Upgrading DirSync to AAD Connect is easy


In an earlier blog I showed you that Azure Active Directory Connect is the successor of DirSync and AADSync, both are still supported but will be replaced in the future. So while being in the process of preparing my Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite session at BriForum this month I wanted to upgrade to the latest and greatest. So how do we upgrade DirSync to AAD Connect?

Let’s have a look, the Product Group made it so easy that it is almost Next, Next Finish. 🙂

After downloading the Preview version of Azure Active Directory Connect you can start the installation by using the downloaded MSI file.

The first step is that the system will be scanned and the detected DirSync configuration will be analyzed.

DirSync is being analyzed

After the detection has been done the prerequisites are detected and ready for installation.

Prerequisites are detected and ready for installation

Next the detected prerequisites are being installed.

After the prerequisites are installed the existing version of DirSync needs to be upgraded to Azure Active Directory Connect. All the synchronization settings are migrated to the new synchronization services.
Before the upgrade can start we need to connect to Azure AD so that we are able to gather information about the Azure AD service and configure the synchronization service.
Also the Windows Server AD enterprise admin account for the on premise AD needs to be configured.
Next the DirSync tool will be uninstalled and the Azure Active Directory Connect synchronization service will be installed and configured.
After the configuration is complete, the first synchronization with the newly installed synchronization service will be done.


So now that the DirSync service has been upgraded we may want to add extra features like described in the earlier blog. Looking at the startscreen (or start menu) of Windows Server we see

New shortcuts
New shortcuts

Starting Azure AD Connect allows you to perform additional tasks the Azure AD Connect synchronization service.

Selecting the View the selected scenario option allows you to see and review the current settings.

Information about the current settings

Selecting the option Customize synchronization options allows you to configure optional features like described here.

Configure the optional options
Configure the optional feauters

Till next time.


  1. Have you seen the error that DirSync is configured with options that cannot be automatically upgraded to Azure AD connect?

      1. While I didn’t invest too much time in it I never found anything that pointed me in the right direction so I just removed DirSync and setup AzureAD Connect and all was well.

  2. Users which are performing update have to be member of FIMSyncAdmins local group..

  3. What are the Domain level requirements to move things up to AAD Connect…?. As I understand it you cannot have any Windows Server 2000 servers on the network…?, but is there also any prerequisite for the versions of SQL you have installed on the various servers…?, we have a few Windows Server 2003 machines still, which have SQL 2005 and SQL 2008 R2 installed… Are there any issues with these that I should know about..?

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