Office Support / Office 365 Admin / Billing

Switch to a different Office 365 business plan or subscription

If your business needs change, or if there are Office 365 features you want to take advantage of that are not available in your current plan, you can switch from your current plan to another plan. See a list of Office 365 plans you can switch to.

This article steps you through the process of switching from one paid subscription to another paid subscription. If you want to switch from a trial subscription to a paid subscription, see Buy your trial version of Office 365 for business.

Switching subscriptions is done in three phases which have to be done in the order shown:

  1. Prepare to Switch Office 365 plans

  2. Switch Office 365 plans using the Switch plans wizard

  3. Install a different version of Office on a PC after you switch Office 365 plans

Prepare to Switch Office 365 plans

To improve your chances of success when switching Office 365 plans, read this section carefully before you attempt to switch plans.

What is the Switch plans wizard?

The Switch plans wizard is built into the Office 365 admin center of all Office 365 business and enterprise subscriptions. The Switch plans wizard does the following:

  • Leads you through the process of buying a plan that you can switch to from your current plan.

    Note   Only plans that can be switched to from your current subscription are shown in the wizard.

  • Moves users from the old subscription to the new one.

  • Assigns licenses to your users for the new plan.

  • Cancels your old plan.

Verify that you can switch to the plan you want

Before attempting to switch plans, you might want to first make sure that the Switch plans wizard supports switching from the plan you currently have to the one that you want. The Business plans you can switch to in Office 365 article lists the plans that you can switch between using the Switch plans wizard. The Switch plans wizard will only show you the plans that you can switch to based on your current plan.

The Switch plans wizard does not support the following scenarios:

  • Switching to a less expensive plan is not supported by the Switch plans wizard because less expensive plans tend to have fewer services. If you need to switch to a less expensive plan, contact technical support.

  • Switching from Home subscriptions, such as Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 University to an Office 365 for business plan is not supported

Plan for administrative downtime

Users won't experience any interruption of service while the plans are being switched. They will continue to have full access to the subscription that you are switching from until the Switch plans wizard has completed, at which time they will have access to the new plan.

Admins won’t be able to use the Office 365 admin center while the plan is being switched. Depending on the number of users you have, this can take from minutes to hours. So plan to switch plans during a time when you don’t need to make updates using the Office 365 admin center.

Credit checks when switching Office 365 plans

If a credit check needs to be done, switching plans can take up to two weeks. A credit check might be required if you have chosen to pay by invoice or your purchase has reached a certain cost level. If this happens, admins will not have access to the Office 365 admin center until the credit check is complete. However, users will have full access to the plan that you are switching from.

Users, licenses, billing, and custom domains

To understand how users and licenses are handled during the switch, how switching plans affects your billing, and how to handle custom domains, see What does switching Office 365 plans do to my service and billing.

Switch Office 365 plans using the Switch plans wizard

This section shows you how to use the Switch plans wizard to switch plans.

Switching to a less expensive plan is not supported by the Switch plans wizard because less expensive plans tend to have fewer services. If you need to switch to a less expensive plan, contact technical support.

Tip   Switching from Home subscriptions, such as Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, and Office 365 University to an Office 365 for business plan is not supported.

How to change your Office 365 plan using the Switch plans wizard
  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • For Office 365 Small Business Premium subscriptions, click the View and edit subscriptions… link under billing.

      View and edit subscriptions, change license quantity... link.
    • For all other business and enterprise subscriptions, select Billing > Subscriptions.

      Link to the Subscriptions page in Office 365 Small Business Premium.
  4. On the Subscriptions page, select the plan you want to switch from, and then, under Actions, click Switch plans.

    Switch plans link used to change Office 365 plan.

    Note   If you don’t see the Switch plans link, your plan can't be switched using the Switch plans wizard. Instead, you’ll see No switch plans. There are many factors that can prevent you from switching plans. For example, plans that are prepaid using a product key cannot be switched. To find out why you can’t switch plans using the wizard, hover the mouse over the info bubble or click the learn more link.

