Resolve license conflicts in Office 365 for business

We recommend that you buy the licenses that you need for your subscription before you create new users. That way, a license can be assigned to new users as user accounts are created. If you have already assigned all of your licenses to users, but some of the licenses have expired, or you try to remove a license that is already assigned to a user, you will have license conflicts. For more information, see Remove licenses from your subscription.

How do I view license conflicts?

  1. In the Admin center, go to the Licenses page, or choose Billing > Licenses.

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

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

  2. Check the Status column for information about the conflict. If there's a conflict, you'll see a warning message, like in the following screenshot, that says one or more users need a valid license.

    Note

    You won't see the Status column if there are no conflicts.

    Status column on the Licenses page.

How do I resolve license conflicts?

You can resolve license conflicts by either buying more licenses or by removing licenses from users who no longer need them.

Buy more licenses

  1. In the Admin center, go to the Licenses page, or choose Billing > Licenses.

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

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

  2. In the Status column, choose Buy more to buy more licenses.

    Note

    You won't see the Status column if there are no conflicts.

    Status column on the Licenses page.

  3. On the subscriptions page, if you have multiple subscriptions, select the subscription that you need to purchase licenses for.

  4. Choose Add/Remove licenses.

    Add/Remove licenses link on the Subscriptions page.

  5. In the Total licenses box, enter the total number of licenses that you need for this subscription and then choose Submit. For example, if you had 100 licenses and you need to add 5 more, you would enter 105.

  6. Review your new monthly cost and then choose Close.

For more information about buying more licenses, see Buy licenses for your subscription.

Note

You can also renew your organization's subscription if it has expired. If Recurring billing is turned off, when the subscription expires you'll have a license conflict for every user and every service in that subscription. You can resolve these conflicts by renewing your company's subscription.

Remove licenses from users who don't need them

Complete the following steps to remove licenses from users who don't need them. You can optionally delete a user account to free a license.

Important

When you remove licenses, any user data associated with those licenses is deleted.

  1. In the Admin center, go to the Licenses page, or choose Billing > Licenses.

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

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

  2. In the Status column, choose Unassign to remove licenses from users who no longer need them.

    Note

    You won't see the Status column if there are no conflicts.

    Status column on the Licenses page.

  3. You'll see a list of users who are assigned this license.

    Select one or more users that you want to remove the license from. The users appear in the Selected users list. After you've selected the users, choose Next.

    Select users in which to remove licenses.

  4. Choose Remove licenses > Yes > Finish.

Assign licenses to users

Remove licenses from users