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Active Directory proxy addresses allow you to map additional SMTP addresses to a user account. This enables sending and receiving emails from alternate addresses. Proxy addresses are commonly used for aliases, shared mailboxes, distribution lists, and more.
PowerShell provides a simple way to manage proxy addresses in bulk for Active Directory users. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover how to add, view, and remove proxy email addresses using PowerShell scripts.
Overview of Proxy Addresses
Here’s a quick overview of how proxy email addresses function in Active Directory:
Users can have multiple proxy addresses beyond their primary SMTP address.
Emails sent to any of the proxy addresses will get delivered to the user’s mailbox.
Useful for shared mailboxes, aliases, external domains, DLs, etc.
Proxy addresses appear as additional emails when looking up the user.
Set on user accounts in Active Directory then sync to Exchange Online.
Duplicates – Proxies must be unique. Remove any dupes or typos causing issues.
Deliverability problems – If emails to a proxy address don’t work, re-sync to Exchange after adding it.
Invalid format – Proxy must be a valid email like “[email protected]”. Fix any formatting issues.
Exchange attribute limit – If you exceed the 500 proxy limit, remove unused legacy addresses.
Addressing these common scenarios when managing proxy addresses will help avoid problems.
Automating Proxy Management
Here are some ways to further automate proxy address management:
Use a GUI – Tools like Active Directory Users & Computers provide a user interface for updating proxies.
Integrate with HR systems – Automate proxy assignments and changes based on HR employee records.
Sync from cloud directories – Tools like Azure AD Connect can sync proxy changes from the cloud to AD.
Manage with scripts – Schedule and run PowerShell scripts to routinely add/update proxies.
Automating parts of the proxy management process can save administrative time and effort.
Best Practices for Proxy Addresses
When working with proxy email addresses, follow these best practices:
Only assign proxies needed for valid business purposes.
Keep the primary SMTP address as the user’s main email.
Watch out for duplicate or invalid proxy formats.
Remove old, unused proxies to avoid hitting Exchange limits.
Avoid typos and misspellings that could cause deliverability issues.
Confirm changes replicate successfully to Exchange Online.
Automate and schedule regular proxy updates where possible.
Adhering to these best practices will keep your proxy environment clean and minimize administrative overhead.
Managing proxy email addresses in Active Directory is straightforward using PowerShell:
Retrieve existing proxy addresses with Get-ADUser
Add or remove individual proxies with Set-ADUser
Build proxy address arrays for bulk changes
Import CSV files to modify many users
Automate with scripts and HR system integration
Following the examples in this guide will allow you to efficiently manage proxies for AD user mailboxes at scale. Properly assigning proxy addresses enables functionality for aliases, distribution groups, shared mailboxes and more.
For more on proxy address management in Active Directory, refer to these resources:
Using the techniques in this guide along with Microsoft’s additional documentation will enable you to become proficient in managing Active Directory proxy addresses via PowerShell scripts and automation.
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