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Manage licenses

 

Topic Last Modified: 2012-06-19

A subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses is made up of a number of licenses to a set of services. A company chooses the services it needs and the number of users that it requires for each of those services; then, the administrator assigns a license to each user for each service that user needs to access.

There are two broad categories of tasks that administrators perform on licenses:

  • Assigning and adding licenses: You can assign licenses to new users when creating new accounts, and you can assign licenses to existing accounts. You can add a license (for example, if you have assigned all of your licenses for a particular service, and another user needs that service) or remove a license from a user entirely (if that user won’t need that service again).
    When you assign a license to a user, an initial setup is created in that service for the user. For example:
    • When you assign a license to a user for Exchange Online, a mailbox is automatically created for that user.
    • When you assign a license to a user for SharePoint Online, the user is automatically assigned edit permissions to the default SharePoint Online team site and has access to the features associated with the license.
    • When you assign a license to a user for Lync Online, the user automatically has access to the features associated with the license.
  • Resolving license conflicts: A license conflict occurs when your company has more users assigned to a service than you have available licenses for that service. You can resolve this by removing a license from a user, buying more licenses, or deleting a user account.
Assign a license to a user

Global administrators can assign a license to a user. In most cases, this is done when the user account is first created. For more information, see Create or edit users.

It is also possible to change license assignments for users after they are created. To add a license to an existing user account, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.
  2. In the left pane, under Management, click Users.
  3. Click the name of the user to whom you want to assign a license. The Assign licenses page appears.
  4. Select the check box for the license that you want to assign, and then click Save.
    noteNote:
    • Not all services are available in all user locales. For a list of restrictions, see License restrictions for Office 365.
    • You can assign new licenses or replace existing licenses for more than one user at a time. On the Users page, select the check box next to the names of the users, click Edit, and then click Next twice until the Assign licenses page appears. Select Replace existing license assignments or Add to existing license assignments, and then select the check box for the licenses that you want to assign. For information about editing multiple users, see Create or edit users.
    • You cannot assign a license if your company doesn’t have any available for that service. For the procedure to purchase more licenses, see Purchase more licenses.
Remove a license from a user

If users’ job responsibilities change, a global administrator can change the services that they use by removing the licenses from those users. In addition, if you have a license conflict where you have more users assigned to a service than you have licenses available, you can resolve the conflict by removing licenses from users who no longer use them.

When you remove a license, all data associated with that service for that user is deleted and cannot be recovered (with the exception of documents that they saved on SharePoint Online). For example, if you remove a license for Microsoft Exchange Online from a user, that user’s mailbox and all messages contained in it are deleted. We recommend that you instead either purchase more licenses or delete user accounts for users who no longer work at your company.

To remove a license from a user, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.
  2. In the left pane, under Management, click Users.
  3. Click the name of the user from whom you want to remove the license. The Assign licenses page appears.
  4. Clear the check box for the license that you want to remove, and then click Save.
    CautionCaution:
    When you remove a license from a user, any data associated with that user for that service is deleted and cannot be recovered (with the exception of documents saved on SharePoint Online).

For more information, see Create or edit users and Change licenses or storage space for your subscription.

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Purchase more licenses

If your company hires more people or changes work assignments, you might need more licenses for the services you already use. A global administrator can purchase more licenses at any point. In addition, if you have a license conflict where you have more users assigned to a service than you have licenses available, you can resolve the conflict by buying more licenses for that service.

To purchase more licenses, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.
  2. In the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Purchase.
  3. Find the service that you want to buy licenses for, and then click Add more.
  4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete your purchase.

For more information about subscriptions, see Buy subscriptions for your company and Change licenses or storage space for your subscription.

Delete a user to free a license

If an employee leaves your company, a global administrator can delete that employee’s account. When you do this, any licenses that had been assigned to that person become available and can be assigned to other users.

To delete a user account, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.
  2. In the left pane, under Management, click Users.
  3. Select the check box next to the name of the user you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  4. When the dialog box appears to ask if you are sure you want to delete the user, click Yes.
    CautionCaution:
    When a user account is deleted, all data for that user is deleted (with the exception of documents saved on SharePoint Online). Only delete users when you know that they will not need that data in the future.

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