Microsoft will kill Exchange Web Services in 3 years — as everyone is strongly advised to migrate to Graph

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Microsoft is shutting down its cross-platform Exchange Web Services (EWS) API from October 1 2026, meaning users won’t be able to access their emails and contacts from Exchange Online.

When Microsoft retires the API, users who rely on EWS to pull in their messages, meetings, and other elements, from other inboxes will find it no longer works.

These changes will apply to Microsoft 365 and Exchange Online environments. Outlook, Teams, EWS in Exchange Server, and other Microsoft products will continue to work as before.

Bridging the Microsoft Graph features gap

This news isn’t unexpected, with the company announcing EWS would not benefit from any new features back in 2018. Now, the firm has announced that in three years’ time, EWS will block requests from non-Microsoft apps to Exchange Online. 

Instead, the firm has advised all users to migrate to Microsoft Graph to ensure smooth continuity, despite acknowledging a number of features it lacks that EWS users have enjoyed for years.

Initially released in 2015, Microsoft Graph connects multiple services and devices together much in the way EWS operates. The key difference is Microsoft Graph APIs are REST-based, whereas EWS APIs are SOAP-based. This translates into faster JSON serialization and lower network usage, according to Microsoft. 

“Despite today’s announcement, EWS is still available and supported for use in production environments,” said the Microsoft Exchange Team. “But we strongly suggest migrating to Microsoft Graph to access Exchange Online data and gain access to the latest features and functionality.”

Between now and the cut-off date in 2026, Microsoft will ship security updates and some non-security-related features to a handful of EWS components. But, by and large, the platform won’t benefit from any major changes.

Microsoft, however, also acknowledged the “feature gaps” between EWS and Graph, adding it would work to build out the list of features Graph users can enjoy in the coming years. It may not be possible that all features are migrated, however. 

These features include access to archive mailboxes, folder association information, and user configuration, exchange online management, and access to public folders. 

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Keumars Afifi-Sabet
Features Editor, ITPro

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is the Features Editor for ITPro, CloudPro and ChannelPro. He oversees the commissioning and publication of in-depth and long-form features, including case studies and op-eds, across a breadth of topics in the B2B technology space. He also contributes to a vareity of other publications including The Week Digital and TechRadar Pro. Keumars joined ITPro as a staff writer in 2018, and has expertise in a variety of areas including  AI, cyber security, cloud computing and digital transformation, as well as public policy and legislation.