Upgrade users from the Teams Exploratory trial

This article provides an overview of how to upgrade your users from a Teams Exploratory trial to paid Teams licenses.


There are two possible experiences of Teams Exploratory: organizational or self-service. Starting late April 2023, users in organizations that don't have the organizational trial will be eligible for the self-service trial. Some of the instructions in this article will depend on which experience of Teams Exploratory your users have access to.

To see if you have users with a Teams Exploratory license, you can go to the Microsoft 365 admin center > Billing > Licenses > and scroll to see if Microsoft Teams Exploratory is listed. If it is listed, you have users with a Teams Exploratory license.

From this Microsoft 365 admin center page, you can also check if your Teams Exploratory licenses are a tenant-based or self-service trial. Select the Filter icon, scroll to Account type, and choose either Organizational or Self-service. If the Microsoft Teams Exploratory license appears with the Organizational filter, your Teams Exploratory trial is tenant-based. If the license appears with the Self-service filter, it's self-service.

Step 1: When to upgrade

To check when your organization’s Teams Exploratory trial is expiring and how many active users it has, sign into the Microsoft 365 admin center and go to Billing > Your products. You’ll also be notified before the Teams Exploratory trial expires.


You should make a plan to upgrade your users to paid licenses before the expiration date, so users don’t lose access to Teams.

Users will lose access to Teams 30 days after the trial's expiration date. As long as users are assigned a paid license within 60 days of the expiration date, they can regain access to Teams and all content still exists. However, after 60 days, the users’ data is deleted. After a new license is assigned to the users to enable Teams functionality, if they are added within the grace period time frame, all content remains. For more information, see What happens to my data and access when my subscription ends?.

Step 2: Choose an upgrade path


We recommend Teams Essentials as the primary option for customers looking to upgrade their expiring Teams Exploratory trials. For more information, see Compare Microsoft Teams Essentials to other plans.

Depending on the subscriptions your organization currently has, there are several ways to upgrade from a Microsoft Teams Exploratory trial to a paid license:

  • Upgrade an existing Microsoft 365 subscription. Use this option if your organization has subscriptions to other Office products that don’t include Teams. For more information, see Upgrade to a different business plan.

  • Add users to an existing Microsoft 365 subscription. Use this option if your organization doesn’t have enough paid Teams licenses to cover the Teams Exploratory users. For more information, see Buy or remove licenses.

  • Buy a new Microsoft 365 subscription. Use this option if your organization doesn’t have any existing subscriptions to Office products, or if your organization wants to buy a subscription that’s different from their existing subscription to cover Teams Exploratory users. For more information, see Buy a different Microsoft 365 for business subscription.

  • Move users to a new license. This method can only be used by customers who have users with the self-service Teams Exploratory trial.

    • Sign in to the Microsoft admin center and go to Billing > Your products > Microsoft Teams Exploratory Trial. Choose the users you need to move. Select the Move button in the actions bar, and then select a subscription to move those users to.

If you’re not sure which Microsoft 365 subscription to upgrade to, see Microsoft 365 for Business. If you need additional help choosing a subscription, or if your organization needs more than 300 licenses, contact your Microsoft partner or Microsoft account representative.

Step 3: Assign paid licenses


Before you unassign any Teams Exploratory licenses, assign the new licenses to all the users you’re upgrading. Otherwise, they lose access to Teams until you assign a paid license.

To assign your newly acquired licenses, see Assign licenses to users.

After you assign the new licenses, unassign the Teams Exploratory licenses. For more information, see Unassign licenses from users.

Auto-claim policies

Next time you upgrade, use auto-claim policies to create policies for your organization to automatically assign licenses from paid subscriptions to new users who haven’t acquired a Teams license. For more information, see Manage auto-claim policies.