Remove licenses from users in Office 365 for business

Remove licenses from one user

Use the admin center (preview) to remove licenses from one user

The preview is available to all Microsoft 365 admins, you can opt in by selecting Try the preview toggle located at the top of the Home page. For more information, see About Microsoft 365 admin center preview.

  1. In the admin center, go to the choose Users > Active users page.

  2. On the Active Users page, choose the name of the user from whom you want to remove a license.

  3. At the top, choose the More (...) button, then choose Manage product licenses.

  4. In the user pane on the right, choose Licenses and Apps.

  5. Expand the Licenses section, clear the boxes for the licenses that you want to remove, then choose Save changes.

Use the old admin center to remove licenses from one user

  1. In the admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

    If you're using Office 365 Germany, go to this Active users page.

    If you're using Office 365 operated by 21Vianet, go to this Active users page.

  2. Pick the user from whom you want to remove the license.

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

  4. In the Product licenses pane, switch the toggle to the Off position for the license you want to remove from the user. For example, switching off Office 365 Enterprise E3 license will remove that license from the user and all of the services under that license.

  5. At the bottom of the Product licenses pane, choose Save > Close > Close.

Remove licenses from multiple users

Use the admin center (preview) to remove licenses from multiple users

The preview is available to all Microsoft 365 admins, you can opt in by selecting Try the preview toggle located at the top of the Home page. For more information, see About Microsoft 365 admin center preview.

  1. In the admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

  2. Select the circles next to the names of the users from whom you want to remove licenses.

  3. At the top, choose the More (...) button, then choose Manage product licenses.

  4. In the Manage product licenses pane, choose Replace existing product license assignments > Next.

  5. At the bottom of the Replace existing products pane, select the Remove all product licenses from the selected users. check box, then choose Replace > Close.

Use the old admin center to remove licenses from multiple users

  1. In the admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

    If you're using Office 365 Germany, go to this Active users page.

    If you're using Office 365 operated by 21Vianet, go to this Active users page.

  2. Select the boxes next to the names of the users from whom you want to remove all licenses.

  3. In the Bulk actions pane, choose Edit product licenses.

  4. In the Replace existing products pane, choose Replace existing product license assignments > Next.

  5. At the bottom of the Replace existing products pane, select the Remove all product licenses from the selected users. check box, then choose Replace > Close > Close.

What you need to know about removing licenses from users

  • You need to be either a Global admin or a User management admin. For more information, see About Office 365 admin roles.

  • You can remove licenses from user accounts with Office 365 PowerShell.

  • You can also delete user accounts that have been assigned a license to make their license available to other users. When you delete a user account, their license is immediately available to be assigned to someone else.

  • When a user's license is removed, data that is associated with that user account is held for 30 days. After the 30 day grace period, the data is deleted and can't be recovered. Files that are saved in OneDrive or SharePoint Online are not deleted.

  • If you have an Enterprise subscription, like Office 365 Enterprise E3, Exchange Online lets you preserve the mailbox data of a deleted user account by using inactive mailboxes. For more information, see Manage inactive mailboxes in Exchange Online.

  • For information about how to block a user's access to Office 365 data after their license has been removed and how to get access to the data afterwards, see Remove a former employee.

  • If you remove a user's license and they still have Office installed, they'll see Unlicensed Product notifications when they use Office.

Articles about managing licenses

Cancel your subscription