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When you start the Exchange Management Console in Exchange Server 2010, and then you try to connect to your Exchange Online organization in Office 365, you receive the following error message:

Initialization failed
The following error occurred when getting management scope information for '<User account>':
Unable to find assembly 'Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Directory, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35'.


This issue occurs if a management scope in your Exchange Online environment is assigned to the user who is opening the Exchange Management Console. Management scopes are typically used to limit which user accounts certain administrators can make changes to. 


To work around this issue, do one of the following, as appropriate for your situation:

  • Use remote PowerShell to manage your Exchange Online organization. Remote PowerShell lets you create a remote Shell session to connect directly to Exchange Online. For more information, see Connect to Exchange Online using Remote PowerShell.

  • If there are no Exchange 2003 servers in your on-premises environment, you can use Exchange Server 2013 as the hybrid server. Admins can manage both the on-premises Exchange environment and Exchange Online by using the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) that's included in Exchange 2013.

  • Use the Exchange Management Console (EMC) in Exchange 2010 to manage on-premises mailboxes, and use the Exchange admin center in Exchange Online to manage cloud mailboxes.

  • In Exchange Online, remove the management scope from the management role that's assigned to the user or group who is using the Exchange Management Console.


For more information about working with management scopes, see Understanding management role scopes.

Still need help? Still need help? Go to Microsoft Community or the Exchange TechNet forums.

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