How To Do An Azure AD Sync Using Powershell

Here are the step by step instructions on how to do an Azure AD Sync using Powershell.

In today’s digital landscape, businesses rely heavily on cloud-based services such as Microsoft Azure. One crucial aspect of managing Azure is ensuring that Active Directory (AD) is properly synchronized with Azure AD.

This synchronization allows for seamless and secure authentication and access control across on-premises and cloud resources. In this guide, we will explore how to perform Azure AD sync using PowerShell, a powerful scripting language that enables automation and simplifies administrative tasks.

AD Sync Powershell

Section 1: Understanding Azure AD Sync

Before we dive into the technical steps, let’s first understand the concept of Azure AD sync. Azure AD Connect is a tool provided by Microsoft that facilitates the synchronization of identities between on-premises AD and Azure AD. T

his synchronization ensures that user accounts, groups, and other directory objects are consistent and up to date across both environments.

Section 2: Starting PowerShell

To initiate the Azure AD sync process, we need to start PowerShell, the command-line shell and scripting language used for administrative tasks in Windows environments. There are several ways to open PowerShell:

  • Method 1: Press the WinKey + R to open the Run dialog, then type “powershell.exe” and hit Enter.
  • Method 2: Click the Start Menu, type “Powershell” in the search bar, and click on the PowerShell app.
  • Method 3: Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\V1.0\powershell.exe and double-click on it.

Section 3: Connecting to the AD Sync Server (Optional)

If you are running PowerShell on the server where AD Connect is installed, you can skip this step. However, if you are working from a remote machine, you need to connect to the AD Sync server using the Enter-PSSession command. Replace [SERVERNAME] with the name of the server you want to connect to.

Enter-PSSession -ComputerName [SERVERNAME]

Section 4: Importing the ADSync Module

To perform Azure AD sync operations, we need to import the ADSync module into our PowerShell session. This module contains the necessary cmdlets for managing the synchronization process.

Import-Module ADSync

Section 5: Running the Sync Command

Now that we have the ADSync module imported, we can run the sync command to initiate the synchronization process. There are two types of sync: delta sync and full sync.

Delta Sync

The delta sync is the most common type of sync and is used in most situations. It updates only the changes made since the last sync.

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

Full Sync

A full sync is necessary in some situations, such as when you want to perform a complete synchronization from scratch.

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Initial

Section 6: Exiting the PSSession (Optional)

If you connected to the AD Sync server using the Enter-PSSession command, you need to exit the session to terminate the connection. Simply use the Exit command.


Section 7: Remote Synchronization of AD and Azure

In some cases, you may need to perform the Azure AD sync remotely without logging in to the AD Sync server. Here’s how you can achieve that:

  1. Use the Enter-PSSession command to connect to your Azure AD Connect server.
  2. Perform a delta synchronization using the Start-ADSyncSyncCycle command.
  3. Exit the PSSession to terminate the connection.
Enter-PSSession [SERVERNAME]
Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

Section 8: Improved Office 365 Synchronization and Management

Ensuring that Azure is quickly updated when making changes in your local AD can be challenging. However, there are tools available that can simplify the synchronization process and enhance your overall Office 365 management experience.


Easy365Manager is a plugin for AD Users & Computers that simplifies Azure synchronization and Office 365 management tasks. It adds new tabs to user and group properties, allowing you to configure Azure synchronization, Office 365 mailboxes, licenses, and more.

With Easy365Manager, you can perform tasks directly from user properties, such as assigning Office 365 licenses and configuring calendar permissions. This eliminates the need to switch between different tools and reduces administrative complexity.

PowerShell Script

Another option to improve synchronization is by scheduling a PowerShell script to synchronize Azure AD on every AD user change. This script can be set up to run automatically and ensure that Azure AD is always up to date with the latest changes in your on-premises AD.

Section 9: Additional Tips and Considerations

  • Azure AD Connect has a default synchronization schedule of every 30 minutes, which is non-configurable. Keep this in mind when planning your synchronization strategy.
  • Ensure that you have the necessary permissions and administrative access to perform Azure AD sync operations.
  • Regularly monitor the synchronization process and review any error messages or warnings in the Azure AD Connect tool or the PowerShell output.
  • Stay up to date with the latest releases and updates from Microsoft regarding Azure AD Connect and PowerShell cmdlets.

Section 10: Conclusion

Performing Azure AD sync using PowerShell is a crucial task for maintaining a consistent and synchronized identity management system across on-premises and cloud environments. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your AD and Azure AD are always up to date, enabling seamless access control and authentication for your organization.

Remember, whether you choose to use PowerShell directly or leverage tools like Easy365Manager, maintaining synchronization between AD and Azure AD is essential for efficient management of your cloud resources.