What's new in the Microsoft 365 admin center
We're continuously adding new features to the Microsoft 365 admin center, fixing issues we learn about, and making changes based on your feedback. Take a look below to see what's available for you today. Some features get rolled out at different speeds to our customers. If you aren't seeing a feature yet, try adding yourself to targeted release.
Interested in what we're currently working on and plan to release soon? Check out What's next for the Microsoft 365 admin center.
And if you're interested in what's new in other admin centers:
We are ramping up for some exciting feature releases at Ignite 2019, so we're only announcing a few new features that were released in September. But stay tuned for next month's article, it'll be published on the first day of Ignite!
Featured Feedback Fix – The option to convert the deleted user’s mailbox to a shared mailbox is back!
We heard your feedback loud and clear and we brought back the ability to give someone else access to a deleted user’s mailbox by converting it to a shared mailbox. Adding this back to the delete user wizard lets you decide what to do with the data:
- Email: Give someone else access to the deleted user's mailbox by converting it to a shared mailbox.
- Files: Save their OneDrive files and give someone else access.
- Permissions: Remove permissions if others had access to this mailbox.
- Aliases: Remove email aliases so they are available to use for another user right away.
There's been an update to another of our initial setup wizards: Microsoft 365 for business. The steps have been streamlined and we've moved two of the set up tasks into the Setup page:
- Secure Windows 10 computers - set up policies to better protect your Windows 10 devices from viruses, malware, and attacks by hackers.
- Automatically install Office - When you turn this on and users have connected their PCs to Microsoft 365 Business, their computers will automatically update to the latest Office apps - and stay up to date.
Add user template
Templates allow you to easily add many users by saving and reusing the shared settings for these users. You can save values for roles, licenses assigned, contact information, location, and more. When you use the template to create a new user, they will automatically get the saved value for these settings. Go to Users > Active users, and then select User templates to try it out.
We've got some updates for billing and subscriptions this month:
- Device-based subscriptions: You can assign or unassign Office 365 ProPlus for Education (device) licenses to devices in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Office 365 ProPlus for Education (device) is an add-on license that will lets you to assign a license to a device. Go to Billing > Products & services to find and purchase the license.
- User-based license management: We've updated how you assign licenses in Users > Active users to the new style. For more information, see:
Setup page updates
Setup now has categories and sections, including a Recommended for you section where we intelligently suggest your next step in turning on features and setting up your organization. We've also added a new feature to set up:
- Office Advanced Threat Protection - If your org is licensed to use Office ATP and you haven't configured it or turned it on yet, you'll see this page. Go to Setup to try it out.
Report an outage
If you are impacted by an issue that is not showing up on your Service health dashboard, the Report an Outage feature will provide you with a quick and easy way to let us know. Go to Health > Service health.
The Message center has been updated to the new design and it looks amazing!
- You can now view Messages by status. Just select one of the tabs: All active messages, High importance, Unread messages, and Dismissed messages.
- You can also filter by category Data privacy, Plan for change, Prevent or fix issues, and Stay informed message categories.
- Select a message from the list and you have a few options in the command bar: Dismiss, Mark as read or Mark as unread, or Share the message.
- And when you open a message, you have even more options:
- Copy a link of the message to your clipboard to save it for later or to share it with colleagues.
- Mark messages as Read or Unread.
- Give feedback about a message by selecting Like or Dislike, a feedback pane opens asking you to provide specific feedback on what you liked or didn't like about this message.
Navigation pane intelligence
The navigation pane now remembers your last actions and shows you the pane in the last state that you left it in. It will also make frequently used items visible by default.
Initial setup & the Setup page
We've got some exciting changes to help you get your organization set up. First off, let's discuss the difference between setup and the Setup page. Setup refers to the initial setup wizard that you used to onboard to Microsoft's online services. That usually includes three specific steps: Connect a domain, Add users, and Download the Office apps. The Setup page is the page in the admin center that has recommended set up tasks to ensure that you're getting the most out of your subscriptions - like turning on features you've purchased licenses for.
- Setup - The initial setup wizard has been updated for Office 365 for Business subscriptions. This new design will help new organizations get through the wizard faster and with greater success.
- Setup page - The Setup page helps you finish setting up and securing the services that come with your subscriptions. You can also see any dismissed recommendations on the Setup page. To see if it's available for your subscriptions yet, go to the Microsoft 365 admin center > Setup.
Billing & subscriptions
- Software product type - You can now view software products purchased through a Cloud Service Provider (CSP). To see your downloads and keys, go to Billing > Products & services > Software tab.
- You can view Modern Azure products and services from the Microsoft 365 admin center, whether you purchased them from Microsoft or a third-party provider. Examples of Modern Azure products included:
- Azure Reserved Virtual Instances
- Azure Support Plans
- Azure Hybrid Use Benefits (AHUB)
- Manage Applications
- Device Services
- Azure Subscriptions
Simplify multi-factor authentication
Admins have access to sensitive information in your organization. Require all admins to use multi-factor authentication when signing in. The new wizard helps you get it done with just one step. To try it out, go to Setup > Strengthen sign-in security.
The Deleted users and Guest users pages were updated to the new style.
- Guest users: You add guest users by inviting them to view or share files from SharePoint or OneDrive. You can view guest users from Users > Guest users.
- Deleted users: On the updated Deleted users page, you can do all the actions that you could in the older admin center, but now you add and remove columns. And we have a lot of column options to choose from. In fact, it's the same columns that you can choose on the Active users page.
Featured feedback request - Dark mode
Viewing the admin center in dark mode is in preview! You can test it out on the Home page only right now. On the Home page, the Dark mode button is in the command bar next to the What's new link.
At the end of June we started rolling out new way to manage admin roles. When it's available for you, go to Roles > Roles. Until then, take a look - it's awesome!
This new experience makes it easier to see who has admin permissions and to assign roles that grant the right level of access to your admins. And we also added more roles from Azure AD so that you don't waste time going to multiple admin centers. What else can you do here?
- Export a list of all admins in your org who are assigned Azure Active Directory roles in Microsoft 365.
- View all admins assigned to a specific role, add or remove admins from a specific role, search for roles by name and keyword, and learn more about what each role allows a user to do.
- Quickly search for a specific role and create filters.
We've updated how you pay for your subscriptions. Go to Billing > Bills & payments > Payment methods. You can see your payment methods in a list view. Select any item in the list to remove it, edit it, and easily see which subscription that payment method is associated with.
May's featured fix - Case sensitivity
Now when you search for shared mailboxes, contacts, resources, and mailbox permissions, your search terms don't have to be case-sensitive.
User and group management This month, we updated Block user, Reset password, Contacts list view, Groups list view, and the Groups details pages to the new admin center style.
- With the new Groups list view, you get richer data about your groups, and you can customize the way you see your data -- and the groups list remembers how you want to see your data. For example, you can now filter on Groups with Teams to see if your groups are part of a Team and you can add the Teams status column.
- The groups list also brings with it all the improvements we made to the list experience in user management, including quick actions and the contextual command bar.
You might see a new recommendation pop-up in your admin center - we just added 4 new ones. Of course, you'll only see recommendations if we think it will benefit your organization. But don't wait until we show you the recommendation - you can add it from the card library.
- Password expiry - We recommend that passwords get set to Never expire. And if your org has a different setting, you might just see this recommendation.
- Too many global admins - Because having too many global admins is a security threat, if you have more than 4 global admins, you'll see this recommendation. We suggest giving users only the access they need to get their job done.
- Intune device protection - If your licenses include Intune and we detect that you either haven't finished setting up Intune or enrolled your devices, we'll recommend that you create an Intune policy to protect your organization's files when users access them from their mobile devices.
- Get monthly Office feature updates - We've gotten feedback from our very small customers that when they get monthly Office feature updates, their users are happier. So, if you're a very small business and you're currently get your Office feature updates every six months, you'll see this recommendation.
As for settings, there have been quite a few changes. Mostly, just updating the existing settings to the new admin center style. As we're moving forward and add new settings that you've never seen before, we'll start mentioning them here. And we've got one-whole setting to announce: Modern authentication. Yes, there is a new setting to turn on Modern authentication! To check it out, go to Settings > Services & add-ins > Modern authentication.
Things are looking great for the admin center. We've been reading your feedback and suggestions, answering most of them, and really taking all you have to say to heart. Of course, we're still doing the work to make sure everything is up to parity with the old admin center. And please remember - as we roll out new features, you might not get it right away.
Featured feature - Add users
For April, we're featuring the Add user wizard that walks you through...wait for it...adding users. It's a step-by-step to add the user's basic info like email and display name, assigning a license and a role, adding their contact information, and then reviewing the user's account before you commit. Why did we make this change? We heard your feedback that you didn't like the nearly infinite scroll to add users in the previous experience.
There are two ways you can check it out:
- From the Home page, select Add user from the User management card. The wizard opens right there, so you don't have to navigate from any work you're doing on the Home page.
- Go to Users > Active users, and then select Add user from the command bar.
We've made a few more changes to user management, here's a quick list:
- The Manage roles pane has been updated to the new style and is accessible. We've also updated the Block user and Delete user panes to the new style.
- Manage product licenses changed position in the command bar.
