Office Support / Office 365 Admin / Billing

Reassign licenses or change your license amount

Your Office 365 subscription comes with a set amount of licenses to services such as Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. As your organization grows or changes, members may join, change roles, or leave the organization. As this happens, you may want to change how many licenses you have in your subscription and who they’re assigned to.

First, figure out how many licenses are valid and available for your subscription.

For Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Business Essentials, or Office 365 Business Premium:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Select BILLING > Licenses.

  4. Check the Valid, Expired, and Assigned columns for your subscription. To figure out how many valid licenses are still available, subtract the number of Assigned licenses from the Valid licenses.

For Office 365 Small Business:

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. In Office 365, select Admin. Or, select the app launcher Office 365 app launcher icon, and then select Admin.

    Office 365 navigation options
  3. If you see it, select Hide Getting started experience in the middle of the page. You will see Manage your organization at the top of the page.

  4. Under Billing, you can view how many licenses that are available out of the number you have already purchased. For example, if you have 10 licenses and have assigned 4 of them, it will say 6 out of 10 available.

Next, decide what kind of license changes do you need to make:

  • New users or changed roles:    If you have new members join your organization or existing members change roles, you can:

  • Departing users:    If members leave your organization without being replaced, you can remove licenses from your subscription.

  • License conflicts:    If you have assigned more licenses than you have purchased, you will have to resolve license conflicts by removing licenses from users, deleting users, or renewing your subscription.

Remove a license from a user and assign it to another

If a user’s job responsibilities change, a global admin or user management admin can remove 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 you remove a license from a user, all of the data associated with that user for that service will be deleted and—after a grace period of 30 days—can’t be recovered, except for documents saved on SharePoint Online. For example, if you remove a license for Exchange Online from a user:

  • The user’s mailbox and all messages in it are deleted. The mailbox can be recovered within 30 days by reassigning a license to it. After 30 days, the mailbox and its contents are permanently deleted.

  • All email aliases associated with the user account are deleted. If you need someone in your company to receive email at those aliases, assign them to another user.

  • The user's Lync Online Contacts list may be deleted. If you restore the Exchange Online license within 30 days, the Contacts list will be restored as well. For more information, see Removing a user’s license for Exchange Online may also remove their Lync Online Contacts list.

To remove a license from one user and assign it to another user

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Go to Users > Active Users (or Users & groups > Add users, reset passwords, and more).

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

  5. Select Edit Edit > Licenses.

  6. On the Assign licenses page, uncheck the box for the license you want to remove.

  7. Select Save.

  8. On the Active users page, check the box for the name of the user who you want to assign a license to.

  9. Select Edit Edit > Licenses.

  10. On the Assign licenses page, check the box for the license you want to add.

  11. Select Save.

You can also remove and assign licenses to several users at once. For more information, see:

Delete a user to free a license

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 had been assigned to that person can be assigned to another user.

Caution    When you delete a user account, it becomes inactive. During this inactive period, you have up to 30 days to fully restore the account. After 30 days, all data for that user is permanently deleted—except documents saved on SharePoint Online. Delete users only if you are certain that they won’t need this data in the future. For more information, see How to troubleshoot deleted user accounts in Office 365.

To delete the account for one or more users

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Go to Users > Active Users (or Users & groups > Add users, reset passwords, and more).

  4. Select the names of the users that you want to delete, and then select Delete.

  5. In the confirmation box, select Yes.

For information on restoring users, see:

Top of Page

Buy more licenses

  1. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  2. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  3. Go to Billing > Subscriptions (or Billing > Manage and buy subscriptions).

  4. Select the subscription name, and then select Change license quantity.

  5. Follow the steps to complete your order.

If you paid for your subscription by credit card, any new licenses that you order are available immediately after you receive an order confirmation. If you’re invoiced for subscription payments, you might have to wait for a credit check.

Note    Not all services are available in all locations. For a list of restrictions, see License restrictions for Office 365.

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



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