Changing from a Microsoft 365 E plan to a Microsoft 365 F plan

If you're considering switching some of your users from a Microsoft 365 E plan to a Microsoft 365 F3 or F1 plan, this article provides guidance to help you prepare your organization for the change. Changing from an E plan to an F plan affects the services and features users have access to.

E plans are meant for information workers (employees who typically work at a desk) and F plans are meant for frontline workers (employees who are on the go, often on mobile devices, and work directly with customers or the general public). Each plan may continue to evolve over time to become more tailored for information workers and frontline workers respectively. To learn more, see Understand frontline worker user types and licensing.

You’ll get an overview of what to expect when users are switched to an F plan, how to prepare for the change, and what to do after switching plans to transition the frontline workers in your organization.

Understand the key differences between E and F plans

Start by getting familiar with the service and feature differences between the plans.

Some key differences include:

  • F plans don’t include Office desktop apps or the Outlook desktop app.
  • F plans are limited to devices with integrated screens smaller than 10.9 inches on Office mobile apps.
  • F plans pin frontline worker apps like Walkie Talkie, Tasks, Shifts, and Approvals by default in Microsoft Teams.

In this section, we've included more information about these key differences and highlighted some additional differences to pay attention to. Keep in mind that this isn’t a comprehensive list. To learn more:

Office apps

Office desktop apps aren't included in F3 and F1 plans. Your frontline workers can use Office for the web and Office mobile apps to get things done. Keep in mind that F3 users have full access to documents in Office for the web and F1 users have read-only access.

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Office desktop apps (Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher) Yes No No
Office for the web (Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint) Yes Yes Read-only
Office mobile apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote) Yes Yes¹ Read-only

¹Editing files supported on devices with integrated screens less than 10.9 inches.

Office for the web

With Office for the web, your frontline workers use a web browser to open Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint files.

Here's some differences to be aware when using Office for the web. For a detailed feature comparison between Office for the web and Office desktop apps, see Office for the web service description.

Service or feature Some differences Learn more
Word for the web
  • Can open and edit macro-enabled documents (.docm) and templates (.dotm) but macros don’t run.
  • Can open but not edit User Defined Permission (UDP) Information Rights Management (IRM)-protected documents.
Excel for the web
  • Can open and edit macro-enabled workbooks (.xlsm) but macros don’t run.
  • File size limitations
    • To view or interact with a workbook stored in SharePoint Online, the workbook must be less than 100 MB.
    • To open a workbook that’s attached to an email message in Outlook on the web, the workbook must be less than 10 MB.
OneNote for the web
  • Search is limited to the current section.
  • Zoom in and out isn’t available. Instead, users can use their browser’s zoom feature.
PowerPoint for the web
  • Can open files up to 2 GB.
  • Can open and edit macro-enabled presentations (.pptm, .potm, .ppsm) but macros don’t run.

Office mobile

Your frontline workers can get Office on their mobile devices in two ways:

  • Install the Office mobile app that combines Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Install individual Office mobile apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

To learn more, see Install and set up Office on an Android and Install and set up Office on an iPhone or iPad.

For more information about the features that are available in Office mobile, see What you can do in the Office apps on mobile devices with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Email

F3 users have a 2 GB mailbox that they can access through Outlook on the web. For a feature comparison between Outlook on the web and the Outlook desktop app, see Compare Outlook for PC, Outlook on the web, and Outlook for iOS & Android.

F1 users don’t have mailbox rights. Although a mailbox is provisioned for users through the Exchange Kiosk plan, they aren’t entitled to use it. We recommend that you disable Outlook on the web for F1 users.

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Exchange Online mailbox Yes (100 GB mailbox) Yes (2 GB mailbox) No¹
Outlook desktop app Yes No No
Archive mailbox Yes No No
Delegate access Yes No No

¹F1 includes the Exchange Kiosk plan to enable Teams calendar only and doesn’t include mailbox rights.

To learn more, see Exchange Online service description.

Teams

F3 and F1 plans include the Teams desktop app, mobile app, and web app for frontline worker communication and collaboration. Your frontline workers have access to Teams features including meetings, chat, channels, content, and apps. However, they won’t be able to create live events and webinars or use Teams Phone capabilities.

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Live events Yes No No
Webinars Yes No No
Teams Phone Yes No No

SharePoint

F3 and F1 users can collaborate on documents and access organization-wide resources such as training materials stored in SharePoint. Keep in mind that F3 and F1 plans don't include site mailboxes or personal sites.

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Site mailbox Yes No No
Personal site Yes No No

To learn more about SharePoint limits, see SharePoint limits.

Content services

F3 and F1 users have 2 GB of OneDrive storage to store and share files. To learn more, see OneDrive service description.

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
OneDrive Unlimited storage¹ 2 GB storage 2 GB storage
Microsoft Stream Yes Yes² Yes²
Sway Yes Yes No
Visio for the web Yes Yes Read-only
Delve Yes No No

¹Up to 5 TB of initial OneDrive storage per user based on the default quota of the tenant for subscriptions with more than five users. More storage can be requested.
²Users can record meetings and consume Stream content but can’t publish to or share in Stream.

