Assign, reassign, or remove licenses in Office 365 operated by 21Vianet

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

In Office 365 for business, users need licenses to use Outlook, SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and other services. As a global or user management admin, you can easily assign licenses to new users when you create new accounts, or to users with existing accounts. To free up licenses that you can assign to other users, you can also unassign licenses that users no longer need when people leave the organization. To reduce the number of user licenses for your Office 365 subscription, see Buy or remove licenses for your Office 365 operated by 21Vianet subscription.

Note: If the steps below do not match what you are seeing in your subscription, you may have Office 365 operated by 21Vianet for Small Business. See these instructions instead.

If a user’s job responsibilities change, a global admin or user management admin can unassign the licenses that the user no longer needs. In addition, if you have more users assigned to a service than you have available licenses, you can remove licenses from users who no longer use them.

Caution: When a user’s license is removed, all data that is associated with that user account is held for 30 days. After the 30 day grace period, the data is deleted and can’t be recovered, except for documents that are saved on SharePoint Online.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

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

  3. Do one of the following:

    • In the Office 365 admin center, choose Users > Active Users.

    • Under users & groups, choose Add users, reset passwords, and more (for Office 365 small and midsized business subscriptions that were purchased through a partner).

  4. Check the box for the name of the user who you want to add or remove a license for.

  5. On the right, under Assigned license, choose Edit.

    Screen shot of the Assigned license section of the user details pane with the Edit link highlighted.
  6. In the Assign licenses pane, do one of the following:

    • To assign a license to the selected user, select the box for the license you want to assign. By default, all services associated with that license are automatically assigned to the user.

      To limit which services are available to the user, select the down-arrow next to the name of the license, and clear the check boxes for the services that you want to remove for that user.

      Screen shot of the Assign License menu with the service list collapsed and the down arrow highlighted.

      For example, if you want the user to have access to all available services except Skype for Business Online, you can clear the check box for the Skype for Business Online service.

      Screen shot of the Assign License menu with the service list expanded, and all but one service selected.
    • To unassign a license from the user, clear the check box for the license you want to remove.

      Screen shot of the Assign License menu with no subscription selected.
  7. At the top right, choose Save.

  8. If you have removed a license from a user and want to assign it to another user, repeat this procedure.

In addition to assigning or unassigning licenses for single users, you can also do this in bulk.

Caution: When a user’s license is removed, all data that is associated with that user account is held for 30 days. After the 30 day grace period, the data is deleted and can’t be recovered, except for documents that are saved on SharePoint Online.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

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

  3. Do one of the following:

    • In the Office 365 admin center, choose Users > Active Users.

    • Under users & groups, choose Add users, reset passwords, and more (for Office 365 small and midsized business subscriptions that were purchased through a partner).

  4. Select the boxes for the names of the users who you want to assign or unassign licenses for.

  5. On the right, choose Edit.

    Screen shot of the menu that is displayed when several users are selected, with the Edit button highlighted.
  6. On the details page, choose Next.

  7. On the settings page, choose Next.

  8. On the assign licenses page, do one of the following:

    • To assign licenses to the selected users, select Add to existing license assignments, and then select the check boxes for the licenses that you want to assign.

    • To unassign licenses from the selected users, select Replace existing license assignments, and clear the check boxes for the licenses that you want to unassign.

    Screen shot of the assign licenses page that is displayed when you add or replace licenses for several users at the same time.
  9. Choose Submit > Finish.

If a user no longer needs licenses, like when an employee leaves an organization, you can delete that user’s account. When you do this, any licenses that were assigned to that person become available to assign to another user.

Caution: When a user’s license is removed, all data that is associated with that user account is held for 30 days. After the 30 day grace period, the data is deleted and can’t be recovered, except for documents that are saved on SharePoint Online.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

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

  3. Do one of the following:

    • In the Office 365 admin center, choose Users > Active Users.

    • Under users & groups, choose Add users, reset passwords, and more (for Office 365 small and midsized business subscriptions that were purchased through a partner).

  4. Select the name of the user or multiple users that you want to delete, and then choose Delete.

    Screen shot of the menu that is displayed when several users are selected, with the Delete button highlighted.
  5. In the confirmation box, choose Delete.

    Screen shot of the Delete user menu that is displayed when several users are selected.

Complete these steps to see a list of users who don’t have a license assigned to them.

Note: Viewing a list of unlicensed users is not supported by Office 365 Small Business Premium subscriptions.

  1. Sign in to Office 365 operated by 21Vianet.

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

  3. In the Office 365 admin center, choose Users > Active Users.

  4. In the Select a view list, choose the down arrow and in the list of views choose Unlicensed users.

    Screen shot of the Active Users page with the View menu expanded and the Unlicensed users option highlighted.

    Any user accounts that don’t have a license assigned to them are displayed in the list.

    From this list, you can add licenses to the users one at a time or in bulk by using the instructions in this article.

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 Skype for Business Online, the user automatically has access to the features associated with the license.

There are two broad categories of tasks that admins 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 purchase additional licenses, for example, if you have assigned all of your licenses for a particular service, and another user needs that service.

  • Resolving license conflicts: A license conflict occurs when your organization 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, by deleting a user account, or by renewing your organization’s subscription if it has expired.

Different types of admins can work with licenses in different ways, depending on their roles. Refer to the following table for a summary of the most common options.

Admin role

Assign a license

Remove a license

Purchase more licenses

Delete a user

Global admin

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Billing admin

No

No

Yes

No

User management admin

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Service admin

No

No

No

No

Password admin

No

No

No

No

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