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When you migrate mailboxes to Exchange Online – Microsoft 365, you might want to add a new Exchange Server that will act as the Exchange Hybrid server. If you only migrate and remove the server or keep it only for management purposes, you don’t have to buy an Exchange Server license. Microsoft provides a free Exchange Hybrid license for Exchange Server. Let’s look at how to use the free Exchange Hybrid license and which Exchange Servers are supported.

 

Introduction

We have two Exchange Servers running in the organization:

  • EX01-2019
  • EX02-2019

EX01-2019 has an Enterprise license.

Exchange Server Enterprise licensed

EX02-2019 is a new Exchange Server with no license. This means it’s in Trial.

Exchange Server trial enter product key

Let’s look at how to license EX02-2019 with a free Exchange Hybrid license.

Exchange Hybrid license support

The free Exchange Hybrid license supports the following Exchange Servers:

  • Exchange Server 2010
  • Exchange Server 2013
  • Exchange Server 2016
  • Exchange Server 2019 (Exchange Server 2019 CU12 or later)

Always configure the newest hybrid deployment version that’s supported in your organization as described in the following table:

On-premises environment Exchange 2019-based hybrid deployment Exchange 2016-based hybrid deployment Exchange 2013-based hybrid deployment Exchange 2010-based hybrid deployment
Exchange 2019 Supported Not supported Not supported Not supported
Exchange 2016 Supported Supported Not supported Not supported
Exchange 2013 Supported Supported Supported Not supported
Exchange 2010 Not supported Supported Supported Supported

License Exchange Hybrid server

The Exchange Hybrid license will retrieve from Microsoft 365 after entering the Microsoft 365 credentials in the Hybrid Configuration Wizard. Follow the below steps to acquire the Exchange Hybrid license.

1. Download Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW)

Download Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) from the following link: https://aka.ms/HybridWizard.

Suppose that the Hybrid Configuration Wizard setup doesn’t download or can’t start.

2. Run Hybrid Configuration Wizard

We recommend running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard on the Exchange Server for which you want to get the Exchange Hybrid license. This will ensure that the correct Exchange Server is detected when the HCW runs.

Note: You don’t have to go through all the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW) steps to retrieve the Exchange Hybrid license and license the server. The first screen in HCW and signing with your Microsoft 365 credentials to retrieve the Exchange Hybrid license is all you need. You can go through the HCW another time.

  • Run the Hybrid Configuration Wizard
  • Click on Next
FREE Exchange Hybrid license Hybrid Configuration Wizard start

3. Get Exchange Hybrid license

The Hybrid Configuration Wizard will collect all the information in the organization and tell which Exchange Server is appropriate to use for Exchange Hybrid.

  • Click on License this server now
  • Sign in with your Microsoft 365 credentials
FREE Exchange Hybrid license license this server now

The license retrieval is successfully applied to the Exchange Hybrid server.

  • Click on copy product key to copy the key
  • Click on cancel to exit the HCW
FREE Exchange Hybrid license copy product key

The Exchange Server is licensed with a free Exchange Hybrid license.

4. Verify Exchange Hybrid license

To check that you successfully licensed the Exchange Hybrid server:

  • Sign in to Exchange admin center
  • Click on servers > servers
  • Select the Exchange Hybrid server
  • Check that it shows Hybrid Deployment Licensed
FREE Exchange Hybrid license hybrid deployment licensed

Exchange Hybrid License FAQ

If my organization is Hybrid with Microsoft 365 and I do not host mailboxes on-premises, do I still need to license Exchange Server?
If you do not host any mailboxes on the servers connected to Microsoft 365, you can license them using the Microsoft 365 Hybrid Configuration Wizard (HCW). The HCW validates your Microsoft 365 subscription and installs the appropriate licenses on your servers.

If I have already licensed a server using a Hybrid key, and I want to re-license it with a Standard Edition key or Enterprise Edition key, how do I do that?
You can use PowerShell to enter the new product key.

If I have deployed multiple Hybrid Edition servers for redundancy purposes, can I get multiple Hybrid Edition server keys?
You can use the same key on multiple Exchange Hybrid servers.

If I have an Exchange Server Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition, do I need to license the Exchange Server with a Hybrid key to get the Hybrid functionalities?
The Hybrid license will not give you extra functionalities. You can use the Exchange Server Standard or Enterprise Edition license.

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