A 2014 article from the Wall Street Journal states, on average, there are 394 cloud apps running inside companies! With all those apps in use, it can be heard to keep up with various subscriptions, renewals, and costs. (We aren’t even going to go into the security risks associated with this many apps!)
So a frequent question we get from customers is: “What happens to my data in Office 365 if my subscription accidentally lapses?”. This is a great question, and Microsoft has a very liberal policy on non-payment.
You can find the full language at this link, but in a nutshell:
What happens if a customers does not renew?
If a customer does not renew, they have a 30 day grace period when they can continue using the service. After that point, they have another 90 days when data is held, but functionality is severely reduced. The customer can reactivate the subscription at any time during this period and the billing will be retroactive from the expiration date. After the 120 days, the data is deleted from Microsoft servers.
(Emphasis added was our own!)
So Microsoft will keep your data up to 120 days from the time your subscription lapses (but we recommend you get on auto pay to avoid the risk!).
This document is specific to Open Licenses for Office 365 but the policy also applies to subscriptions purchased through the Microsoft Subscription Advisor program.