Insights and analytics

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Viva Insights Yes No No
Power BI Yes No No

Work management and automation

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Power Apps Yes Yes No
Power Automate Yes Yes No
Power Virtual Agents Yes Yes No
Dataverse for Teams Yes Yes No
Microsoft Forms Yes¹ Yes¹ No
Microsoft To Do Yes Yes No

¹Licensed users can create, share, and manage forms. A license isn’t needed to complete or respond to a form.

Windows

Service or feature Microsoft 365 E3/E5 Microsoft 365 F3 Microsoft 365 F1
Windows 11 Enterprise Yes Yes¹ No

¹No Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) or Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) only for licensed users of a shared device with a Quality of Service (QoS), (except for Azure Virtual Desktop).

What to expect

The following table lists important things to consider and recommended actions to take during the change process. Use this information to help you identify what to do before the switch and what to plan for after the switch is completed.

We'll be referring to this table in later sections of this article.

Service or feature Before the switch After the switch
Office apps
  • Identify files that are stored on users' local computers and help users move them to their OneDrive.
  • Keep in mind that Office desktop apps will go into reduced functionality mode after changing to an F plan. Be prepared to uninstall Office desktop apps after the switch.
Users:
Admins:
  • Uninstall Office desktop apps from users' computers.
Email, Exchange, Outlook
  • Identify user mailboxes over 2 GB by using the Get-MailboxStatistics Exchange PowerShell cmdlet, and then reduce mailbox size, as needed. To learn more, see Mailbox storage limits in Outlook on the web.
  • If users have an archive mailbox:
    • Move archive mailbox content back to the user's mailbox.
    • Check for any archive policies that may automatically move email based on the age of messages by using the Get-EXOMailbox Exchange Online PowerShell cmdlet.
  • Identify site mailbox access and usage.
  • Outlook desktop app, data, and configuration:
    • Identify users and computers that are using Outlook data (.pst) files.
    • Identify and document existing Outlook client-only rules.
    • Export email signatures.
Users:
Admins:
Teams
  • Identify usage of live events and webinars.
  • Identify users who have Teams Phone enabled. If users are using this feature, they may not be the appropriate set of users to transition to an F plan.
OneDrive
  • Identify users who are using more than or close to 2 GB of storage. (OneDrive will become read-only for users who are over the 2 GB limit after the switch to an F plan.)
  • Help users reduce the number of files stored in OneDrive and the overall amount of storage used.
  • Make sure all files are fully synchronized from users' computers to OneDrive.

Prepare to switch plans

Create a change management strategy

An optimal change management strategy includes how you’ll communicate with, train, and support your users before and after you switch them to an F plan. For example, here are a few things to consider:

  • How will users be aware of the switch?
  • How will users learn to navigate the differences in services and features? The switch to an F plan might need an increased effort in training as it requires a change in behavior.
  • How will users get help and support?

When building your strategy, consider communication and training preferences. To help ensure a successful transition, tailor your messaging, training, and support to the specific needs of your frontline workers and company culture.

Here's some ideas to help plan your strategy.

Communication Training Support
  • Email
  • Department or store managers
  • Champions
  • Teams and channels
  • Yammer communities
  • Microsoft online help, training, and video resources
  • In-house training
  • In-house helpdesk
  • Self-serve intranet site
  • Microsoft online help, training, and video resources
  • Floor walkers and champions

You may also want to check out these adoption resources to help you engage and train your users:

Back up or prepare data

Identify and back up or prepare data that users want to keep. Follow the guidance in the What to expect section earlier in this article and complete the recommended actions in the Before the switch column of the table for each of the following components:

  • Office apps
  • Email, Exchange, Outlook
  • Teams
  • OneDrive

For more information, see Back up data before switching plans.

Switch users to a Microsoft 365 F plan

You can use the Microsoft 365 admin center to manually change plans or a scripted approach through PowerShell cmdlets. Whichever method you choose, it's important to complete the license change assignment in one operation. In other words, remove an existing E license and replace it by assigning an F license in the same operation.

Avoid removing an existing license for a user and then reassigning a new one at a later point in time. Doing this can impact a user's data. To learn more, see What happens to a user's data when you remove their license?.

For step-by-step guidance on how to change plans in the Microsoft admin center, see Manually change Microsoft plans.

What to do after switching plans

Follow the guidance in the What to expect section earlier in this article and complete the recommended actions in the After the switch column of the table for each of the following components:

  • Office apps
  • Email, Exchange, Outlook
  • Teams
  • OneDrive

Communicate to your users that the change is completed and let them know how to get help as defined in your change management strategy. You may want to include links to help and learning resources to support them in the transition.

User setup, help, and learning resources

Here are some links to setup, help, and learning resources that you can share with your frontline workers for training and support.

App Links
Office for the web
Outlook on the web
Office mobile Setup:
Office mobile app help:Individual Office mobile app help:
Teams