Office Support / Office 365 Admin / Billing

Renew Office 365 small and midsized business subscriptions

This article applies to Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Small Business Premium, and Office 365 Midsize Business.   

For other business or education plans, see Renew Office 365 for business.
For Office 365 Home or Personal, see Renew Office 365 for home.

If you recently got an email from Microsoft reminding you that your Office 365 subscription is expiring soon, it’s time to take action and renew. After you renew, Office 365 users in your organization might have to reinstall Office and Skype for Business.

Important information about Office 365 small and midsized business plans

Your current plan (Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Small Business Premium, or Office 365 Midsize Business) is no longer available. When you renew, you’ll be prompted to select one of the following plans:

During renewal, we’ll recommend the plan that is most similar to your current one, but you’ll also have the option to browse other plans to fit your business needs. For more information about how the new plans compare to the old plans, see Moving to the new Office 365 plans for small and midsized businesses. For a side-by-side look at features and pricing for the new plans, see Office 365 for business plans.

Renew your subscription in the Office 365 admin center

  1. Go to the Subscriptions page in the Office 365 admin center. You must be signed in as an Office 365 global admin to view this page.

  2. If you have more than one subscription, select the one you want to renew from the list on the left.

  3. Choose Renew.

    Screenshot of a subscription card with the Renew button highlighted

    Note   Don’t see the Renew button? If it’s not there, your account isn’t ready to be moved to a new plan. For now, your subscription will continue to renew automatically. You’ll receive an email notification when it’s time to take action.

  4. In the flyout on the right, you’ll see the recommended plan, its price, and the core apps it includes. Any add-ons you currently have, like extra SharePoint Online storage, are listed here, too.

    Screenshot of flyout menu showing the recommended Office 365 plan

    Do one of the following:

    A. If you’re happy with the recommended plan, choose Renew now. This will move you and your users to the recommended plan.

    B. If you don’t want the recommended plan, choose See other renewal options. In the catalog that appears, select the plan you want, check the box next to I have reviewed key information and I want to switch plans, and then choose Next. This will move you and your users to the plan you’ve selected.

  5. Verify the number of user licenses you want for the new plan, and total cost. The default number in the User licenses box is the number of licenses you have with your existing subscription. You can increase the number of licenses here, but you can’t go below the number of licenses that you have currently.

    Screenshot of checkout page, where you can confirm the number of licenses you want for your new subscription

    If you had add-ons, like extra storage, they’re listed here, too. Review the number of add-on licenses, or gigabytes for extra storage, and edit if needed. When you’re done, choose Next.

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

    1. Select how often you want to pay (either monthly or yearly).

    2. Select how you want to pay (either credit card or invoice) and then enter your payment information.

      Note   The invoice payment option is only available for orders that cost above a certain amount. Selecting the invoice option can delay the process by up to two weeks if a credit check is required. For more information, see Pay by invoice or credit card.

    3. When you're done, choose Place order.

  7. When you see the Setting up your new subscription page, the renewal process is underway. The system automatically assigns the new licenses to your users. Please keep your browser window open during this process, which should take under an hour, if there are no issues.

  8. When your new subscription is all set up, choose You’re ready to go to return to the admin center.

In the next few days, your end users may be prompted to install the version of Office that comes with your new plan, as well as Skype for Business. To learn more, jump to What will my end users experience after I renew to a new plan?

Renew your subscription through a partner

If you bought Office 365 through a partner via a Microsoft Open program, you can either follow the steps below to renew through your partner, or renew the subscription directly through Microsoft in the Office 365 admin center.

  1. After buying a new key for your current plan from your Office 365 partner, sign into the Volume Licensing Service Center. If you need help signing in, contact your Office 365 partner.

  2. When you sign into the VLSC, you’ll be prompted to sign your Open License agreement, if you haven’t already. Review the agreement, type your full name and choose I ACCEPT.

  3. Go to Online Service Activation.

  4. You’ll see the pending order that you’ve purchased from your partner. Select it, and choose MANAGE ACTIVATIONS.

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

  6. After you sign in, you’ll land on the Volume Licensing Online Service Activation page. Your product key is listed here. For the subscription you want to activate, choose Start Activation.

  7. Review the Things you should know before you start, check the box, and choose Start.

  8. The next page automatically pre-populates your product key, so you don’t have to copy and paste. Choose Next.

  9. Review the Redeem your new product key page, which shows the expiration dates for both your old and new plan.

    Screenshot of part of the "Redeem your new product key" page

    Note   If you are redeeming a key for a new plan before your old subscription expires, you’ll lose the remaining time on your existing subscription. To avoid losing time you’ve already paid for, choose Cancel and wait until the last day of your subscription to redeem the new key. If you still want to proceed, check the box to confirm that you understand.