    No switch plans message with learn more link. When you see this it means you can't change Office 365 subscription.
  5. On the Choose a new plan page, select the plan that you want to switch to and then, do the following:

    1. Review the subtotal of the purchase.

    2. Click the key information link to learn how switching plans affects your services and billing.

    3. Select the check box.

    4. After you have reviewed your order, click Next.

    Review your subtotal page.
  6. On the Review your order page, verify that everything is correct.

    Tip   If you want to add additional licenses, click the Edit link on the Review your order page to add additional user licenses, and click Update cart.

    Review and accept the terms of your order page.

    Note   You cannot remove licenses as part of switching plans. However, you can reduce the number of licenses before or after you switch plans. See Remove licenses from your Office 365 for business subscription to learn more.

  7. Click Next.

  8. If the legal agreement page appears, complete the items on the page and then click Next.

  9. On the payment page, do the following:

    1. Select the payment frequency you want.

    2. Select the payment type.

      Note   Selecting the Invoice payment option can delay the switching plans process by up to two weeks if a credit check is required.

    3. If using a new credit card, fill in the Payment Information section.

    4. When you're all done, at the bottom of the page, click Place order.

  10. On the order completed page, you can click Status to show the progress of your order.

    When the switching plans: status page appears, the switch plans process is underway and you’ll see this page until your plan has been switched. You can close this page and come back to it later without interrupting the switch plans process.

    Switching plans status page.

    Notes   Switching plans typically takes less than ten minutes if there are no errors or issues. The license reassignment portion of the process should take less than a minute. Check marks appear next to each of the four phases as they are completed.

    If the wizard gets stuck on phase 3 (reassigning user licenses) for more than one hour, see Problems in reassigning licenses while you switch plans in Office 365 for a resolution to the issue. If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact Office 365 for business support.

  11. When the wizard completes, click OK at the bottom of the Switch plans: status page return to the main page.

    Note   The main page may initially appear blank except for the Menu button after switching plans are switched. You can click on the Menu button and then click the Admin icon to return to the Office 365 admin center.

    Office 365 start menu

    The first time you return to the Office 365 admin center after switching plans, you might see a message like this one.

    Switching plans complete dialog box. You'll see this message until you've finished switch Office 365 subscription.

Install a different version of Office on a PC after you switch Office 365 plans

If you installed Office on a PC as part of your Office 365 subscription, and you switch to a different Office 365 plan, you’ll have to install a different version of Office if you move among the following versions of Office 365:

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium

  • Office 365 Business

  • Office 365 ProPlus

After you switch plans and restart Office, Office lets you know that you need to install a different version of Office by displaying the following message:

“Account Notice. Your Office 365 subscription has a pending change. To keep using your applications without interruption, please sign in now.”

To fix this, you install a different version of Office first, and then you uninstall your current version. This method is faster than uninstalling Office and then re-installing Office, although that method works, too.

  Depending on which version of Office you install, some apps, such as Access, might not be included. For information about what features are available across Office 365 plans, see Office 365 Plan Options and Office Applications Service Description.

To install a different version of Office on a PC after you switch Office 365 plans
  1. Click Sign In in the Account Notice dialog box to go to the Office page. You can also get there from http://portal.office.com/OLS/MySoftware.aspx.

    Click Sign In in the Account Notice dialog box to install a different version of Office.
  2. On the Office page, select a Language, and then choose Install to install the 32-bit version.

    Note   To install the 64-bit version, choose 64-bit in the Version section before you choose Install. If you're uncertain, try Choose the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Office for more information.

    Install the latest version of Office page

  3. At the bottom of the screen, select Run.

    Select Run in install wizard
  4. Follow the prompts and accept the license agreement.

  5. When you see "You're good to go," select All done.

    Select All done! in Office install wizard
  6. Now it’s time to uninstall your current version of Office. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features.

  7. Use the Installed On column to determine the older version. Right-click the older version of Office, and then click Uninstall.

    Use Installed on column to determine which version of Office to uninstall

  Do not use the Fix it tool as instructed in KB2739501 to uninstall Office. The Fix it tool uninstalls both versions of Office.

Still need help?

Get help from the Office 365 community forums Admins: Sign in and create a service request Admins: Call Support

Billing in Office 365 for business – Admin Help

Applies To: Office 365 Admin, Office 365 Small Business Admin



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