Renew your Microsoft Certification

Keep pace with technology and stay Microsoft Certified

Technology moves fast. When your skills are current, you can focus on what’s ahead, instead of constantly playing catch-up. That’s why it’s important to keep your Microsoft Certifications active—and why we’ve introduced a free renewal process.

Now, Microsoft role-based and specialty certifications expire every year, unless renewed. You can renew your Microsoft Certifications by simply passing a free, unproctored, online renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn, instead of retaking exams. The assessments measure the skills you need to remain up to date in your job role. They’re shorter than the original exams because they focus only on the latest technology changes. A collection of free learning modules is available on Microsoft Learn to help you prepare for the assessment. Renewal opens within six months of your certification expiration date and extends for one year that same expiration date. We encourage you to renew ahead before your certification expires.

Important

Once you’re eligible to renew, you should receive an email directing you to the certification renewal page on Microsoft Learn, where you’ll find all the resources you need to prepare and renew.

Note

The renewal process does not apply to fundamentals certifications because they do not expire.

Watch this short video for a step-by-step overview of the renewal process.

Three steps to renew your certification

  1. Go to Microsoft Learn to connect your learn profile with your certification profile. You’ll only need to do this once.
  2. If you want to refresh your skills, you can prepare with the collection of free learning modules available on Microsoft Learn.
  3. Take the free online assessment and pass it before your certification expires. When you pass, your certification extends for one year from its current expiration date.

Tip

You can check to see which certifications are available to renew at any time by visiting your certification dashboard. After you've connected your profiles, you’ll be able to view them on your Learn profile as well.

Validate your skills and stay up to date

  • Maintain your Microsoft Certification with a continuous learning mindset and keep your skills current throughout your career.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge and prove you have the expertise required to succeed in your job role.
  • Renew your certification for free, without retaking exams.
  • Drive greater productivity and efficiency within your organization, while applying your skills to create robust, modern, and secure solutions.

Note

You can take the assessment as many times as you need. Just make sure you pass before your certification expires. If you don't pass the first time, you can try again right away. But after the second try, you'll need to wait at least 24 hours before your next attempt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions about Microsoft Certification renewal.

Question Answer
Renewal facts
Do all Microsoft Certifications have the option to renew? Microsoft role-based and specialty certifications that have been available for more than six months will have the renewal option. For more details, please check out our certification renewal blog at: https://aka.ms/CertRenewalList
Is there a cost to renew Microsoft Certifications? No, certification renewal is free. Free renewals are available if you hold a valid Microsoft role-based or specialty certification.
Do I need to renew my Microsoft fundamentals certification? No. The certification renewal process does not apply to fundamentals certifications, because they do not expire.
Why do role-based certifications expire after one year? Beginning in June 2021, newly earned role-based certifications expire after one year. This shift to annual renewals helps to ensure that your certification aligns with evolving job roles and the changing skills you need to keep pace with cloud technologies. This approach also equips tech professionals to prove that their skills remain relevant in the market and enables them to stay up to date with evolving technology.
Can I renew my certification by passing a beta exam or by retaking an exam before my certification expires? No. To renew your certification, you need to pass the renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn before your certification expires. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

You cannot renew your certification by passing a Pearson VUE exam, even if it's a new or updated version of the exam you initially passed to earn the certification. For example, if you took AZ-103 to earn your Microsoft Azure Administrator certification, you cannot take and pass the new exam AZ-104 to renew your certification. You must pass the renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn to renew your certification.
My expert-level certification requires achieving an associate-level certification as a prerequisite. If the associate-level certification expires, will my expert-level certification automatically expire, too? No. Your expert-level certification will not automatically expire if your associate-level prerequisite certification expires. Each certification must be renewed separately by passing the associated assessment.
My certification expired. What happens now? If your certification expires, you must earn the certification again by passing the required exam(s). For more information, visit: Certification expiration policy.
Renewal process
Are there different ways to renew my certification? No. The only way to renew a Microsoft Certification is by passing the no-cost, online renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn.
Can I renew my certification more than six months before it expires? No. The renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn is only available once you're eligible, which happens within six months before your certification expires (expiration dates and times are in UTC).

We recommend that you pass the renewal assessment well before your certification expires so you have adequate time to complete the renewal steps, and to ensure that you're covered in the event of a technical issue, a medical emergency, or if you need to retake the assessment multiple times.
Where do I go to check what certifications are available for me to renew? You can visit your Microsoft Certification Dashboard to see which certifications are eligible to renew. You'll want to connect your Certification Dashboard with your Learn profile to begin your renewal assessment online; when you pass the renewal assessment, your certification will automatically be extended by one additional year.

Note: You should also receive email notifications as soon as you're eligible to renew a certification.
Connecting profiles
Is it mandatory for me to connect my certification profile to my Learn profile? Yes. Connecting your certification profile enables you to take the renewal assessment on Microsoft Learn when the eligibility window opens. You'll also have a more personalized experience. You will only need to do this once.

As part of the renewal process, you'll be required to use the same personal Microsoft account credentials for both your certification profile and Learn profile. Please note that only one certification profile can be connected to one Learn profile. If you have multiple certification profiles, please contact our certification support team to merge your Microsoft Certification profiles before connecting to your Learn profile.
What's the difference between my Microsoft Certification profile and Learn profile? Your Microsoft Certification profile holds the record of your certification history with Microsoft, and you access it with a personal Microsoft account. If you have registered for a Microsoft Certification exam or accessed the Certification Dashboard, you have a Microsoft Certification profile.

Your Learn profile includes activity history across Microsoft Learn, Docs, Q&A, and code samples. You access it using either a personal Microsoft account or a work or school account.
I have a Microsoft Certification profile and a Learn profile, each associated with different personal accounts. How do I connect these two profiles? Before you can connect a Microsoft Certification profile and Learn profile that each use different personal accounts, you will need to choose a single personal account to use for both. To review your options for connecting these accounts, please see the document "Aligning accounts between Certification Profile and Learn Profile."
Renewal assessment
How many times can I retake the assessment? You may retake the assessment as many times as you need. Just make sure you pass before your certification expires. If you do not pass the first time, you can try again right away. But after the second try, you'll need to wait at least 24 hours before your next attempt.
Once I pass the renewal assessment, how long does it take to update the certification artifacts and show the new expiration date? It takes 24-48 hours for all certification artifacts to update. The new expiration dates will be reflected in these artifacts. Certification badges issued by Credly (Microsoft has partnered with Credly to award badges for passed exams and earned certifications) will also be updated with the new expiration dates. Note that new certification badges are not issued—current badges are simply updated with the latest expiration dates.
Are the renewal assessments aligned to the regular exam update cadence? Yes. Updates to the assessments are aligned with certification exam updates.
Which languages are assessments available in? Renewal assessments on Microsoft Learn will be available in the same language(s) as their corresponding certification exams.
I have heard renewal assessment is shorter. How do I prepare for the renewal assessment? The unproctored assessment focuses on the updates relevant to the job role so it is shorter than the exams you passed to earn the certification originally. The renewal assessment takes about 45 minutes to complete.

You can prepare for the renewal assessment by using the learning modules for the specific certification that you are trying to renew. Visit the individual renewal pages on Microsoft Learn to access the learning collection.