License and user location management

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Licenses are a commodity which are allocated to users. Licenses are expensive and should be carefully assigned to the correct users. If licenses are not allocated correctly, users can be denied access and resources that they need. Likewise, selecting the correct user location when applying licenses can be critical to the performance and user experience for your users. Let's take a look at how to manage licenses and set the user location attributes for your users within Office 365.

Depending on your subscription or Office 365 plan purchased, such as an Enterprise E5 subscription, when you assign a license to a user they'll receive one or more licenses including Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype Online and Office 2016. You can see which of your Office 365 users are actively using licenses that have been assigned to them on the reporting dashboard.

The Office 365 Admin Center also allows you to view specific licenses assigned to users, as we will see in the demonstration shortly. Only the global or user management administrator can assign licenses. This is to new users when you create new accounts and to users with existing accounts but you should know that any data, such as mailbox data, is only held by Office 365 for 30 days before being permanently deleted when you remove a license from a user that might be reassigned to another user.

The high-level steps to assign or unassign a product license within Office 365 are: first, sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center as an administrator, click the Admin tile, click Users and then Active Users. The active users are displayed and you should select the user and then click Edit next to the product license. Select or deselect the product licenses as required and then click Save. Remember, only deallocate a license from a user where you no longer need access to their data or ensure that you have previously backed up or exported the data as this data will be permanently deleted 30 days after license removal.

Because Office 365 is cloud-based, your users will consume services from the country nearest to where they reside. There are some countries in the world where certain products within Office 365 is not licensed to be used. You should ensure that the appropriate country is selected and Office 365 will then deliver the specific services from the local datacenter. Your data is not affected. Your data storage location is fixed and this was determined when your global administrator first signed up for Office 365.

You can edit the region by selecting the user and then on the product license, click Edit. The location is then displayed and you can modify the country. This is because services and features of Microsoft Cloud Services may vary from location to location. For example, Stack for Business may not be available in all regions across the world. Let's drop down onto our demo pc and take a look at how to view current license assignments, assign and unassign licenses for users, and to see how to increase and reduce the number of licenses available in Office 365.

First, we'll sign in to the Office 365 Admin Center as an administrator. We'll browse to and sign in as my administrator. We'll click the Admin tile. On the Office 365 Admin Center home page, click Users and then Active Users. On the Active Users page, click the Views and select Licensed Users. You can now view each user and the license status. Lets select Adam.

If we click the Edit button next to the product licenses, we can see the current licenses allocated to Adam. To assign a new license or remove an existing license we would select or deselect the slider corresponding to the license that we need to change. Let's give Adam an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license. We click the slider and the license is allocated. Scroll to the bottom and then click Save. We can now see the products have been assigned to Adam and click Close.

If, for example, one of our users has left the business, we can retain the account but reassign the license to another user. Let's select Andrea Trip. We can see that she's been allocated an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license. Let's click Edit and remove this license by selecting the slider until it displays Off. Click Save and we can see that the Office 365 Enterprise E5 license will be removed. Click Close.

If I refresh the page or select the All Users view, we can see that Andrea Trip is now unlicensed. Finally, let's take a look at how to increase or remove licenses for your Office 365 subscription. We need to head over to the Billing menu item on the left, click Subscriptions, we can see the active subscriptions available to my business. Let's select one. The Office 365 Enterprise E5 demo trial, I have 25 licenses available and I have assigned 21 licenses.

I can click the Assigned link to view the 21 licenses that have been assigned to my users. Each of the displayed users have an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license. Let's select Alex. Now, we can see, if we click Edit that he indeed has an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license. Let's return to Billing and click Subscriptions. On the Subscriptions page, if we want to purchase a new subscription or add additional licenses, we can click the Add Subscription option on the right-hand side.

Let's scroll over and see that. Add Subscriptions. In this way, we can add additional products to our subscription by clicking Buy Now. We complete the transaction and the additional licenses will be added to Office 365. Let's click Back. To view an overview of the licenses currently held by our subscription, we can click the License option on the left-hand side. This table displays the licenses available to our subscription, the number of valid licenses, the number expired and the number assigned.

On this table, we can also click the Buy More link to purchase more licenses.

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For businesses with 150+ licenses Request Office 365 onboarding assistance from FastTrack

You can request remote and personalized assistance with onboarding. Our FastTrack engineers will help you plan your Office 365 project, assess your technical environment, provide remediation guidance, and provide user adoption assistance. For businesses with at least 500 licenses, Microsoft also provides personalized assistance to migrate data to Office 365.

See the FastTrack Center Video:

Get started today:

Tip: Businesses with 1-149 licenses still have access to FastTrack guidance via links in the Admin Center and also available at

Learn how to keep your users secure and up to date by configuring cloud identity and authentication with Azure AD and Office 365, and enterprise-level mobile device management with Intune. This course covers key topics related to the administration of these services, including users, groups, policies, and roles, and maps to the related domain of Microsoft's Cloud Fundamentals certification exam (98-369). It's ideal for IT professionals responsible for their company's cloud operations as well as those pursuing certification for the first time. Follow along with Andrew Bettany as he covers creating user groups within both Office 365 and Intune, assigning administrative roles, and configuring mobile device management.

Topics include:

  • Understanding cloud identity and authentication

  • Managing Office 365 users and groups

  • Assigning administrative roles

  • Configuring password expiration policy

  • Exploring Service Health for Office 365 and Intune

  • Managing users and devices in Intune

  • Deploying Intune clients

  • Setting up mobile device management

  • Managing Intune policies

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