Configuring Office 365 Preferred Language Settings


Office 365 empower organizations to use cloud based services for their business to ensure anytime anywhere access to corporate information. When you setup Office 365 tenant for an organization with offices in different regions then you’re also required to empower your end users to setup up their own preferred language settings in Office 365. For example, if you have a user in Japan then his preference will be to use Japanese language for his Office 365 portal instead of using English. In Office 365 you can set up language settings for users based on how you setup identities in Office 365. You can easily update language settings for users using PowerShell. Preferred language settings depends on how user identity is provisioned. If you have cloud based identities then you need to use Azure AD to modify the user account properties in Office 365. If you are using Azure AD Connect to sync on-premises active directory accounts with Office 365, then you have to update the settings in local active directory.

Configuring Office 365 Preferred Language Settings for Cloud Identities

Configuring Office 365 language settings for cloud based identities requires you to connect with Azure AD powershell. Perform the following steps to configure these settings.

  • Connect with Azure AD powershell using global admin credentials

C:\> Connect-MsolService

Configuring Office 365 Preferred Language Settings

  • Run the following cmdlet to configure the preferred language settings for user to Urdu

PS C:\> Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName -PreferredLanguage “ur-PK”

  • To verify the language settings for the user account, run the following PS cmdlet

PS C:\> Get-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName | fl PreferredLanguage

Configuring Office 365 Preferred Language Settings

Configuring Office 365 Preferred Language Settings for Synced Identities

When you are using synced identities with Office 365, you need to modify the on-premises user attribute in Active Directory to setup preferred language in Office 365. To modify the preferred language in Office 365 to Urdu for a user Phil, you need to set the “PreferredLanguage” attribute in user account properties in Active Directory. By default, this attribute does not contain any value and set to use English as default language.

  • To modify the individual user account properties, you can run the following PowerShell cmdlet.

Set-ADUser -Replace @{‘PreferredLanguage’=”ur-PK”}

  • To update the preferred language attribute in a specific OU, run the following cmdlet.

Get-ADUser SearchBase “OU=Test,OU=IT, DC=msexperttalk,DC=com” Filter * Properties PreferredLanguage | ForEach-Object {Set-ADUser $_.SAMAccountName –replace @{PreferredLanguage=“ur-PK”}}

  • To update the preferred language attribute of users in a specific domain, run the following cmdlet. Following cmdlet will set the attribute for those users who do not have any this attribute setup.

Set-AdServerSettings -RecipientViewRoot “”
#Change language to ur-PK for all users with a setting of NULL in the domain
Get-ADUser -SearchBase “DC=msexperttalk,DC=com” -Filter * -Properties PreferredLanguage | where {$_.PreferredLanguage -eq $null} | Select SAMAccountName | ForEach-Object {Set-ADUser $_.SAMAccountName –replace @{PreferredLanguage=”ur-PK”}}

Preferred Language attribute settings will update the language for the following in Office 365.

  • Office 365 Default Landing page
  • General settings and menu
  • Office 365 Management portal
  • Video
  • Groups
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Delve
  • Office Online
  • Planner

To review a complete list of available language codes, please visit the Microsoft TechNet site.

Upgrade Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect

As Azure AD Connect is now generally available to replace AAD Sync for synchronize on prem active directory to Azure Active Directory. Now, It’s time to think about upgrading your existing deployment of Azure AD Sync tool and use the latest and greatest code from Microsoft. With Azure AD Connect we can perform an in-place upgrade from Azure ADSync to Azure AD Connect.

You can download Azure AD Connect tool from Microsoft website. Once you download the Azure AD connect tool, perform the following steps to perform an in place upgrade of Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect tool.

  • Run Azure AD Connect setup files on Azure AD Sync server.
  • Azure AD Connect setup will automatically detect the existing install of AAD Sync.
  • Accept the license agreement and click on Continue.

Upgrade Azure AD Sync to Azure AD Connect

Make sure that you’ve stopped the synchronization of Azure AD Sync tool during the upgrade. This will not impact your existing configuration/synchronization of AAD Sync tool.


  • Provide your Azure Active Directory admin credentials to connect with Azure AD. This account must be a global administrator. Click on Next


  • Select if you would like to immediately synchronize your identities with office 365 after the tool is deployed. If you have filtering requirements then uncheck this option. Click on Upgrade


  • Once the configuration is completed you’ll see a tip for syncing Windows 10 domain joined computers to Azure AD as registered devices. Click on Exit.


  • After you click on Exit, you’ll see an Azure AD connect icon on your desktop. You can perform limited administrative tasks by double clicking on that. You can view current configuration, customization options and configure staging mode for Azure AD Connect.



  • In windows server start menu, search for Synchronization Rules and you will notice utilities such as the Synchronization Rules Editor, Synchronization Service, and the Azure AD PowerShell etc for advanced filtering and administration of the tool.


Azure AD Connect is now Generally Available

On June 24, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure AD Connect tool, which has been in public preview for some time.

We’re thrilled to announce that as of today Azure AD Connect is now generally available for all Azure AD customers including Office 365 customers. Azure AD Connect is the single tool and experience for connecting your on premises directories to Azure AD, whether you are evaluating, piloting, or in production.

Azure AD Connect is the new version of Directory Synchronization tool which includes number of new features and enhancement over the old version of directory synchronization Azure AD Sync tool. Some of the new features of Azure AD Connect tool are:

Azure AD Connect is now Generally Available

  • Self-service password reset for users in cloud with write-back to on premises Active Directory. Previously this feature was included in Azure AD Premium which requires additional license.
  • Cloud based user can write back to your on premises active directory. This enables administrators to create a user in Cloud and write back the user in on premises Active Directory.
  • Groups in Office 365 can be write back to on premises distribution groups. This requires Active Directory forest with Exchange installed/ AD schema extended for Exchange.
  • Device write back to enforce Access Control policies in ADFS to recognize devices that registered with Azure AD. This includes the recently announced support for Azure AD Join in Windows 10.
  • Custom directory attributes can be synced to your Azure Active Directory tenant.
  • Azure AD Connect tool can be downloaded from Microsoft Website.