo-charged when we replaced list objects with hash tables, all of which makes it much easier to identify underused Office 365 accounts and save some money on licensing spend.

Speeding Access to Office 365 PowerShell Data Using Where Instead of Where-Object

The Office 365 for IT Pros eBook includes many PowerShell examples, and while we mostly concentrate on illustrating the principles of how PowerShell is used to solve problems, we do care about performance. Which is why we’re always interested in finding ways to speed up our code. This this article we explore how to use the Where method to replace the Where-Object cmdlet to filter objects. The good news is that it’s an easy way to get better code performance.

Updated Version of the Graph User Statistics Script Available

Office 365 usage data for several workloads is available through the Microsoft Graph. A PowerShell script is available to grab Graph data and use it to figure out if accounts are in active use. V1.2 of GetGraphUserStatisticsReport.PS1 is available in GitHub and should be better performing when processing thousands of accounts.

The 1-2-3 of Exchange Online Certificate Based Authentication for PowerShell

Exchange Online PowerShell is a critical automation tool for many Office 365 tenants. In 2021, Microsoft will remove basic authentication for PowerShell, so it’s time to change over to modern authentication. For scripts that run as batch or background jobs, that means converting to certificate-based authentication. In this post, we explore how to get the self-signed cert to glue everything together.

Analyzing Quarantined Messages with PowerShell

Exchange Online Protection puts problem messages into quarantine if it suspects that they contain spam, malware, or a phishing attempt. Instead of using the Security and Compliance Center GUI to work with quarantined messages, you can analyze details of quarantined messages with PowerShell to create some basic statistics and find messages that should be released.

How to Archive Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams with PowerShell

Once Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams reach the end of their useful life, it’s good to archive them so that their data stays online and available for eDiscovery. A recent request looked for help to archive 600 Groups at the end of the academic year. The script described here might help solve the problem.

How to Make Sure That You Use the Latest Office 365 PowerShell Modules

Many PowerShell modules are available for Office 365 applications. Keeping them up to date can be a pain, so here’s a PowerShell script to automate the task. Using the latest modules means that you can access new and updated cmdlets, which might make all the difference to your scripts.

How to Find Guests in Microsoft 365 Groups and Teams Where Guests are Prohibited

You can apply an Office 365 Sensitivity Label to control different aspects of Groups, Teams, and Sites. One of the settings controls whether guest users are allowed in group membership. We explain how to use PowerShell to search groups assigned a label to block guest access for existing guests, just in case you want to remove them.

The Need to Upgrade PowerShell Scripts that Send Email via Exchange Online

The combination of Exchange Online and PowerShell allows Office 365 admins to send messages for all manner of reasons. These scripts depend on SMTP AUTH connections and change is coming in this area with the deprecation of basic authentication. It’s a good idea to take an inventory of scripts that send email, including those that use the .NET classes to do the job.

Use Office 365 Audit Data to Highlight Unused Permissions

I’ve written many articles to explain how to use the Office 365 audit log to report different aspects of the platform. But taking action is much better than just reporting. In this post, we explain how to take a report generated from the Office 365 audit log and use it to drive some actions. In this case, removing the SendAs permission from people who aren’t using it.

How to Report Per-User SharePoint Online Activity

SharePoint Online generates a lot of events in the Office 365 audit log. You can interrogate the log with PowerShell to create per-user reports of their activities. The Search-UnifiedAuditLog cmdlet finds all the necessary data; after that it’s just a matter of filtering and refining the data and then creating the reports.

Upgrades Available for Exchange and SharePoint PowerShell Modules

Microsoft has published updates for the Exchange Online management and SharePoint Online PowerShell modules. Generally it’s a good idea to install the latest version of PowerShell modules for the different Office 365 products, but beware of some gotchas that await the unwary…

Use the Office 365 Audit Log to Find Who Updated a Document

Do you need to find out who updated a SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business document? Use PowerShell to search the Office 365 audit log for document events and the complete history is available. Well, at least the last 90 days’ history – or 365 days if you have the necessary licenses.

How to Report SharePoint Online Site Usage Data with PowerShell and the Graph

It’s easy to retrieve storage data for SharePoint Online sites with PowerShell, but it’s faster with the Graph. Some disadvantages do exist, but it’s nice to have a choice. TheGraph is faster, especially with large tenants, but the SharePoint Online PowerShell cmdlets can deliver more data.

