Manage the Microsoft Teams Exploratory license

The Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience lets users in your organization who have Azure Active Directory (AAD) and are not licensed for Teams initiate an exploratory experience of Teams. Admins can switch this feature on or off for users in their organization. The earlier Microsoft Commercial Cloud Trial is now replaced by The Teams Exploratory experience.

What's in the Teams Exploratory experience?

The service plans that an admin will see as part of the Teams Exploratory experience are:

  • Exchange Online (Plan 1)
  • Flow for Office 365
  • Insights by MyAnalytics
  • Microsoft Forms (Plan E1)
  • Microsoft Planner
  • Microsoft Search
  • Microsoft StaffHub
  • Microsoft Stream for O365 E1 SKU
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Mobile Device Management for Office 365
  • Office Mobile Apps for Office 365
  • Office Online
  • PowerApps for Office 365
  • SharePoint Online (Plan 1)
  • Sway
  • To-Do (Plan 1)
  • Whiteboard (Plan 1)
  • Yammer Enterprise

Who's eligible?

As long as the user has a managed AAD domain email address and currently does not have/haven't been assigned a Teams license, they are eligible for this experience. For example, if a user has Microsoft 365 Apps for business (which doesn't include Teams), they're eligible for the Teams Exploratory experience.

Users must be enabled to sign up for apps and trials (in the Microsoft 365 admin center). For more information, see Manage the Teams Exploratory experience, later in this article.

Who isn't eligible

Your organization isn't eligible for this offer if you're a Syndication Partner Customer or a GCC, GCC High, DoD, or EDU customer.

How users sign up for the Teams Exploratory experience

Eligible users can sign up for the Teams Exploratory experience by signing in to Teams (teams.microsoft.com). They will be assigned this license automatically and the tenant admin will receive an email notification the first time someone in your org starts the Teams Exploratory experience.

Manage the Teams Exploratory experience

The Teams Exploratory experience is meant to be initiated by individual end users, and you may not initiate this offer on behalf of end-user employees.

The Teams Exploratory experience comes with an Exchange Online license but it won't be assigned to the user until the admin assigns it. If the user doesn't have an Exchange license already and the admin has yet to assign the Exchange Online license, the user won't be able to schedule meetings in Teams and may be missing other Teams functionality.

Admins can disable the ability for end users to run the Teams Exploratory experience within their organization by using the Trial apps and services switch.

Prevent users from installing trial apps and services

You can turn off a user's ability to install trial apps and services, would prevent the user from running the Teams Exploratory experience. You must have admin privileges. To learn more about admin roles, see Use Microsoft Teams administrator roles to manage Teams

  1. From the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to Settings > Settings, select Services, and then select User owned apps and services.

    Screenshot of the Services page in the admin center

  2. Clear the Let users install trial apps and services check box.

    Screenshot of the User owned apps and services page in admin center

    Note

    If your organization is ineligible for the Teams Exploratory experience, you won't see the Let users install trial apps and services option.

Manage availability for a user with a license that includes Teams

A user who is assigned a license that includes Teams isn't eligible for the Teams Exploratory experience. When the Teams service plan is turned on, the user can sign in and use Teams. If the service plan is disabled, the user can't sign in and the Teams Exploratory experience isn't available. You must have admin privileges.

To turn off access to Teams:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, select Users > Active users.

  2. Select the box next to the name of the user.

  3. On the right, in the Product licenses row, choose Edit.

  4. In the Product licenses pane, switch the toggle to Off.

    Screenshot of the Product licenses page in the admin center.

Manage Teams availability for users who are already using the Teams Exploratory experience

If a user is running the Teams Exploratory experience, you can turn it off by removing the license or service plan. You must have admin privileges.

To turn off the the Teams Exploratory experience license:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, select Users > Active users.

  2. Select the box next to the name of the user.

  3. On the right, in the Product licenses row, choose Edit.

  4. In the Product licenses pane, switch the toggle for this exploratory license to Off.

    Note

    The Teams Exploratory toggle switch will appear after the first user in the organization launches the Teams Exploratory experience.

Manage Teams for users who have the Teams Exploratory license

You can manage users who have the Teams Exploratory license just like you manage users who have a regular paid license. For more information, see Manage Teams settings for your organization.

Upgrade users from the Teams Exploratory license

To upgrade users from the Teams Exploratory license (you must have admin privileges), do the following:

  1. Purchase a subscription that includes Teams.

  2. Remove the Teams Exploratory subscription from the user.

  3. Assign the newly purchased license.

For more information, see Microsoft Teams service description.

Note

If the Teams Exploratory license ends and a user isn't immediately upgraded to a subscription that includes Teams, the user data is not removed. The user still exists in Azure Active Directory and all data within Teams still remains. Once a new license is assigned to the user to enable Teams functionality again, all content will still exist.

What happens to legacy Microsoft Teams Commercial Cloud Trial licenses?

As of February, 2020, eligible users can begin using the latest Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience. All legacy Teams Commercial Cloud Trial licenses will be automatically converted to the new offer before their trial expires.

Remove a Teams Exploratory license

How long does the Teams Exploratory experience last?

The Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience is available at no additional cost until your next agreement anniversary or renewal on or after January 2021. At that time, end users on a Microsoft Exploratory experience license will need to move to a paid license that includes Teams. Any Microsoft Exploratory experience licenses initiated after that will remain available at no additional cost until your next anniversary or renewal cycle.

What happens if an end user initiates the Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience just before my anniversary or renewal date?

Microsoft Teams Exploratory experience licenses initiated within 90 days of your agreement anniversary or renewal will not be required to move to a paid license until the subsequent anniversary or renewal cycle.