More details about features in preview

This topic describes how to use features currently in preview.

Group writeback

The option for group writeback in optional features allows you to writeback Office 365 Groups to a forest with Exchange installed. This is a group that is always mastered in the cloud. If you have Exchange on-premises, then you can write back these groups to on-premises so users with an on-premises Exchange mailbox can send and receive emails from these groups.

More information about Office 365 Groups and how to use them can be found here.

An Office 365 group is represented as a distribution group in on-premises AD DS. Your on-premises Exchange server must be on Exchange 2013 cumulative update 8 (released in March 2015) or Exchange 2016 to recognize this new group type.

Notes during the preview

  • The address book attribute is currently not populated in the preview. Without this attribute, the group is not visible in the GAL. The easiest way to populate this attribute is to use the Exchange PowerShell cmdlet update-recipient.
  • Only forests with the Exchange schema are valid targets for groups. If no Exchange was detected, then group writeback is not possible to enable.
  • Only single-forest Exchange organization deployments are currently supported. If you have more than one Exchange organization on-premises, then you need an on-premises GALSync solution for these groups to appear in your other forests.
  • The Group writeback feature does not handle security groups or distribution groups.


A subscription to Azure AD Premium is required for group writeback.

User writeback


The user writeback preview feature was removed in the August 2015 update to Azure AD Connect. If you have enabled it, then you should disable this feature.

Next steps

Continue your Custom installation of Azure AD Connect.

Learn more about Integrating your on-premises identities with Azure Active Directory.