Reclaiming a Domain: Unlocking a Domain Previously Used with Microsoft 365

In my earlier post titled Domain Reuse Headaches I shared how I encountered a frustrating problem while attempting to enable Microsoft 365 for an Internet domain I purchased from GoDaddy.

The same domain was previously used by another company and registered in their Microsoft 365 tenant, resulting in the error message, “the domain is already added to a different Microsoft 365 organization.”

To resolve the issue, I had to open a case with Microsoft Support and received a case number (34940089) which may be helpful as a reference for anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation.

What does NOT work:

  • Any action on you side (PowerShell scripts, adding custom domains in Azure or Take over an unmanaged directory, as I explain later in this post)
  • Talking with the company you used to buy the Internet domain (GoDaddy or anybody else)

What is the correct process:

  • The case has to be managed by the Data Protection team in Microsoft
  • The email address that opened the case will receive in email asking to “Reply to all with the sentence: “I approve this domain(s) removal request and acknowledge possible service interruption.”
  • Microsoft will be in touch with the previous owners of the domain to notify them about the domain being connected to a different tenant
  • As soon as you get a confirmation mail from the Microsoft support you can add the domain with no issue

A couple of additional notes:

  • When you confirm that you want to start the removal process and Microsoft has done the required checks, ALL THE DATA related to that domain in the previous Microsoft 365 tenant will be removed before you are able to add it to your tenant
  • There was some confusion (even on the Microsoft side) about the Take over an unmanaged directory as administrator in Azure Active Directory . The steps outlined in that post are useful only in two scenarios:
    • You have some kind of access to the previous tenant
    • The previous tenant has no Global Administrator (that is why it is considered unmanaged)