Teams Exploratory Licenses Are Expiring: Here's What to Expect



If your business is utilizing Microsoft Teams Exploratory, your data is at risk of being deleted.


That’s right, no flowery introduction with metaphors and simile, just some really important information about what to expect when your Teams Exploratory license expires.


To make sure everyone is on the same page, Teams Exploratory allowed existing Azure Active Directory users to trial full access to Teams. These licenses were slated for 12 months. Microsoft is officially sunsetting this offer. This blog is meant to help explain what this means for your business.


How To Check If Your Business is Affected

Now you may be asking yourself: Is my business at risk of losing all the hard work they’ve put in since we switched to Teams?  


The answer is simple. If you started a Microsoft Teams Exploratory trial in the last 11 months, your data is at risk.


To check whether you are using Teams Exploratory and when your trial is up, go to Billing > Your products in the Microsoft 365 admin center. If you don't have IT support, Microsoft will notify you directly before the Teams Exploratory trial expires. If you do have IT support, they will be calling you to explore your options.


Understanding Your Two Options 

No matter how you’re capitalizing on the Teams Exploratory Trial, the options at your disposal with the trial ending are two-fold: Either to let your trial expire or commit to continued use of the advanced systems at work.


Continuing with Teams

It shouldn’t be a stretch to say you’ve been enjoying your time with Teams. If not, sometime over the last year you would have (Jetson’s) jettisoned it. Continuing with Teams at your side means collaborating well beyond just simple chat messages and video conferencing.  


Microsoft Teams means lots of things to lots of businesses, but mostly an increase in connectivity, fluidity of work, and overall happiness with the people who make your business work every day.


To continue using Teams, you must have one of the following licenses:


Business accounts need one of these Microsoft 365 license plans:

- Teams Essentials

- Business Basic

- Business Standard

- Enterprise E1, E3, E5, or E4 (for anyone who purchased this plan prior to its retirement)

Education accounts need one of these plans:

- Microsoft 365 A1, A1 Plus, A5, or A3 (if you purchased E3 prior to its retirement)

US Government accounts need one of these plans:

- Microsoft 365 Government G1, G3, G5 (Learn more about Microsoft 365 Government plans.)


*You should make a plan to upgrade your users to paid licenses before the expiration date, so users don’t lose access to Teams, which will occur 30 days after the trial's expiration date.*


Walking Away from Teams

It's important that you make the best decisions for your business. If you trialed Teams and decided it's not for your business, that's okay!


Whether you want to continue your Teams license or not, every business with an Exploratory license will lose all the data associated with it after 90 days from your trial's end date.


Below, we have a handy table that walks you through how many days you have to make your decision before losing your data.




Expired (-30d) 

Disabled (-90d) 



Data fully accessible 

Data fully accessible 

Data accessible to admins only 

Data deleted including Azure Active Directory 


Users have full access to Teams Exploratory 

Users have full access to Teams Exploratory 

Users have no access to Teams Exploratory 

Users have no access to Teams Exploratory 


Admins can access the Admin Center 

Admins can access the Admin Center 

Admins can access the Admin Center 

Admins can only make purchases in the Admin Center 

Steps Needed 


Global and Billing Admins can activate the subscription 

Global and Billing Admins can activate the subscription 




Losing all that work would be rough. In a similar scenario, where a data breach would eliminate a tremendous amount of work, estimates put the cost around $141.00 per data record – multiply that times however much work you’ve done over the last year and… yeah, it add’s up quickly. So don’t waste it! 


Whatever your situation may be, if you are interested in continuing with Microsoft Teams or not, we’re always here to help. If you have further questions about Teams Exploratory or other tech-related topics, give us a call at (864) 552-1291 and we'll help you evaluate capabilities and options. Also, sign up for PTG Tech Talk for bi-monthly tech news and consider following us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter!


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