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Manage licenses

Published: June 8, 2012

Updated: February 27, 2014

noteNote
This topic provides online help content for cloud services, such as Windows Intune and Office 365, which rely on Windows Azure Active Directory for identity and directory services.

A subscription to a Microsoft cloud service is made up of a number of licenses to a set of services. A company chooses the services it needs and the number of users that it requires for each of those services; then, the administrator assigns a license to each user for each service that user needs access to.

There are two broad categories of tasks that administrators perform on licenses:

  • Assigning and adding licenses: You can assign licenses to new users when creating new accounts, and you can assign licenses to existing accounts. You can add a license (for example, if you have assigned all of your licenses for a particular service, and another user needs that service) or remove a license from a user entirely (if that user won’t need that service again).

  • Resolving license conflicts: A license conflict occurs when your company has more users assigned to a service than you have available licenses for that service. You can resolve this by buying more licenses, by removing a license from a user, by deleting a user account, or by renewing your company’s subscription if it has expired.

Different types of administrators can work with licenses in different ways, depending on their roles. Refer to the following table for a summary of the most common options. For a complete list of administrator roles and privileges, see Assigning administrator roles.

 

Administrator role Assign a license Remove a license Purchase more licenses Delete a user

Global administrator

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Billing administrator

No

No

Yes

No

User management administrator

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Service administrator

No

No

No

No

Password administrator

No

No

No

No

If your company hires more people or changes work assignments, you might need more licenses for the services you already use. A global administrator or a billing administrator can purchase more licenses at any point. In addition, if you have a license conflict where you have more users assigned to a service than you have licenses available, you can resolve the conflict by buying more licenses for that service.

To purchase more licenses, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.

  2. In the left pane, under Subscriptions, click Purchase.

  3. Find the service that you want to buy licenses for, and then click Add more.

  4. Follow the directions on the screen to complete your purchase.

For more information about subscriptions, see Buy subscriptions for your organization.

Most companies choose to have their subscription to the cloud service renew automatically. It is possible to turn off automatic renewal. If you have turned off automatic renewal, when the subscription expires, you will have a license conflict for every user and every service in that subscription. The only way to resolve this type of license conflict is to have the global administrator or billing administrator renew your company’s subscription. For the procedure to turn automatic renewal on or off, see Change licenses or storage space for your subscription.

To contact the cloud service Support to renew your subscription, do the following.

  1. In the header, click Admin.

  2. In the left pane, under Support, click Service Requests.

  3. On the Service requests page, click New request.

  4. For Issue type, click Subscription and Billing Support, and then complete the service request.

(What do you want to do?)

More information The following steps can be completed using either the Office 365 account portal, the Windows Intune account portal or the Windows Azure AD portal, depending on which services your organization has subscribed to. In this way, portals act as front-end interfaces that pull in directory data associated with your organizations Windows Azure AD tenant. For more information about using portals to manage your tenant, see Administering your Windows Azure AD tenant.

Global administrators and user management administrators can assign a license to a user. In most cases, this is done when the user account is first created. For more information, see Create or edit users.

It is also possible to change license assignments for users after they are created. To add a license to an existing user account, do the following.

  1. Depending on which portal you are using, in the left pane, click either Users or Users and Groups.

  2. Depending on which portal you are using, select the check box next to the user to whom you want to assign a license, and then click either Edit or the Edit icon.

    noteNote
    • Not all services are available in all user locales. For a list of restrictions, see License restrictions.

    • You can assign new licenses or replace existing licenses for more than one user at a time. On the Users page, select the check box next to the names of the users, click Edit, and then click Next twice until the Assign licenses page appears. Select Replace existing license assignments or Add to existing license assignments, and then select the check box for the licenses that you want to assign. For information about editing multiple users, see Create or edit users.

    • You cannot assign a license for a service if your company has no licenses available for that service. For the procedure to purchase more licenses, see Purchase more licenses.

    • Click Licenses, select the checkboxes next to the licenses you want to assign to the user, and then click Save.

If users’ job responsibilities change, a global administrator or user management administrator can change the services that they use by removing the licenses from those users. In addition, if you have a license conflict where you have more users assigned to a service than you have licenses available, you can resolve the conflict by removing licenses from users who no longer use them.

When you remove a license, all data associated with that service for that user is deleted and cannot be recovered (with the exception of documents that they saved on SharePoint Online). For example, if you remove a license for Exchange Online from a user, that user’s mailbox and all messages contained in it are deleted. We recommend that you instead either purchase more licenses or delete user accounts for users who no longer work at your company.

To remove a license from a user, do the following.

  1. Depending on which portal you are using, in the left pane, click either Users or Users and Groups.

  2. Depending on which portal you are using, select the check box next to the user to whom you want to remove a license, and then click either Edit or the Edit icon.

  3. Click Licenses, clear the checkboxes next to the licenses you want to remove from the user, and then click Save.

    CautionCaution
    When you remove a license from a user, any data associated with that user for that service is deleted and cannot be recovered (with the exception of documents saved on SharePoint Online).

For more information, see Delete or restore a user and Change licenses or storage space for your subscription.

(What do you want to do?)

If an employee leaves your company, a global administrator or user management administrator can delete that employee’s account. When you do this, any licenses that had been assigned to that person become available and can be assigned to other users.

To delete a user account, do the following.

  1. Depending on which portal you are using, in the left pane, click either Users or Users and Groups.

  2. Depending on which portal you are using, select the check box next to the name of the user you want to delete, and then click either Delete or the Delete icon.

  3. When the dialog box appears to ask if you are sure you want to delete the user, click Yes.

    CautionCaution
    When a user account is deleted, all data for that user is deleted (with the exception of documents saved on SharePoint Online). Only delete users when you know that they will not need that data in the future.

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