How to Stop Auto Renewal or Cancel an Office 365 Subscription

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Office 365 is not for everyone. Some people will be reluctant to pay a monthly subscription to an office suite, especially since there are many free alternatives.

And even if you want to use Microsoft’s famous suite, you might decide that buying the software with a one-time payment for how you use it makes more financial sense.

But just because you’ve signed up once for Office 365 doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the service forever. You can easily cancel your subscription. Let’s see how you can cancel your service and what happens to the applications on your device.

Turn off Recurring Billing for Office 365

  • Go to the Services and Subscriptions page.
  • When prompted, sign in with the email and password for the Microsoft account associated with your Office 365 subscription.
  • On the Services and Subscriptions page, find your Office 365 subscription, and select Manage.
  • Do one of the following:
    • If a “Disable recurring billing” link appears, select it to disable recurring billing.
    • If you see a “Cancel” link, select it to cancel the subscription. You may be able to get a refund for the unused time. If you choose to receive a refund, the subscription immediately goes into reduced mode. Otherwise, you have access to your subscription until it expires.
    • If you see a “Enable recurring billing” link, it means that recurring billing is already disabled.
    • If you don’t see an option to Disable Recurring Billing or an option to Cancel, and you see Paid With and None, your subscription ends on the date specified in Expires On.
  • Follow the instructions to turn off recurring billing. You have access to your subscription until it expires.

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Final Words

You have until the end of your current subscription (the renewal date) to continue as usual. When the next payment is due, Office applications such as Word and Excel will go into restricted mode where you can open, view and print documents, but you will not be able to edit or make changes to them.

This is not the disaster it sounds like. You can put your Excel, Word and PowerPoint documents on OneDrive and open and edit them in Web Office applications. Instead of using Office applications that run on your hard drive, you will use the Office applications in a web browser.

Another option is to install another office suite, such as LibreOffice or OpenOffice. They are free and allow you to download and save Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Although they do not support all the features of Microsoft Office, they are powerful applications that are sufficient for many people.

A final option is to use Google Docs. If you have a Google Account such as Gmail, you can access the Google Drive and upload your documents there. You can then open and edit them online in your web browser.

A Microsoft Office subscription includes 1 TB (1,000 GB) of online storage. When your subscription expires, you’ll only have access to 15 GB. If you have more than 15 GB of files stored on OneDrive, store them on the hard drive and reduce the files below the 15 GB online limit. If you need online storage, Google also provides 15 GB of storage for free.

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