How To Associate Your Microsoft Account With An Office 365 Exchange Hosted Email Address

Office 365 Exchange Online Plan 1 is great for hosting email on your personal domain. At £36 a year, aka £3 per month you get an enterprise grade Exchange inbox.

However if you have setup your domain in the Microsoft 365 admin center, then try to change the primary email address on your Microsoft Account to an email address hosted with Office 365 Exchange, you are greeted with the following error: “You can’t add a work or school email address as an alias to a personal Microsoft account. Please try another.”

So basically if your paying Microsoft to host email for your personal domain, you then can’t associate your Microsoft account with any email address on that domain, or can you?

Historically you could, however that changed in 2016 as this was apparently causing a great deal of confusion in some business between what an Office 365 account and Microsoft account was, so Microsoft blocked the ability to associate both with the same email address.

However I know things work fine if you do have both a Microsoft account and an Office 365 account associated with the same domain as i’ve been doing it for years with my personal eu domain. However due to the UK leaving the EU i’ve had to switch over to a .me.uk domain, which is where i first discovered this issue.

However after a bit of messing about I did discover a way to associate both a personal Microsoft account and an Office 365 account with the same domain where email is hosted with Office 365 exchange.

First if you have associated your domain with Office 365 you need to delete your domain in https://admin.microsoft.com/

Delete Office 365 Domain

When you have deleted the domain you then need to wait a few hours for this to propagate to all Microsoft servers.

During this time you need to host email for the domain you wish to use in Office 365 elsewhere, if you have a webhosting account with gives you a few email inboxes this would be ideal.

If you have your domain registered with Namecheap, as long as your using Namecheap to host your domains DNS then you can add a catch all email address  for your domain in their admin panel, I simply did this to forward any incoming email’s to another inbox, such as a Gmail / Hotmail address:

Namecheap Catch All Email Forwarding

My domains DNS were hosted with Cloudflare, so I did have to temporary move them back to Namecheap to do this.

Once your domain has deleted from Office 365 and you can receive email with the domain you wish to use with your personal Microsoft Account and Office 365 elsewhere you can now log in to https://account.microsoft.com/ and click edit profile:

Edit Microsoft Account

On the edit profile page click “Manage how you sign in to Microsoft”, you should then be able to click “add email address” and do so without getting the error “You can’t add a work or school email address as an alias to a personal Microsoft account. Please try another.”

Microsoft Account Alias Office 365 Exchange Domain

If you do get the “You can’t add a work or school email address as an alias to a personal Microsoft account. Please try another.” then you need to wait a bit longer as it hasn’t propagated to all Microsoft’s servers that your domain is no longer hosted with Office 365.

You should now be able to add your desired email address to the Microsoft account you wish to also use Office 365 Exchange Email with and receive the confirmation email thanks to the email forwarding we setup above.

Once you have received the confirmation email you can set your new email address as your primary alias.

Now everything is set for the Microsoft account you can add your domain back to Office 365 and change your DNS settings to allow Office 365 Exchange to host your email, still having your Microsoft Account associated with the domain you are hosing email for on Office 365.

Hopefully this helps someone out who wishes to use Office 365 Exchange to host email for their personal domain. I can totally understand why Microsoft have blocked you from having both a Microsoft account and an Office 365 account hosted with the same domain, as it can get confusing if you don’t understand the difference between the two. However someone like me who just wants to use Office 365 Exchange to host their personal email I see no issue with this, everything has worked fine for me when Microsoft actually allowed this to be done.

What this does show is Microsoft really need to allow some official way for Office 365 / Microsoft accounts to be linked without causing confusion.

EU Domains To Be Revoked From UK Citizens, Faith In .EU Domains Lost

Years ago when looking at choosing a domain for my personal email and blog, I looked at various different domain options. In the end I settled on matthill.me.uk as it was available. Another perceived benefit was .eu was shorter to type than .com or co.uk (not that my name was available for either TDL’s).

I had little desire to purchase a vanity domain such as .blog for example, many of these are controlled by companies, which might not exist in the future, or significantly increase their prices at a later date. As you might have noticed many of these vanity domains get very expensive after the first year.

Anyway, after reading the Eurid website and concluding a .EU domain was for me I registered my domain, gradually transferring all my online accounts over to my .EU domain. Since then over the years I’ve also built this blog up, publishing articles when I have something worthwhile to share with like minded people.

Now fast forward to the present day, just over half the people in the UK who voted chose to leave the .EU. Unfortunately because  the UK is leaving the EU it appears UK citizens will have their .EU domains revoked. This is due to happen on the 31st March 2019 in a no-deal Brexit scenario, or on the 1st January 2021 with a deal in place according to Eurids Brexit notice.

Needless to say this poses a massive security risk to any UK citizen who purchased an .EU domain and is actively using it for their personal email / online presence. I now have to log in to every online service I use and change the email associated with that service to an alternative non .EU domain before 1st March 2019. After that I presume my domain will become available for registration again, if not immediately then at some point in the future.

This will allow anyone who purchases the domain in the future to recover any accounts I leave associated with my domain. In addition it will allow them to receive any email’s sent to me by contacts who don’t update their address book with my new email address.

Another major problem is I will also have to change this blogs domain from matthill.me.uk to a new non .EU domain, this means I will loose any linkbacks from other sites which link to my past blog posts. I can obviously redirect them in the time I still have control of matthill.me.uk, however once the domain is revoked those linkbacks are essentially useless.

Needless to say the EU are well and truly screwing over UK citizens who own .EU domains… if we have to have our domains revoked, it would be nice to have some assurances no one else will be allowed to register the domain anytime soon. As it stands at the moment a spammer / scammer could well own my domain this time next year.

With the above in mind I have to wonder what European citizen or business would knowingly purchase and use a .EU domain to use for anything worthwhile, knowing it could be revoked for political reasons out their control in the future. I suspect many never believed the UK would actually leave the EU, I certainly didn’t.

After Brexit it’s more than possible other counties could leave the EU in the future.

Hopefully European citizens think twice before purchasing an .EU domain, I certainly would if I was still going to be a citizen in an EU country. I’d recommend people stick to a domain extension which belongs to their country or the traditional .com, .net or .org domains.

.EU domains shouldn’t be seen as a safe option for any sort of web presence, I’ve certainly learned a hard lesson here.

Update GPO ADMX Templates For Windows 10 1703 Creators Update

Microsoft have released the ADMX templates for the Windows 10 1703 Creators Update. Updating your ADMX templates will allow you to configure GPO objects specific to the Windows 10 1703 Creators Update. In addition if you are using Server 2012 for example and have never installed any previous ADMX Templates For Windows 10, installing this ADMX Template update will give you the ability to configure Windows 10 Group Policy settings.

To do this first download the Administrative Templates (.admx) for the Windows 10 Creators Update

Next install the updated Administrative Templates for Windows 10 1703 Creators Update, i simply installed these to the default location.

Next navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update\PolicyDefinitions or the location you installed the templates to:

Now open C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

If the PolicyDefinitions folder does not exist, simply create this. If you have never installed ADMX Templates before this folder will likely not exist.

Now copy all the .admx files in the root of C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Group Policy\Windows 10 Creators Update\PolicyDefinitions along with the folder for your language (for myself this was en-US) to C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions

The end result should be you have the language folder and the .admx files in C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\your-domain.local\Policies\PolicyDefinitions as shown below:

 

When you edit your group policy you will now see you can configure Windows 10 only features, for example: