What is the Scenario?

A temporary member of admin staff was provided with a dedicated user mailbox and therefore an Office 365 License. Now the staff member is no longer required, the License can be released.

In order to keep the email for future reference and/ or for the same staff member to return, converting the user email to a shared mailbox is the best option. It would then be possible to unsubscribe from the Office 365 license.

Convert User Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox

Step 1 - Go to the Admin console in Office 365 and select Exchange from the options to the left of the screen

admin console in office 365

office 365 exchange

Step 2 - Click On mailboxes under recipients

mailboxes under recipients

Step 3 - Select the User Mailbox to be converted and click on Convert under the Convert to Shared Mailbox option to the right of the screen. A warning will be shown, click Yes to continue.

mailbox to convert to shared


Step 4 - Your regular mailbox has been converted into shared mailbox. Click Close to continue.

regular mailbox converted to shared.jpg

Unsubscribe from Unused Office 365 License

Step 5 - Go to the Admin console in Office 365 and Select Active Users under the Users option on the left

office 365 active users.jpg

Step 6 - Select the User and Click Edit under Assigned license on the right of the screen

office 365 assigned user license.jpg

Step 7 - Uncheck the Office 365 Business Essentials license and Click Save

Uncheck Office 365 Business Essentials license.jpg

Step 8 - In the Admin console of Office 365, select Subscriptions under the Billing option on the left of the screen. Then click Add/Remove users. Notice that there are currently two purchased, and one assigned.

office 365 remove user subscription.jpg

Step 9 - Reduce the number of Total licenses and click Submit to confirm

office 365 reduce the number of licenses.jpg

This subscription’s quantity was successfully updated. Done!

Note that you could now provide access to the new shared mailbox to other users, see Open and Use a Shared Mailbox.

My other Office 365 tips: