Setting up a new Office 365 Tenant

Setting up a new Office 365 tenant may seem daunting, but actually it is a pretty simple process. In this blog we will take you through step-by-step from going to http://www.office365.com through to having a tenant fully functional.

Step 1: Go to http://www.office365.com

Office 365 Home

Office 365 Home

Step 2: Click Home or Business

In our case we’re chosing Business

Office 365 Business

Office 365 Business

Step 3: Click See Plans & Pricing

Office 365 Plans and PricingOffice 365 Business

Office 365 Plans and PricingOffice 365 Business

Step 4: Click More Details for the plan you want

In our case we’re choosing Office 365 Business Essentials, but you may want to pick one of the other plans depending on the features that you are after

Office 365 Business Essentials

Office 365 Business Essentials

Step 5: Click the Free Trial with Office 365 Business Premium

We always love a freebie, and a one month free trial is perfect for getting everything set up and tested. Enter your details on this next page.

Office 365 Welcome Top

Office 365 Welcome Top

Office 365 Welcome Bottom

Office 365 Welcome Bottom

Step 6: Click Next

Enter your user account details on this next page. Here you also choose your own domain prefix. I’ve chosen nbcmt and you can choose whatever you want that isn’t taken. This name is really an under the cover name, since you will probably want a user friendly name for people to actually use (see further down this setup guide)

Office 365 Create User ID

Office 365 Create User ID

Step 7: Click Next

Now we have to prove that we’re not a robot, this can be done via a text message or an automated call. For the purposes of this guide, we will choose text message

Office 365 Prove you're not a Robot

Office 365 Prove you’re not a Robot

Step 8: Click Text Me

This will cause Microsoft to send you a text message with a code. Enter this code in this next screen. Also indicate if you want to be contacted with other products and services

Office 365 Prove Identity Top

Office 365 Prove Identity Top

Office 365 Prove Identity Bottom

Office 365 Prove Identity Bottom

Step 9: Click Create My Account

Microsoft will now set up your tenant with a very basic configuration.

Office 365 Creating Your Account

Office 365 Creating Your Account

Office 365 Account Created

Office 365 Account Created

Step 10: Click You’re ready to go!

Right we now have a basic Office 365 tenant, that can send and receive mail, as well as do Lync chats. If you chose one of the other plans then you may have additional services like SharePoint as well. However, using the onmicrosoft.com name isn’t that user friendly. So let’s tie a DNS or email domain to our tenant in the next set of steps.

Office 365 Dashboard

Office 365 Dashboard

Step 11: Click on Domains in the left navigation bar

Office 365 Dashboard - Domains

Office 365 Dashboard – Domains

Step 12: Click Add Domain

Office 365 Add Domain

Office 365 Add Domain

Step 13: Click Let’s Get Started

Enter your email or DNS domain name (you will need to prove that you own it as we go on, so choose a domain you have bought)

Office 365 Type Domain Name

Office 365 Type Domain Name

Step 14: Click Next

Microsoft now wants us to prove that we own this domain by giving us a specific record that we have to add.

Office 365 Add Domain TXT

Office 365 Add Domain TXT

Step 15: Add the TXT record to DNS

We switch to another browser window and go to our DNS domain provider. In our case we are using FastHosts but you may be using a different provider, in general the steps are similar for adding this record.

Office 365 Add Domain TXT FastHosts

Office 365 Add Domain TXT FastHosts

Switch back to the browser window for the new tenant

Office 365 Add Domain TXT Verify

Office 365 Add Domain TXT Verify

Step 16: Click Okay, I’ve added the record

Hurrah, we’ve added the DNS Domain!

Office 365 Domain Added

Office 365 Domain Added

Step 17: Click Next

Now we will update any existing users (in our case just our administrative account) so that it uses our nice easy to use and remember email address

Office 365 Update Users Top

Office 365 Update Users Top

Office 365 Update Users Bottom

Office 365 Update Users Bottom

Step 18: Click Update Selected Users

Office 365 Update Users Success

Office 365 Update Users Success

Step 19: Click Next

Now that our own user account has been updated we need to log back in

Office 365 Update Users Logoff

Office 365 Update Users Logoff

Office 365 Update Users Logon

Office 365 Update Users Logon

Once you’ve logged back in then you can add more users if you want to do that now. You can always do that later via the main dashboard, or via a Directory Synchronization process from your own AD

Office 365 Add Users

Office 365 Add Users

Step 20: Click Skip this Step

Office 365 Additional DNS

Office 365 Additional DNS

Step 21: Click Next

Tick the services that you want to run in your tenant. I think most people will just select all of them

Office 365 Choose Services

Office 365 Choose Services

Step 22: Click Next

Microsoft now shows you all of the DNS records that you need to add to your domain. You can click the (Change) link towards the top of the page to even get Microsoft to add the DNS records for you for certain DNS providers. Be careful here though. If you are currently using the domain for services like email, you may want to wait until the tenant is fully configured and tested before you let it receive all of your Internet email.

Office 365 Additional DNS Top

Office 365 Additional DNS Top

Office 365 Additional DNS Bottom

Office 365 Additional DNS Bottom

Step 23: Click Okay, I’ve added these records

Office 365 Finish

Office 365 Finish

Step 24: Click Finish

Yaye! we’re all done, and our friendly DNS domain has been added.

Office 365 Done

Office 365 Done

Wow that wasn’t too bad was it! You can now configure your Office 365 tenant exactly how you want. If all of this is too much work or you are uncertain about any part of it, please contact us and we can help you through the process or provide on going support.

Good Luck!

Twan van Beers

Twan is a senior consultant with over 20 years of experience. He has a wide range of skills including Messaging, Active Directory, SQL, Networking and Firewalls. Twan loves to write scripts and get deep and dirty into debugging code, in order to understand and resolve the most complex of problems.

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