Remove licenses from your Office 365 for business subscription

As your organization changes, people may leave the organization. As this happens, you might want to reduce the number of user licenses that you have in your Office 365 subscription so that you’re not paying for more user licenses than you need.

Note: You can't remove a user license that's assigned to a user. If you want to remove licenses that are currently assigned to someone, you'll need to un-assign those licenses before you can remove them.

Remove user licenses

  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. In the admin center, choose Billing > Subscriptions.

    The Billing menu in the new Office 365 Admin Center with Subscriptions selected.

  4. On the Subscriptions page, select the subscription that you want to remove licenses from. If the subscription was purchased directly from Microsoft by credit card or invoice you’ll see the Add/Remove licenses link in the Licenses section. If you see the link, then click it.

    Add/Remove licenses link in the Office 365 admin center.
  5. In the Total licenses box, enter the total number of licenses that you need for this subscription and then select Submit. For example, if you had 110 licenses and you need to remove 5 of them, you would enter 105.

    Total licenses box and the Submit button.

What if I don't see the Add/Remove users link?

This section describes the reasons why the Add/Remove link might not be available and what you can do about it.

  1. If a credit check is pending, you’ll see a Pending credit check message and you won’t be able to remove licenses until the credit check is completed. If a credit check is pending, check back later to see if the credit check has completed.

    Tip: Credit checks typically take up to two working days to complete.

    Pending credit check message.

    After the credit check is complete, you should see the Add/Remove link in the Users section. If so, go to Remove user licenses.

  2. If the subscription was purchased and activated using a 25-character product key product key, you’ll see the text “Prepaid”. If your subscription was prepaid using a product key, you cannot remove licenses because they have already been paid for. However, you can remove the extra licenses when you renew the subscription.

    How to identify a prepaid subscription.
  3. If the subscription was purchased via a partner, you’ll see the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) link. If your licenses were purchased via a partner then you can’t remove user licenses because they have already been prepaid.

    Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) link.

Still need help?

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

See Also

Resolve license conflicts in Office 365 for business

Buy licenses for your Office 365 business subscription

Assign or remove licenses for Office 365 for business

Cancel my office 365 subscription

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