In this post i will briefly explain how to merge an on-premise AD user with an already existing Azure AD user using hard-match with the sourceAnchor/immutableID property.

There are two methods how Azure AD Connect will match existing users.

When you install Azure AD Connect and you start synchronizing, the Azure AD sync service (in Azure AD) does a check on every new object and try to find an existing object to match. There are three attributes used for this process: userPrincipalName, proxyAddresses, and sourceAnchor/immutableID.


Soft-Match will use the properties userPrincipalName and proxyAddresses to match existing users. For the proxyAddresses attribute only the value with SMTP:, that is the primary email address, is used for the evaluation.


Hard-Match will use the property sourceAnchor/immutableID. You can only select which property is used as sourceAnchor during the installation of Azure AD Connect as described in their documentation. If the selected sourceAnchor is not of type string, then Azure AD Connect Base64Encode the attribute value to ensure no special characters appear.

By default, Azure AD Connect (version 1.1.486.0 and older) uses objectGUID as the sourceAnchor attribute. ObjectGUID is system-generated.

So we only have to set the immutableID property of the existing user in our Azure AD to the Base64 encoded string of the ObjectId of the user in our on-premise AD. If you already synchronized your Active Directory then you probably have two users with the same name in your Azure AD. Just follow the following steps to finally merge these users:

You have to execute the following OnPrem PowerShell commands on the machine with your on-premise AD and the Azure PowerShell commands via the Azure Cloud Shell. For available PowerShell commands on the Azure Active Directory PowerShell see their documentation.

1. OnPrem: Get ObjectId from AD User

$user = Get-ADUser -Filter 'Name -like "*NAME*"'

2. OnPrem: immutableId = ToBase64(ObjectId)

$immutableid = [System.Convert]::ToBase64String($user.ObjectGUID.tobytearray())

3. Azure: Remove duplicated Azure AD User

Remove-AzureADUser -ObjectId <objectid>

The following PowerShell command prints a list of all users and their ObjectId.


4. Azure: Remove duplicated Azure AD User permanently

On the sidemenu there is a menu item called Deleted users. There you can select the user and permanently delete it.

5. Azure: Set immutableId for Azure AD User

Set-AzureADUser -ObjectId <objectid> -ImmutableId <immutableid>

6. OnPrem: Start AD Sync

Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

Just wait some seconds and your user should get synchronized correctly.

Useful links: