Quickstart: Manage paid access for users

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We’ve recently simplified Azure DevOps billing, so now rather than complete a purchase process, you assign and remove users. You're billed according to these assignments. This article is repurposed to help you take advantage of the tools we have for managing paid access for users. This way you only pay for what you need.

In this quickstart, learn how to manage paid access to Azure Boards, Azure Repos and Azure Test Plans.

Visual Studio subscribers get access included with their subscription, and their subscription is detected when they sign in to Azure DevOps for the first time.


To configure costs for Azure DevOps, see the Pricing calculator or the Azure DevOps pricing page.


Ensure the following is true:

Assign users Basic or Basic + Test Plans

The simplest way to control paid access is by manually assigning an access level when you add a new user to your organization and by removing users when they leave your organization.

Keep the following information in mind:

  • Visual Studio subscribers are detected automatically when they sign in. There's no additional charge for users with a Visual Studio subscription.
  • Stakeholder is a free access level with limited functionality.
  • Basic is free for the first 5 users, and paid for 6 or more users.
  • Basic + Test Plans is paid only, but is free to try for 30 days.

Select the default access level for new users

After you set up billing for your organization all new users get the free Stakeholder access if they’re added directly to a Project. That way you aren't surprised by charges for new users who weren’t added directly to the organization by a Project Collection Administrator.

To change the access level for new users added to projects, do the following tasks:

  1. Sign in to your organization (https://dev.azure.com/{yourorganization}).

  2. Select gear icon Organization settings.

    Open Organization settings

  3. Select Billing.

    Select Billing settings
  4. Change Default access level for new users to Basic.

    Default access level for new users to Basic

Automate access level assignment with group rules

Larger organizations may want to automate access level assignments, so you don't have to manually do so every time a user is added or removed. Group rules are a great way to automate access level assignment for your organization, and under assignment-based billing, you’ll find that assignment errors are no longer very common.

Reduce charges for users who no longer need access

Billing stops automatically when users are removed from your organization or are assigned the free Stakeholder access level.

To find out if you have users who are no longer using Azure DevOps, do the following tasks:

  1. Sign in to your organization (https://dev.azure.com/{yourorganization}).

  2. Select gear icon Organization settings.

    Open Organization settings

  3. Select Users and then sort by Last Access.

    Select Users and then sort by Last Access
  4. If you have users who've never signed in, you can find out how recently they were added by exporting the list of users and checking the Date Created column.

    Export users

Pay for a user once across multiple organizations

If you have more than one Azure DevOps organization, you can turn on multi-org billing and pay for each Basic or Basic + Test Plan user once, for all organizations under the same billing Azure subscription. For more details, see the multi-org billing FAQ.

Next steps