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Syncing Microsoft 365 GAL to individual user mailboxes and mobile devices

Maintaining seamless access to all contacts is crucial for efficient email communication and productivity on mobile devices. However, organizations that rely on Microsoft Office 365 as their office suite often face the inconvenience of not being able to access their organization contacts on their mobile devices, even with Outlook contacts integrated into iPhone or Android.

In this blog post, we want to present a straightforward solution to this problem offered by SyncPenguin. Our service enables you to effortlessly establish a one-way sync between the Office 365 GAL (global address list) and individual user mailbox contact lists, thereby granting users access to these contacts on their respective devices.

By leveraging SyncPenguin, organizations can streamline their workflows and enhance productivity by ensuring that crucial contact information is readily available, enabling seamless communication across platforms. Say goodbye to the frustration of limited contact accessibility, and embrace the convenience and efficiency provided by our Office 365 GAL sync solution.

Note that our Office 365 GAL connector syncs both tenant user information, as well as global organizational contacts. Below we provide all the necessary steps required to configure and start such synchronization.

Setting up the sync

The first step is to create a SyncPenguin account: https://dashboard.syncpenguin.com. We provide a fully free 14-day trial without a credit card.

Once you have an account, head to the Synchronizations section (left menu) and click + New sync. Select Office 365 GAL as the first app and regular Office 365 as the second app. Then select one-to-many sync direction One Office 365 GAL β†’ Many Office 365. To simplify the setup process for multiple destination users, we recommend selecting the domain-wide access option through Exchange impersonation, as shown below:

Create a new sync in the dashboard

Once you create the sync you’ll see the main sync page:

Main sync page

Connecting GAL

Source GAL should be connected in the source section of the sync page. Click on it and connect your Office 365 account. Note that the connected account must have admin user management permissions in order for us to gain read-only access to the GAL.

Connect GAL

If everything is connected correctly and without issues, you’ll see a green Connected tag.

Connecting destination users

To connect individual destination user accounts, we use Exchange impersonation to simplify the setup process and obtain domain-wide access. You need to have one dedicated account (it’s usually an admin account, but not necessarily) with impersonation permission that you need to connect in the destination section. In this blog post we provide instructions on how to enable the application impersonation permission, which is disabled by default.

Connect impersonation account

Once the source and destination accounts are connected, you are good to add individual users to the sync. To add a user, click the plus icon in the Individual sync profiles section, followed by Add manually. Then enter the user name, as well as a valid email address in O365.

Add synced user

Note that you can also add users in bulk. You can also add users through a CSV import, or bind users to a O365 and Google user group to auto-populate in SyncPenguin. Feel free to contact us in case of any questions or issues with user setup.

Starting syncing

Once the user is added, you can start syncing. For that, in the corresponding user row click the blue Actions button followed by Start syncing button and select the initial sync option (merge or full copy). Once selected, click the start button at the bottom:

Start syncing

This will start the initial contact sync, after which we’ll be automatically watching GAL contacts for changes and applying them to all added and started users.

That’s it

That concludes our short blog post about configuring and starting Office 365 GAL sync. If you have any questions or issues, please feel free to contact us through the chat or email [email protected].

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