Managing Online User Language for Microsoft Online Portal Usage

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When using Directory Synchronization object management, meaning all management for users, contacts and groups is done in Active Directory and use Directory Synchronization (DirSync) to push adds, deletes, modifies, etc into the cloud to have these changes reflected in both places.

When using DirSync, you as an Administrator will find that these synchronized objects cannot be modified and must be changed via On-Premises Active Directory. Specifically if a user calls their Admin and states that the Microsoft Online Portal is being displayed in English and they need to have this set to German, for example, the administrator MUST manage this setting via on-premises AD and push that change into the Office 365 environment.

Steps to Manage On-Premises and Online User Language Settings

  1. Launch Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC)
  2. Click the View –> Advanced Features option



  1. Highlight the individual you need to set their preferredLanguage and open Properties for this user
  2. Click the Attribute Editor tab and browse to preferredLanguage


  1. Double-click the preferredLanguage option and set the appropriate language entry and click OK.



  • Note – This setting uses the two-letter string value and you can use the following to find each language code entry:
  • Note – The following shows the list of country codes that are currently supported by Office 365 and can be used.  This list is subject to change and you as an Online Administrator should refer to online help for the latest languages supported.


  1. Login to your DirSync machine and force a DirSync run
  2. Login to the Microsoft Online Portal as the user who has had their preferredLanguage changed and note that the Portal now is displayed in that particular language!

Microsoft Online Portal (MOP) – User preferredLanguage set to German


Online User’s Edit Profile Language Setting


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