- Changing a user's photo is now easier. In Active users select a user, and then Change photo under their picture.
But wait! There's more...
- There's a new setup banner on the Home page that you'll see if you haven't finished the set up steps, like adding a domain, adding users, and downloading the Office apps.
- The Group list and details pane have been updated to the new style. Go to Groups > Groups to view the changes.
- Speaking of groups, we've also added a Microsoft Teams tab to the groups details pane where you can turn any Office 365 group into a Team. To "teamify" a group select any Office 365 group from the list, select the Microsoft Teams tab, and then Create Team. If the group is already a Team, you'll get a link to manage it from the Teams admin center.
- Finally, you can add the Teams status to the groups list. On the column header, select Choose columns > Teams status > Save.
- New limited admin roles - We've release some new admin roles so that you can give users only the access they need.
- Kaizala admin: Users in this role have permission to perform all management tasks within Microsoft Kaizala, including create and manage users in Kaizala directory, manage Kaizala groups, manage action cards and connectors, and create service requests.
- Search admin: Users in this role have full access to all Microsoft Search management features in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Search admins can delegate the Search admin and Search editor roles to users, and create and manage content, like bookmarks, Q&A items, and locations. Additionally, these users can view the message center, monitor service health, and create service requests.
- Search editor: Users in this role can create, manage, and delete content for Microsoft Search in the Microsoft 365 admin center, including bookmarks, Q&A items, and locations.
- There's a bonanza of Billing changes this month...
- You can now update the CVV for existing credit cards without having to delete it and add it again. You can update the CVV by going to Bills > Payment methods.
- We've made it easier to locate your Invoices and understand any billing issues your account may be having. And now you can see your Bills in the web browser instead of having to download the PDF. Go to Bills > Invoices.
- On the Products & services page, we now aggregate your subscription information if you've got multiple subscriptions of the same type.
March 2019 - We've officially released the admin center!
Well, if you missed the exciting news, we've officially release the new and improved Microsoft 365 admin center! Here's the blog post where we announced it: The new Microsoft 365 admin center available today. For March, we'll rely on the blog post for you to check out the features released - plus, you can also read the post for the features that are getting released in the near future, which we're not allowed to do in core content.
We do have one change to the Billing & subscriptions area that we'd like to mention. I mean, y'all didn't think we were done with improving it, did you? Because we're not! In fact, this month we added added the ability to manage your partner relationships to Billing > Billing accounts. From here you can review your partner relationships across Advisor, CSP, and Indirect resellers. You can also accept new partner relationship requests, including delegated admin permissions.
As always, your feedback is important to us, so keep it coming! On any page in the admin center, you can give feedback by selecting Give feedback in the bottom-right, next to Need help?
February 2019 - Billing & Subscriptions Edition
This month, we're going to focus on all the improvements we've made to the areas affectionately referred to as "Billing and subscriptions". In the past, you probably didn't refer to those things affectionately, but we think you will now...
- Payment methods - We heard your feedback that updating your payment method was difficult and we've made a lot of changes around it. Go to Billing > Payment methods. You can easily see your payment methods, like your Visa card, and which subscription it is associated with. In your list of payment methods, select the More menu (3 little dots next to the expiration date), and then select View subscriptions. You can also edit and delete your payment methods using the More menu.
- Billing account - Targeted release customers will see the new Billing account page first and then we'll roll it out to world-wide. When it's available for you, go to Billing > Billing account. What can you do on the new billing account page? I'm glad you asked:
- Update the address and other contact information in your organizational profile directly from this page. You don't have to go to Settings > Organization profile, unless you want to.
- And we're making life easier for Direct or Volume licensing customers, you can accept and review customer agreements from Billing accounts. You can also connect with other orgs allowing you to link the orgs together to share licenses and resources.
- We've also done a few smaller enhancements and bug fixes:
- Reactivate a subscription with an Invoice payment
- Edit the service usage address for your subscriptions
- And on the Inventory details page, we've added some notification enhancements, we link you to the actual page where you can do the work, and there are more actions on the inventory details card. Go to Billing > Bills > View details on any invoice.
January 2019 - Happy New Year!
- Still adding in Services & add-ins - We've updated more of the Settings > Services & add-ins pages. Try Integrated Apps or Reports to see the latest.
- Searching for improvements? Look no further than the Search box in the command bar. It's been updated to let you search for tasks. For example, try "password reset" or "add a user".
Featured Feedback Fix - Licenses and apps
We re-combined Licenses and apps in the user details pane based on your feedback. We initially separated the two features to provide space for the details of all license and all app possibilities. We heard from you that separating licenses and apps into two panes added confusion. We listened, and brought licenses and apps back together into one tab. Now you can make sure that an app is turned off in all licenses assigned to a user in one pane. Milk and cookies. Licenses and apps. We get it now.
