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Syncing Office 365 Contacts From a Public Folder to User Folders (One-to-Many Sync)

In this article, we’ll explain how you can easily use SyncPenguin to establish an automatic, one-way sync of contacts from a single Office 365 source folder (public or shared) to multiple destination users. Please note that the same instructions apply when syncing Office 365, Exchange on-premises or a combination of those.

Create a one-to-many sync with domain-wide access

In order to set up the sync, you need access to the SyncPenguin dashboard. If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign up here.

The first step is to create a new sync. For that, click Synchronizations on the left menu of the dashboard. Then, click + New sync and select Office 365 Contacts twice (or Exchange on-premises) as the two synced apps. In the dropdown below, set the direction to One → Many. In order to simplify the sync setup for the destination users, we recommend selecting domain-wide access through impersonation for the sync destination, as shown below.

O365 with the impersonation

Then, click Create sync, and you’ll see the main sync page.

The next step is to connect the sync source and destination. They are both represented as a Master sync profile at the beginning of the sync page:

Master sync profile

Connecting the source

To connect the sync source, click on the Source account, followed by Connect. Once connected, you can also choose which Office 365 contacts folder is the source; public folders will also be listed there.

Connecting the source account

Connecting the destination

The destination account in the master sync profile will be used to access all actual destination users, which means that this Office 365 account must have domain-wide access enabled through Exchange impersonation. Impersonation permission is not enabled by default (even for the admin account), but you can find our simple guide on how it can be enabled here. Please note that you need to enable this permission for just one Office 365 account, not all.

Additionally, you can specify the name of the contacts folder to sync to. The sync will try to find a folder with this name or create it, if not found. If you don’t specify the folder name, it will sync contacts to the default contacts folder for each user.

Connecting the destination account

Add users to the sync

The next step is to add actual destination users to sync to. This is managed in the Individual sync profiles sections of the sync page. To add a destination user, click the + icon and enter a user name, as well as a full and valid user email (at the destination tenant).

Add the destination user to the sync

You can add users one by one, or select the Bulk create option and add multiple users at once. You’ll need to specify all user names and corresponding emails in separate lines, as shown below.

Bulk create sync profiles

Starting sync

Once users are added, you are good to start the sync. To start the sync for one user, click the Start button in the user row. To start the sync for multiple users at once, select all of them and click Start sync.

Once you click the Start button, you will be prompted with what should be initially done with the source folder contacts. If you want to sync all source contacts to the destination users, select the Merge A to B option, which will ensure that the destination user folder contains all source contacts.

Note that it’s OK if the user folder contains some of the source contacts before the merge; the sync will not create duplicates. However, if the user folder contains additional contacts (not present at the source) before the merge, these contacts will not be removed by the merge process. It is recommended to merge contacts to an empty destination folder if possible.

Once the sync begins, you’ll see its status in the Sync history section at the bottom of the sync page.


This is how simple it is to use SyncPenguin to configure and start an automatic, one-way sync of the Office 365 contacts folder to the tenant users. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to contact us at any time.

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