Install Azure AD Connect and sync to Azure AD

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In this blog post I will go through the process of installing and configuring Azure AD Connect in a lab environment within the Azure Portal. I will also sync a test OU and a couple of test users to Azure AD.

I already have a Azure trial subscription with a custom domain configured and verified within Azure AD. I have also built a server within Azure for Azure AD Connect and also have a single domain controller (Windows 2019 server) hosted in the Azure Portal.

You may find the links below interesting:

Add a custom domain to Azure AD
Create a VNET within the Azure Portal
How to configure Azure Bastion to connect to Azure VM’s securely from within the Portal
Build a server within the Azure Portal (Build a low spec server if you’re just testing
Assign server static IP address within Azure
Configure a new AD Forest and AD domain

Please note, the links above demonstrate builds within a Lab environment. Please follow best practice depending on the solutions you’re building in your production environment.

If you don’t have access to the Azure Portal, you can setup a free month trial account at Azure Free Trial.

Ok, so we’re all set. Let’s get started with installing Azure AD Connect and syncing some test accounts to Azure AD!

  1. As you’ll see from within Azure AD, the current status of Azure AD Connect is not enabled and a sync has never taken place. You can locate the below info by clicking Azure Active Directory and then the overview option found in the left pane.

2. I have built a server within the Azure Portal, and for the purpose of this Lab, I have assigned the server a public IP address and opened the RDP port. Something you don’t want to do in a production environment.

So i’m RDP’ing to my newly built server in Azure

3. Download Azure AD Connect. From the Azure Portal, click on Azure Active Directory and from the left pane click Azure AD Connect

4. Click Download Azure AD Connect. You can also down the Azure AD Connect app from the Microsoft website

5. Click download

6. Launch the AzureADConnect MSI file

7. Allow the install to initiate

8. When ready, click I agree to the license terms and privacy notice. Click continue.

9. For the purpose of this demo, i’ll be clicking use express settings. In most cases this option does the job. Take a look at the customize option if you have different requirements, such as specifying a custom location for or connecting the application to a dedicated SQL server.

10. Provide credentials. This is a one off authentication for now. You will be required to login again each time you wish to make changes to the application.

If you receive a password expiry message. Login with the account at and change your password when prompted.

11. When connected to Azure successfully, you’ll move on and be prompted to type in a domain account.

12. Input details and click next

13. For now, I am going to untick the option to start the synchronization process. I only want to sync a couple of accounts to Azure AD as part of this demo. Click Install. The process may take up to 10 mins

14. Now that you have Azure AD Connect installed, launch the application. For the purpose of this demo, I created a test OU and a couple of test accounts as shown below.

15. Click configure

16. Please familiarise yourself with the other options that Azure AD Connect offers. For the purpose of this demo, I will only be configuring Azure AD Connect to sync a couple of accounts to Azure AD.

Click Customize synchronization options and click next.

17. You will be prompted for your global admin account

18. Click next

19. For the purpose of this demo, i’m syncing the cloudbuild OU containing two test users to Azure AD. See screen shot below. Click next

20. Click next. Please study the other options

21. Start the sync process and click configure

22. We’re done. Let’s move onto the Azure Portal and check the results

23. Success

Stay tuned for the next blog post

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