Activating and Licensing a Synchronized User in the NEW Office 365

In the last step we setup directory synchronization, which will allow us to synchronize our local Active Directory users to our Office 365 tenant account. Now that we have the users in our tenant account, we need to license them. Licensing them is what activates and provisions their services (Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and Office)

One thing that we notice in our Office 365 Admin Center is that the users are categorized as to where their account is. You’ll notice ‘In cloud’ and ‘Synced with Active Directory’.

As we saw in this blog post, when you create cloud users, you can assign them a license at that time. Since Directory Synchronization creates the users for us, we have to go back and license the users. You can activate and license one or many users at the same time. This can also be done via script through PowerShell; but that’s not covered in this post.



  2. Find the user or users that you wish to activate


  3. Select the user or users


  4. Click Activate Synced User


  5. Select the user location


  6. Select the license and services you want to assign to the user (based on license type)


  7. Click Next


  8. Choose if you want the results to be emailed


  9. Click Activate


  10. Click Finish


One thing to note is that there is no password assigned to the user. This is because the password is keep and authenticated on premise through AD FS.


Getting to know the NEW Office 365

  1. Does Microsoft have FREE training for the NEW Office 365?
  2. Signing up for the NEW Office 365
  3. Adding and Verifying a Domain for the NEW Office 365
  4. Creating Cloud Users for the NEW Office 365
  5. Configuring Desktops for the NEW Office 365
  6. Exchange 2003 Cutover Migration to the NEW Office 365
  7. Exchange 2007 Cutover Migration to the NEW Office 365
  8. Setting up AD FS and Enabling Single Sign-On to the NEW Office 365
  9. Setting up AD FS Proxy Servers for Single Sign-On to the NEW Office 365
  10. Setting up Directory Synchronization with the NEW Office 365
  11. Activating and Licensing a Synchronized User in the NEW Office 365
  12. Testing Single Sign-on to the NEW Office 365
  13. Making the Single Sign-On Solution Highly Available
  14. Exchange Hybrid Deployment with the NEW Office 365

Thanks for visiting and reading my posts. I am always looking for more ideas. Please comment or email me with what you would like to see.

Kelsey Epps

Office 365 MVP

Email Me Follow me on Twitter Connect with me on LinkedIN Facebook Me

7 thoughts on “Activating and Licensing a Synchronized User in the NEW Office 365

  1. Francisco

    Is there any way to make a custom view (under Users and Groups) to display more than the default 20 users on one page? It’ll be much easier to activate whole batches of users this way too.

          1. Jeff Wenzel

            This does not answer the original question, this answer is a work-around.
            I’m also curious.. Is there a way to show more than 20 users at a time while in the Admin Center?

          2. Kelsey EppsKelsey Epps Post author

            Sorry for not being more direct and answering the question with a solution. Short answer is no, so you’ll have to use PowerShell.

  2. Jan Willem

    Seems I found my answer

    Hi Allen,

    Firstly, I’d like to explain that the directory synchronization is used to sync the on-premises AD “objects” to the cloud. Currently, the feature isn’t supported in all Office 365 for Business plans.

    Based on the post tags, you are using Office 365 for Small Business plan.

    If this is the situation, it’s the expected behavior that there isn’t the button to activate directory synchronization in the admin console since the feature isn’t available for such a plan.

    If not, please provide the screenshot of the Active Users page as follows for our further investigation (Generally, for the plans that support directory synchronization such Office 365 Enterprise E3, after clicking the Set up beside Active Directory synchronization, there will be the button).


Leave a Reply