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Set up Office 365

 

Topic Last Modified: 2012-06-26

As the administrator for your organization, you’ve signed up for Office 365. You signed in to your Office 365 account, explored the Admin Overview page, and watched the video tour for administrators.

Now what?

As the admin, there are a few important setup tasks you need to do before the people in your organization can use Office 365. This guide leads you through those steps.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Choose your domain and set up user accounts

Do you want your email addresses to use the name of your organization, like @fourthcoffee.com or @contoso.com? Most organizations do. You can do this in Office 365 if you already own a domain. (A domain is the contoso.com part of an email address or URL.)

If you don’t already own a domain, you can use the domain that you get with Office 365, which looks something like contoso.onmicrosoft.com. Before you do anything else, we recommend that you decide which domain to use and then create user accounts (if there’s anyone besides you in your organization).

 

Do key tasks

  1. Decide if you want your email to use your custom domain. If you don’t have a custom domain, you can use the domain that you get with Office 365.
  2. Set up your domain. If you have a custom domain, we’ll show you how to get it working with Office 365. See Options for adding your domain to Office 365.
    If you are using the domain you got from Office 365, go to the next step.
  3. Create user accounts. No matter what kind of domain you have, you need to create user accounts so the people in your organization can sign in and use Office 365. To do this, see either Create or edit users or Add multiple users with bulk import.

You can see domain and user account information by going to the Admin Overview page in Office 365 and, in the left pane, clicking Domains or Users.

Read and plan

  • Don’t have a domain yet but want one? We recommend that you get one and set it up before you create user accounts. See Buy a domain name.
  • Do people in your organization use Macs? Check out Set up your Mac for Office 365 for requirements and tips.

Solve problems

Step 2: Set up email

Office 365 comes with Exchange Online (which provides your email, calendar, contacts, and more) and Outlook Web App (which you can use to read all that information). When you created user accounts in the Step 1, Office 365 automatically created mailboxes for each user. But you control the settings for everyone’s email accounts, including mobile access. You need to decide the best way for your organization to import mail to Office 365.

 

Do key tasks

  1. Control settings for Outlook and Exchange Online:
  2. Import your email into Exchange Online: You can choose the method that works best for your organization:
  3. Control if people can read email on their phone or other mobile device:

Read and plan

Solve problems

Step 3: Set up your team site and documents

SharePoint Online includes team sites. They provide a central place to access your organization’s documents and business information from almost anywhere. One team site is automatically created for your organization when you sign up for Office 365. You’ll need to add documents to the team site and give people permission to access it. You can also customize team sites with shared lists, calendars, pages, and more.

You get Office Web Apps (which includes Excel Web App, OneNote Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and Word Web App) with your team site. You can also save and access other documents to a team site, including documents made with the Office desktop applications.

 

Do key tasks

  1. Set up your team site:
  2. Give people permission to access the team site:
  3. Start using Office Web Apps:
  4. Use Office desktop applications with Office 365:
    If you have Office Professional Plus or another version of Office desktop apps, you can use them with Office 365. First, set up your desktop to work with Office 365. To do this, on the Office 365 portal, in the right pane, click Downloads, and then follow the directions.

Read and plan

Solve problems

Step 4: Set up mobile access

Because Office 365 stores your data in the cloud, you can access that data from cell phones and other mobile devices.

 

Do key tasks

After your email is on Exchange Online (which comes with Office 365), you can read it on a mobile device. You can also receive notifications from the Lync for mobile clients app. As the admin for your organization, you can turn those settings on or off for everybody else:

  1. Set up your own mobile device, if you want to use one with Office 365:
  2. Access documents on your team site:
    In Step 3: Set up your team site and documents you created your organization’s team site and gave the people in your organization permission to access that site. To access your team site from a mobile device, type the site’s URL in your phone’s browser.

Solve problems

Step 5: Set up online communication tools

With Lync, you can see if your coworkers are online and communicate with them through instant messaging (IM), audio calls, or video calls. You can even conduct online presentations that include audio, video, screen-sharing, and a virtual whiteboard.

 

Do key tasks

  1. Choose audio and video devices:
  2. Test your installation:
  3. Review other resources:

Read and plan

Solve problems

Step 6: Set up a public website if you don’t already have one

In addition to managing your team site, you can use SharePoint Online to easily design and customize a professional-looking public website for your organization. (If you already have a website, you can have Office 365 point to it by following Step 1: Choose your domain and set up user accounts. However, you can’t import your current website into Office 365.)

 

Do key tasks

Read and plan

Solve problems

Step 7: Get everybody ready

After you’ve set up Office 365, you have another task—preparing and training the people in your organization.

 

Do key tasks

  1. Test Office 365 for yourself.
    After you’ve set up the services and features mentioned in this guide, test them yourself before you let your organization use them. Testing saves you a lot of time, and may reduce the number of support calls you get later.
  2. Tell your organization what to expect.
    Send an email message to the people in your organization, telling them that they will soon be using Office 365. To learn more about Office 365 they can watch the videos in the user tour.
  3. Send instructions to each user.
    Each user should have their user ID and temporary password, which were sent to them by Office 365 when you created their user accounts. When you are ready to roll out Office 365, send each person an email message that contains the information they need to get started.

Solve problems

As the admin at your organization, you’re probably the person everyone goes to for help. That will probably also be true for Office 365. If you get asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, there are resources specifically for admins like you.

More resources:

  • Office 365 Help Home: Help topics written by the Office 365 team.
  • Wiki posts
  • Community forums, where you can ask experts your questions, including Microsoft Online Services Technical Support representatives.
  • You can also hire a partner to support Office 365 for your organization.
 

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