Upgrading a Distribution Group fails

Microsoft 365 Groups are a more modern way to work in teams and distribute email messages. We still have the option to use classic distribution groups.

Exchange Online provides us with an option to upgrade classic distribution groups to Unified Groups, which is the Exchange Online term for Microsoft 365 Groups.

When you try to upgrade an existing distribution group, you might receive an error.

PS C:> Upgrade-DistributionGroup -DlIdentities info@varunagroup.de
RunspaceId                      : b7f07a8b-cec0-45e8-a50d-00c278d48d76dl
Identity                        : info@varunagroup.de
ErrorReason                     : The specified distribution group is not eligible to be upgraded or you are not allowed to upgrade this distribution group.
ExternalDirectoryObjectId       : 0352193a-XXXXSuccessfully
SubmittedForUpgrade : False
Identity                        :
IsValid                         : False
ObjectState                     : Unchanged

When you get this error, verify that the distribution group owner is a licensed user. While there is no such requirement for a classic distribution group, the owner of a Unified Group must be a licensed user. After adjusting the group owner the upgrade is successful.

PS C:> Upgrade-DistributionGroup -DlIdentities info@Varunagroup.de
RunspaceId                      : b7f07a8b-cec0-45e8-a50d-00c278d48d76dl
Identity                        : info@varunagroup.de
ErrorReason                     :ExternalDirectory
ObjectId                        : 0352193a-1XXXX
SuccessfullySubmittedForUpgrade : True
Identity                        :
IsValid                         : True
ObjectState                     : Changed


Enjoy Exchange Online.

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