Microsoft 365 / remove license / keep regular mail address

ChrisHap 21 Reputation points


we have two users who are each assigned a Microsoft 365 Business Basic license.

Can I safely remove the licenses from the two users and keep the email addresses,
(without converting them to shared mailboxes)?

The users are and remain in the company, but only need their own valid email address,
so no Office / no App.

This (german) article, the closest answer I found on MS didn't give me the information I needed:

Thanks a lot!


Microsoft Exchange Online Management
Microsoft Exchange Online Management
Microsoft Exchange Online: A Microsoft email and calendaring hosted service.Management: The act or process of organizing, handling, directing or controlling something.
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  1. Burak VAROL 361 Reputation points

    Hi Chris,

    If you remove the licenses from those users, their users will remain, but all services will be disabled. Since they won't have an Exchange Online license assigned to them, they won't be able to exchange mails - they won't have a mailbox anymore. And finally after the 30-day grace period, all relevant data will be deleted.

    In a nutshell, if you want your users to be able to have active email accounts, you shouldn't unassign their licenses, unless you have and are planning to assign a separate Exchange Online license or anything.

    Burak V.

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  1. KyleXu-MSFT 25,731 Reputation points

    I think this article could answer your questions clearly: No soft-deleted mailbox after license removal in Office 365


    This article is also talking about this one: Overview of inactive mailboxes


    Here is a detailed tutorial on how to remove a former employee, I think it also will be useful to you.

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