Switch to a different plan or subscription for Office 365 operated by 21Vianet

Note:  This article applies only to Office 365 operated by 21Vianet in China.

If your business needs change, or if there are Office 365 operated by 21Vianet features you want to take advantage of that aren’t available in your current plan, you might be able to switch some or all of your users from your current plan to a different plan. The easiest way to do this is by using the switch plans wizard, which guides you through the process, reassigns your user licenses, and cancels your old plan . However, using the switch plans wizard isn’t supported in all situations, in which case you might be able to switch plans manually. For example, the switch plans wizard doesn’t support switching only some users. If you want to switch only some of your users to a different subscription, you might be able to switch plans manually.

What's supported when switching plans:

  • Switching between Office 365 for business plans.

  • Switching from Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium, or Midsize Business to an Office 365 for business plan.

  • Switching between Office 365 Education plans.

What's not supported when switching plans:

  • Switching between Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium, or Midsize Business plans.

For more information on plans you can switch to, see Business plans you can switch to in Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

What does it mean to switch plans manually?

Switching plans manually means that you’re completing the following separate procedures instead of using the switch plans wizard. The procedures are:

  • Buy licenses for the subscription you’re switching users to.

  • Verify the subscription is ready to switch users to.

  • Reassign user licenses

  • Remove unneeded licenses from the subscription you’re switching from.

  • Cancel the original subscription (if switching all users).

Verify whether the switch plans wizard can be used to switch your subscription

The following pictures show how a subscription that’s listed on the Subscriptions page of the Office 365 admin center looks when the switch plans wizard is available and what it looks like when the wizard isn’t available.

Available

Not available

Switch plans button.

No switch plans message.

If you see the No switch plans message, you can position your mouse over the info icon and a message describing the reason that the wizard is not available is displayed.

A message about why you can't switch plans.

Prepare to switch Office 365 plans

This section describes the important things you need to know before you begin.

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’re switching from until the Switch plans wizard has completed, at which time they’ll 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 you are paying for the plan you’re switching to by invoice, a credit check might be required. 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.

Switch Office 365 plans using the Switch plans wizard

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account as a global admin. Learn how to sign in.

  2. Select the app launcher icon Office 365 app launcher icon in the upper-left and choose Admin.

  3. Go to the Subscriptions page:

    • Choose Billing > Subscriptions or

    • Under billing select View and edit subscriptions. (for Office 365 small and midsized business subscriptions that were purchased through a partner.)

  4. On the Subscriptions page, select the plan you want to switch from, and then select Switch plans.

    Switch plans button.

    Note: If you don’t see the Switch plans button, your plan can't be switched using the Switch plans wizard. Instead, you’ll see Ineligible to switch plans.

    No switch plans message. A message about why you can't switch plans.
  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. Select 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, select Next.

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

    Note: You cannot remove licenses as part of switching plans. However, you can reduce the number of licenses before or after you switch plans.

  7. Select Next.

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

  9. On the how do you want to pay? page, do the following:

    1. Select the payment frequency you want.

    2. Select the payment type.

    3. When you're all done, at the bottom of the page, select Place 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.

      Note: 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.

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

    Note: The main page may initially appear blank except for the Menu button after switching plans. You can select on the Menu button and then select the Admin tile 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.

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.

    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.

    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

Still need help?

For more information, and for help in moving to a new plan, contact the 21Vianet support team. See Get technical, billing, and subscription support for Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

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