How to access and manage your Office 365 tenant with PowerShell


  • Applies to: Administrator
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Needed: Approximately 15 minutes
  • Tools Needed: Office 365® administrator access, 64-Bit Version of Windows®, Microsoft® .NET Framework® 4.5.x, Windows Management Framework® 4.0

For more information about prerequisite terminology, see Cloud Office support terminology.

As an Office 365 administrator, you might have to use PowerShell® to perform certain administrative tasks on your tenant. PowerShell is also useful for performing bulk operations and accessing data.

Install the MSOnline module for PowerShell

Several PowerShell modules are required to manage Office 365. This article covers the primary management module, which is the MSOnline module.

Use the following steps to install the MSOnline module:

  1. Run the Windows PowerShell app with elevated privileges (Run as Administrator).

  2. Type the following command to allow PowerShell to run signed scripts, and hit Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  3. To install the MSOnline module, type the following command, and hit Enter:

    Install-Module MSOnline

    Note: If prompted about installing modules from an untrusted repository, type Y and press Enter.

  4. The following code block is a script that connects you to your Office 365 tenant by using the administrative credentials that you provide. Lines that begin with # are comments relating to the line of code above them. Copy and paste the code block into PowerShell and enter your Global Administrator credentials when prompted:

    Import-Module Msonline
    #Imports the MSOnline module that you just installed
    $Cred = Get-Credential
    #Prompts you for your Administrator credentials and saves them to a variable
    $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $cred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    #Creates a PowerShell session with the Exchange Admin Center using the previously stored credential
    Connect-MsolService -Credential $cred
    #Connects to Office 365 and Azure Active Directory using the previously stored credential
    Import-PSSession $Session
    #Starts your Exchange Online PowerShell Session
  5. After you connect to your Office 365 tenant, we recommend validating your connection by running the following simple command to get a list of all of your users:

  6. When you finish with PowerShell, simply close the PowerShell application.