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How To: Migrate Local Profiles to Azure AD User Profiles – same PC or one computer to another

When you transition to Azure AD, one of the obstacles on the way is profile migration – how do you migrate your user profiles from a regular domain to Azure ADDS, without losing user data?

Of course, you can do this manually, by copying user data to the newly created Azure profile, and reconfiguring whichever settings the user needs (or by, ahem, just not doing that). What we are looking for here is a way to automate that migration, and be able to migrate from workgroup or domain profiles to Azure profiles automatically, efficiently and completely.

We’ll cover several scenarios – the typical situation of migration to Azure on existing machines (in-place migration), and the other option being migration from an existing workstation with regular profiles, to a new workstation connected to Azure AD.

Migration to Azure Active Directory – same PC

Migration to Azure Active Directory – one computer to another

Windows User Profile Transfer

Migration to Azure Active Directory – same PC

The typical case of Azure domain migration happens with both profiles (original and Azure) being on the same workstation. This kind of migration is also the more straightforward; data is already on the machine, and you don’t need to deal with network transfers, connectivity etc. – just migrate files, account and settings on that same PC.This approach works for both Workgroup-to-Azure migrations and Domain-to-Azure migrations.

We will use Zinstall Migration Kit Pro to automate that process. Here is how to do that:

How to migrate profiles to Azure AD:

  1. Connect the workstation to Azure AD, and log in as intended Azure AD profile.
  2. Run Zinstall Migration Kit Pro.
    Note: You can get the Kit here, and its user guide here.
  3. Select the last option on the main screen (“Moving from another profile”), and click Next

    Zinstall Enterprise Migration Suite

  4. Select the original profile (the one that you want to migrate from), and click Next.
  5. Press “Go” to start the migration.

That’s it! The profile contents are transferred to the other workstation – and the migration is complete.

Note that you can also use the Kit in command-line mode, which is useful in SCCM and other management tools integration. See “Command Line Execution” in the user guide.

Migration to Azure Active Directory – one computer to another

The other migration scenario is migration to an Azure profile on a different computer – e.g., when you are not just moving to ADDS, but are also doing PC refresh as part of that process.

In this case, the transfer can be done via a network, or via shared storage. We’ll cover the network option for simplicity (shared storage works very similarly, using the same product).

Note that Migration Kit Pro is able to transfer not just the profile, but installed applications as well. When moving to a new computer, this may be quite useful, as this will allow you to migrate the user’s entire environment, without the need to manually install apps on the target machine.


How to migrate profiles to Azure AD – old PC to new PC:

  1. Connect the target machine to your Azure domain, and log in as the intended user Azure AD user profile.
  2. Log in as the source user profile on the source PC.
  3. Run Zinstall Migration Kit Pro on both machines
    Note: You can get the Kit here, and its user guide here.
  4. You can do the transfer either directly between the machines (over the network), or first capture the source into a container, store it on a network share, and then deploy on the target.
  5. If you do NOT want to transfer programs, and are only interested in a profile transfer, switch the radio button on the main screen to “profile and settings only” mode
  6. If you’d like to select exactly what you want to transfer, press the Advanced menu. If you just want to transfer everything, you don’t need to go to the Advanced menu.
  7. Press “Go” on the new computer to start the transfer
  8. The transfer will take a while (depending on how much data you have to transfer), and report to you when done.

That’s it! The profile contents are transferred to the Azure AD profile on the other computer – and the migration is complete.

Note that you can also use the Kit in a command-line mode, which is useful in SCCM and other management tools integration. See “Command Line Execution” in the user guide.

Take the headache out of Azure AD profile migration.

Get Zinstall Migration Kit Pro here

(or contact us for more info and volume discounts).

Video tutorial – user profile migration to Azure AD