We just had a client inquire as to exactly what happens when they remove a license from a Microsoft Office 365 user because that user has left the company and we thought you might be interested to know too so here’s the answer.

What Happens To Email & OneDrive Data After The Microsoft 365 License is Removed?

After a license has been removed from a user:

  1. their email and OneDrive into a cloud recycle bin as a ‘soft delete’ for 30 days, after which it will be permanently deleted
    • if email is required to be maintained for legal or historical reference, Microsoft allows you, to convert their mail to what’s called a ‘shared mailbox’ and you can have as many as you want
    • shared mailboxes are completely free and you can have an unlimited number of them
    • A shared mailbox can be accessed by other people in the company, like yourself, but cannot send mail
    • This is an extremely common procedure
  2. The license immediately make the license available for some else
  3. The license could be immediately canceled (to stop paying for that license) at the next billing cycle which for some companies is monthly and other companies is annual
    • Many companies choose annual licensing because it’s about 15% less expensive than the monthly

How To Remove A Microsoft Office 365 License From a User

It is easy to remove a Microsoft Office 365 License:

Remove A Microsoft Office 365 License From a User
  1. Surf to https://portal.office.com and sign in
    • Note that you muse be a Microsoft Office 365 “Administrator” to make licensing changes
  2. Click the ADMIN icon in the bottom of the left rail.
  3. Click on USERS in the left rail
  5. Click on the user that you’re interested in
  6. Click on LICENSES AND APPS at the top right
  7. Remove the check mark from Office 365
  8. Click the SAVE CHANGES button
  9. Complete the wizard asking you what you want to do with the data and email


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