OneDrive Known Folders and PowerShell Module Installations

PowerShell modules are often updated regularly to add new features and functionality. When the time came to update the Azure Active Directory preview module to 2.0.2.89, things didn’t work so smoothly because the files for the previous version of the module had ended up in OneDrive for Business. The moral of the story is that there’s a reason why the Scope parameter exists for the Install-Module cmdlet.

Microsoft Pushes Removal of Basic Authentication from Exchange Online to Mid-2021

Covid-19 dealt a blow to Microsoft’s plans to remove basic authentication from 5 connection protocols for Exchange Online and forced them to postpone the removal from October 13, 2020 to sometime in the second quarter of 2021. The news is disappointing because basic authentication is a weakness exploited by many hackers. But you can’t plan for a pandemic and Office 365 tenants need more time to be ready for the deprecation.

How to Report Who Uses SendAs Permission to Send from an Exchange Online Mailbox

Exchange Online mailboxes support SendAs, Send on Behalf Of, and FullAccess permissions. A previous script focused on the FullAccess permission. This version covers all three. It’s also a good example of how you need to pay attention to property sets when writing PowerShell code to use the new Exchange Online REST-based cmdlets.

Quick and Easy Office 365 License Assignment Report

Office 365 licenses can seem complex, especially when you descend to the level of multi-product license plans. PowerShell makes it easy to generate a quick and simple report of who’s been assigned which license. And best of all, because the code is PowerShell, you can amend it to your heart’s content.

How to Create a Report About Exchange Online Mailbox Permissions

Exchange Online makes it easy to assign delegated permissions for user and shared mailboxes. But permissions assigned to people might not be still necessary, so it’s good to do a periodic check. In this post, we describe a script to scan for permissions on Exchange Online user and shared mailboxes and highlight non-standard permissions in a report generated as a CSV file.

Microsoft Makes SharePoint Site Swap Available to Large Tenants

Large Office 365 tenants with more than 10,000 seats can now use the SharePoint Online site swap feature to replace an old root site with a new communications site. The site swap must be done with PowerShell and needs a new version of the Invoke-SPOSiteSwap cmdlet. Once you prepare your new site for swapping, everything goes smoothly.

Microsoft Updates Exchange Online Management PowerShell Module

A new version of the Exchange Online management PowerShell module is available. The update includes a number of bug fixes (including some security upgrades) and new features. You should upgrade to the new version as soon as possible and keep an eye out for more changes in the future.

Managing SharePoint Online with PowerShell

Like many other parts of Office 365, you can manage SharePoint Online with PowerShell. At least, you can manage some aspects of SharePoint Online with PowerShell. Microsoft has made it easier to keep up to date with the latest SharePoint Online module and the PnP module, so there’s lots of cmdlets to help Administrators do a better job of automating different aspects of SharePoint Online.

How to Update OWA Signatures with PowerShell

OWA stores user signatures in mailboxes, which makes it a lot easier for Office 365 admins to update signatures centrally with just a few lines of PowerShell and some HTML magic. OK, maybe more than a few lines… but it’s a lot less complicated than it is to mess around with the system registry and points the way to how Microsoft might introduce cloud signatures for all Outlook clients.

How to Update an Outlook for Windows Signature with PowerShell

Microsoft is working on cloud signatures for Outlook, but how can you update signatures for the current versions of Outlook click to run. Here’s our best attempt with PowerShell. The code works, but it could do with some error handing and various improvements before it could go anywhere near production. Think of it as a working example of why cloud signatures will be so much better,.

How to Process Large Numbers of Teams with PowerShell and Microsoft Graph Calls

Writing code to illustrate a point sometimes falls into the trap that things don’t work so well when you scale things up. Take Graph calls for instance. Code that works well with 100 teams isn’t so good with 4,000. The solution is to keep on telling the Graph to fetch data until it’s all in the safe hands of PowerShell, and then process it.

Reporting Team Deletion Events to Office 365 Administrators

A question asked how to be notified when people delete Teams. The answer lies in the Office 365 audit log, and once we’ve found out when Teams are deleted are who deleted them, we can notifications to administrators via email or by posting to a Teams channel. The administrators can then decide if they should restore the deleted team or let it expire and be permanently deleted after 30 days.