  10. Choose Redeem.

  11. When you see the Setting up your new subscription page, the renewal process is underway. The system automatically assigns the new licenses to your users. Please keep your browser window open during this process, which should take under an hour, if there are no issues.

  12. When your new subscription is all set up, choose You’re ready to go to return to the admin center.

In the next few days, your end users may be prompted to install the version of Office that comes with your new plan, as well as Skype for Business.

What will my end users experience after I renew to a new plan?

The experience for your end users depends on which plans you move between. If you move to one of the new plans that includes the Office desktop applications (Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium), all of your users will be prompted to install Office 2016 between 1-3 days after renewal. Users of Skype for Business will need to reinstall it from the Office 365 portal.

If you choose to upgrade to one of the enterprise plans instead, or to Office 365 ProPlus, the process for your end users is different. Users will not have to reinstall Skype for Business– it's installed with the Office applications.

The table below shows what you can expect for your end users after you renew to a new plan.

What is your current plan?

What plan are you moving to?

End user experience for Office applications and Skype for Business

How-to guidance for end users

  • Office 365 Small Business

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium

  • Office 365 Midsize Business

Office 365 Business or Office 365 Business Premium

All of your Office users will be prompted to install Office 2016 between 1-3 days after renewal.

Skype for Business users will need to sign in to the Office 365 portal and install the version of Skype for Business that comes with the new plan.

You can direct your end users to this article for a step-by-step walkthrough:

Reinstall Office and Skype for Business

  • Office 365 Small Business

  • Office 365 Small Business Premium

An enterprise plan (such as Office 365 Enterprise E3) or Office 365 ProPlus

All of your Office users should first uninstall their current version of Office before installing the new version from the Office 365 portal.

Skype for Business users will not have to reinstall it—it will be installed with the Office applications.

You can direct your end users to these articles for help:

Uninstall Office

Install Office using Office 365 for business

  • Office 365 Midsize Business

An enterprise plan (such as Office 365 Enterprise E3) or Office 365 ProPlus

Your end users won't have to do anything to continue using Office or Skype for Business.

Note   Mac users can won’t have to do anything to continue using Office and Skype for Business.

Renewing to the new plans: F.A.Q.

I noticed that the new plans don’t include Microsoft Access and Remote Desktop Services. How do I get these back?   
To provide Microsoft Access and Remote Desktop Services to your users, we recommend you upgrade to Office 365 Enterprise E3 when you renew. This plan includes Access and Remote Desktop Services. Learn more about Office 365 Enterprise E3.

What’s different about Skype for Business in the new plans?   
The old small and midsized business plans included the full Skype for Business client application, while the new plans include Skype for Business Basic. Skype for Business Basic gives you all the core functionality you need to IM, call Skype contacts, and join and present in meetings. For a full feature comparison, see Client comparison tables for Skype for Business 2015.

Can I renew and select a new plan at any time, or should I wait until my subscription expires?    
If you’re paying for your subscription with a credit card every month or year, you can renew at any time. However, if your subscription is a prepaid product key subscription, we recommend that you wait until the expiration date to renew. This will ensure that you don’t lose any unused, prepaid time on your old subscription.

What should I do if my subscription has already expired?    
You can renew your subscription using the steps in this article for up to 120 days after the subscription expires, in most countries and regions.

What if I have more than one subscription?   
If you have more than one Office 365 for business subscription, they will renew together into one new subscription. For example, a customer with 50 licenses in Office 365 Small Business, and another 50 licenses in Office 365 Small Business Premium, will renew to a single subscription with 100 licenses in Office 365 Business Premium.

Can I buy a product key from a retail store for one of the new plans?   
No. Product keys for the new plans aren’t available in retail stores.

Will my Partner of Record transition over to the new plan?   
Yes, your Partner of Record will transfer over to your new subscription without interruption. Your partner will receive an email confirming that the Partner of Record has been attached.

I have a product key for one of the old plans that I haven’t redeemed yet. Will it still work?   
Yes. You’ll be able to redeem keys to the old plans (Office 365 Small Business Premium and Office 365 Midsize Business) for renewal or to add licenses until September 30, 2016. To learn how, see the sections for renewing and adding licenses in Enter your product key for Office 365 for business. If you're an Open customer and you bought your key through a partner, see Enter a key purchased through Microsoft Open.

Note   You can only renew a subscription if it is active, or if it has expired but is not yet deprovisioned. Learn more about the subscription lifecycle.

Want more support? We're here to help.

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See Also

Find your product key for Office 365 for business

Problems with your Office 365 for business product key?

Billing in Office 365 for business – Admin Help

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



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