Check it out: Users > Active users > Edit or Add user > Licenses and Apps.
- Services & add-ins - In October we updated Settings > Services & add-ins with our new design style, but all of the settings pages were still in the classic style. This month, we've started updating the actual settings to the new design. Check out Bookings to see the new look.
- User management - Manage username, alias, primary email address.
- We've added two Home cards to the library. You can read their full descriptions in the library.
- Intune Device enrollment
- Recommendations - You might see a new recommendation pop-up in your admin center. Of course, you'll only see recommendations if we think it will benefit your organization. But don't wait until we show you the recommendation - you can add it from the card library.
- Protect sensitive info - We recommend creating a data loss prevention (DLP) policy to detect when items containing sensitive info are shared with people outside your organization.
The Search box is back! And we moved it slightly. It's still at the top of the Home page, but it's now on the right-side of the page near the Add card button.
We've added cards for the dashboard. Just go to the admin center and select Add card to see the new cards:
- Office 365 Active users report - Monitor the usage of the Office 365 services you've purchased.
- Office 365 software - Install or deploy Office 365 ProPlus software and see how many licensed users have activated it.
- Azure Active Directory - Gives you quick access to common Azure AD tasks like self-serve password resets, customizing sign-in, and adding apps.
The Export users quick task has been added to command bar on the Active users page.
Purchase services has additional enhancements for November. And they are ALL good! To get there, go to Billing > Purchase services.
- At the top of the page, you can pivot between Business and Education plans. That will help you find what you're looking for.
- We added a search box so you don't have to scroll endlessly to find what you're looking for.
- Finally, we logically sorted the plans you can purchase into sections that you can expand and collapse. Don't need purchase any of the Office apps and services? Collapse that section and focus on Microsoft 365 plans.
There's a new way to buy subscriptions in the Microsoft 365 admin center. Go to Purchase services to see the completely redesigned shopping experience that makes it easy to search, compare plans, and other great new features that helps make purchasing a subscription easier.
The Services and add-ins page has been updated to the new look and feel, but everything else works exactly the same. Of course, you should check out the command bar to see what new things you can do, like filtering and changing the list to compact view. In the navigation pane, go to Settings > Services & add-ins to check it out.
Home improvements The Home page has been completely re-done and we can't wait for you to try it out and see what you think. This is your personal Home page and you won't affect the Home pages of other admins in your organization.
You can add, remove, and move home page cards around the Home page. Select + Add card in the top right corner to see which cards are available in the card library, and then drag them anywhere on the Home page. Don't like where it landed? Drag it to where you want it. You don't even have to save any more.
Take organization to the next level by grouping cards into sections. We've created two default sections for you: Basics and Devices and updates. Very soon, you'll be able to add, remove, and rename sections to design a Home page that works for you.
Most of the cards are informative and actionable, which means that you'll be provided with just-in-time information to help you do your daily tasks faster and smarter.
The navigation pane has been re-organized and you can customize it for your quick tasks. Just select Edit from the bottom of the navigation pane to start customizing.
Billing You'll probably notice some of the biggest changes to the Microsoft 365 admin center in the Billing section. You can manage subscriptions and apps you've bought from Microsoft or another vendor, including new experiences for inventory management, order history, payment methods, and invoicing.
Subscription management has been redesigned to give you a new inventory management experience for more product types including apps, software, and add-ins. It's now called Products & services to better reflect the support for new product types being added. You can now choose to have a card or table view of the products and services, and you can search and filter to quickly find what you're looking for.
It's now easier than ever to assign a product license to your users. Select your purchased product and then you can assign the product. You can also see which users have already been assigned a particular product.
Switch plans is now called ** Upgrades ** and finally the subscription upgrades happen behind the scenes so you don't have to watch the upgrade complete. Lastly, there is no longer a license limitation on upgrades.
User management We've made a lot of changes to user management to help you get your work done faster. We've updated the ** Active users ** page and the user's details pane. Here's some of the more awesome changes:
There's a new design and new layout to the Active users page. Don't like the way the list looks? Select Change view (next to Filter) and you can change the list from Normal list to Compact list. Compact list is especially helpful if you've got a lot of users in your organization.
The command bar (where Search lives) is dynamic and the list of actions will change depending on the number of users you've selected: no users, one user, or multiple users. You'll also see how many users you have selected next to Search.
You can perform quick tasks like resetting passwords for single or multiple users directly from the list view.
The User's details and settings are now organized by the following tabs: Account, Devices, Licenses, Apps, Mail, and OneDrive. Previously, many of these settings were located across multiple screens.