What happens when my Office 365 subscription expires?


The backbone of almost every modern business, Office 365 is a dependable, flexible product.

But if you decide to change platforms, your subscription runs out or you cancel it, what happens to the data you have stored in the cloud and how can you access content?

Let’s examine the detail…

What data does Office 365 contain?

Innovative and reliable, the Microsoft 365 technology stack is based around a subscription model that allows users to access several online services.

That includes access to data processing software such as Word and Excel, presentation tools like PowerPoint and a range of complimentary applications that make processing tasks quick and simple.

That is primarily helped by the provision of a dedicated email platform and collaboration functionality powered through their OneDrive system.

It enables teams to work together on projects using software such as OneNote, Microsoft Teams and more, allowing for tiered access to files and documents.

Together they help you to complete a project quickly and efficiently.

However, it does leave some unanswered questions: What happens when your subscription runs out? And at what point does any data on the system become inaccessible or unrecoverable?


What happens when my subscription runs out?

Paid in monthly or annual instalments, the Microsoft platform has several tiers, ranging from personal and home through to large-scale configurations such as Business and Business Premium.

If the subscription expires, many people worry about the risk of being locked out of their OneDrive or being unable to work through documents.

It occurs in three distinct steps:


Expiry: If you have chosen to cancel payments, you will be reminded 30 days before your subscription’s end point.

Once that date arrives, it is classified as expired.

During this period, you will be able to use the service as normal without any issues, and Microsoft will not remove any of your content from the cloud.

It is designed to allow businesses to fully migrate all their material off the system and into a new platform.

Once your system has been expired for 30 days, it moves to being classed as:


Disabled: This limits access and only allows administrators to back up any project data still stored in the cloud.

It also restricts access to normal users, who will be unable to access OneDrive or their Microsoft email accounts.

All applications will be usable, but they will be unable to edit or save documents, allowing only for ‘read’ access.

This will remain in place for 120 days, after which point the system becomes:


Deprovisioned: This effectively locks all users out of the system, including administrators.

It prevents you from accessing any information that is still held on servers and there is no further capacity to create backups of extant information.

Once this stage is reached, Microsoft will start the process of removing your data from its servers, potentially making it unrecoverable.

However, if you are keen to close out your account on the system, you can request faster deletion by asking for ‘expedited deprovisioning’.

Throughout the process, your subscription can be restarted, and users granted access again without issues.

If you wish to reactivate your system post-deprovisioning, it will require another initial setup and a new subscription to start the service.

If you’re struggling to find a replacement platform, consulting with a technical professional can help you find alternative options.

Or, if you need to find a configuration that works for your unique setup, consulting professionals can, and will, save you valuable time and resource.


What next?


If you want to learn more about the range of options available to you when considering the deployment of a Microsoft product or other hardware, our team at Everything Tech is here to help.

With many years’ experience operating in a range of industries, we are ready to work with you to find a solution to your unique business needs.

You can review our list of products and services in full here

Or, if you have any specific requests or requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly and let our team know what you need to maximise your effectiveness and ensure a smooth deployment.

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