Moving a GoDaddy O365 hosted domain to Exchange on-Prem utilizing EOP

Recently, I had a client acquire an organization that used GoDaddy’s O365 offerings.  My client utilizes Exchange on-prem, and is protected with Exchange Online Protection (EOP), which is part of Microsoft’s O365 offerings (and included with Exchange Enterprise Edition User CALs purchased through Open Value Licensing Software Assurance).  My client wanted to add the acquired organization’s domain name to their Exchange server so the new employees would still be sending emails from the old domain name.  Well that should be no big deal – it was not a huge organization that was acquired, (less than a handful of people), and they didn’t have massive amounts of email in their mailboxes (less than 1GB total amongst all of them), so I figured it would pretty simple.  Log into each O365 mailbox, export to a PST for backup, remove the domain from the acquired organization’s tenant in O365, add it to my customer’s tenant, add it to Exchange on-prem, and set the address policy for these users.

And these steps worked, but not as I had originally planned.  GoDaddy rebrands their O365 offerings in the GoDaddy way of doing things, and completely blocks the users from reaching the real O365 Admin portal, which is where the domain setup for the tenant is.  This means it’s impossible to add or remove domain names from the tenant.  And because my client was using EOP – I had to no option but to remove the domain from the old tenant before I could add the new domain name to the client’s tenant (because it was already bound to the acquired organization’s tenant, and a domain name can only be bound to one tenant at a time in O365).  So off I went to do some research.

The secret to removing the acquired company’s domain name from the original tenant was to use GoDaddy’s rebranded and simplified admin portal to first delete all the mailboxes associated with the acquired company (make sure you export them to PST first!), then once that was done, from the GoDaddy account products portal, select options for O365 and then select “cancel account”.  This only cancels the O365 portion of the account – nothing else.  Once cancelled, go make a quick cup of coffee, and by the time you get back to your desk, the domain name will have been removed from O365, allowing you to then add it to a different tenant through the normal O365 Admin portal setup / domain wizard.

Finally, all that was left to do was add the new domain name to Exchange on-prem, change the default email address of the new employees, test inbound and outbound email as them, and import their PSTs.

And as always:

Use any tips, tricks, or scripts I post at your own risk.

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