How to cancel Microsoft 365 and end your subscription

No longer have use for Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365)? Then it might be time to cancel your subscription. If you purchased Microsoft 365 directly from Microsoft, you can cancel by signing in to your Microsoft account. If you purchased the subscription through a third-party provider, different cancellation terms may apply.

What’s included with Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 bundles Microsoft’s essential Office and productivity programs into one cloud-based subscription. Previously called Office 365, Microsoft 365 gives you access to popular Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, Exchange Server, Outlook, OneDrive and PowerPoint via the Microsoft cloud. With access provided through the cloud, you don’t need to install apps individually.

To buy Microsoft 365, you need a Microsoft account. Here, you can choose from a range of subscription plans on Microsoft’s website and install the software. With a subscription, you get unlimited access to Microsoft desktop applications as well as via the Microsoft 365 web interface.

Depending on the plan you picked, you’ll get access to a different range of functions and even full, installable versions for desktop and mobile. This is outlined in the Microsoft 365 pricing descriptions, where you can choose between Microsoft 365 for Business, Family and Personal plans as well as options for schools and universities. The advantage of Microsoft 365 is its cloud-based usage model, which lets you access all Office services regardless of your device and location.

What to know before cancelling

If you got your subscription directly from Microsoft, you can cancel via your customer account or even delete your Microsoft Office 365 account. If you have Microsoft 365 through a third-party provider, you’ll need to check their cancellation policy before canceling. Just remember that your access to Microsoft applications and the data you store in Outlook or OneDrive will be lost when you delete your Microsoft account.

If you change your mind or want to restore an accidentally deleted account, you have a period of 60 days to do so. After this grace period, all data associated with the account will be irretrievably lost. If you cancel your Microsoft 365 subscription, users on your subscription will immediately lose editing privileges and only be able to open files in the read-only mode for a limited time. For Microsoft 365 subscription with multiple users from an organization or business, admins have access to subscription data for 90 days after cancellation.

How to cancel Microsoft 365 step by step

Follow these steps to cancel your Microsoft 365 subscription:

How to cancel Personal and Family accounts

Step 1: Sign in to the Account Management page with your account details.

Step 2: Go to Services and subscriptions and select your plan. Next, select Manage and then Cancel subscription.

Step 3: Now follow the instructions from Microsoft to cancel your subscription. Cancellations are effective immediately—even if you’re billed on a monthly or annual basis.


Under certain circumstances, you might see the option to Turn on recurring billing when you cancel. This means that your subscription will expire at the end of the paid period. If this is the case, you don’t need to do anything further.

How to delete your Microsoft Office 365 account

If you no longer want to use any of the Microsoft services, it’s best to delete your Microsoft account.

In the app, sign in to your account and go to Settings > Help and support > Delete > Delete account > Close account. To move ahead with deleting your account, select Mark account for closure.

In the browser, sign in and search Delete in the search bar. Select Close your account. Select the Next button at the bottom of the page and then check the box to mark your account as ready for closure.

Is there a cancellation period with Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 lets you cancel your package at any time regardless of whether you have a monthly or annual subscription. This makes it easier, for example, to switch to another service. During the trial period, you can cancel at any time, preventing the free trial subscription from turning into a paid subscription. Microsoft 365 trials typically run for one month. Additionally, if you cancel within the first 30 days of a subscription renewal, you can get a refund for the remaining period of your subscription. If you have an annual subscription, you can also opt to let it expire at the end of the billing period.


Looking for a practical alternative to Microsoft 365? Try Google Workspace with IONOS and enjoy Google’s cloud-based applications including business email and team features.

What are the consequences of closing your Microsoft account?

Cancelling your Microsoft 365 account means that all data and files associated with your subscription will be deleted after 90 days at the latest. Directly following cancellation, you won’t be able to edit or create files and documents, and your Office services will only be available in the read-only mode. However, you can still open, print and back up your files from the cloud to other media for 30 days. If you delete your account completely, you will also lose access to the linked Skype service as well as Outlook features.


Collaborate on work across devices and locations with a Microsoft 365 Business plan from IONOS. Enjoy data storage, the complete Office package and secure data protection.

What Microsoft 365 alternatives are there?

Depending on your plan, Microsoft 365 offers the latest versions of well-known Office services like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, there are practical teamwork and communication services like group chats, video conferences, Outlook and Exchange for your emails and calendar as well as up to 1 TB of storage with Microsoft OneDrive. If Microsoft 365 doesn’t seem like the right fit though, there are numerous Microsoft 365 alternatives out there.

A direct comparison of Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 shows Google Workspace to be a strong competitor. It includes practical office and team functions like Google Docs, Calendar and Gmail. Other collaboration tools, groupware and word processing software include OpenOffice, LibreOffice, iWork for iCloud, Dropbox Business and the OX App Suite.

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