I’ve recently experienced a specific occurrence of this issue within one of our small customer tenants.

The resolution was simple, but the cause was frustrating – Microsoft’s approach to disabling trial/non-GA license types within a subscription.

In this example, Planner was the culprit.  You’re probably aware that (at the time of writing) Planner has recently reached the GA milestone so the previously available Planner ‘Trial’ license type automatically becomes disabled (for subscriptions that don’t include Planner).

Not a drama per se, but if you’ve been using the Planner license against users in your tenant then the subscription is disabled but the licenses are still assigned to the users.
Again, this is not a drama for most organisations, the functionality may well vanish, but unless you’ve become enamored with Planner (which this customer had) you would not even notice there was a license issue.

In this case, the customer wanted to make use of Planner but had an Office 365 Business Essentials subscription (which does not natively include Planner) meaning (as you cannot buy Planner as an add-on license) they needed us to upgrade their subscription to Office 365 Business Premium using the Switch Plan Wizard within the portal.

No problem, let’s head over to the Office 365 portal and switch up the plan, right? Not so simple.  Enter ‘stage left’ the crux of the problem.

When we hit the portal, we’re expecting to see the following:










But instead we’re seeing this:










Hovering over the (i) to the left of ‘Ineligible to switch plans’ and we see the following message:

‘You can’t switch subscriptions now because you have more users than licenses. Please unassign licenses from users who are no longer using them, or buy more licenses. Then return here and you can use the switch plan wizard.’

In this case, a quick check of the license situation showed the cause of the issue (license counts redacted as this shot is from the customer portal):


The Planner licenses are all expired, but a number of them are still assigned to users.  Solution to the problem?  Unassign the Planner licenses and Bingo, you’ll be in business to run the Switch Plan Wizard.

In the second part of this post, we’ll look at the PowerShell I used to remove the Planner licenses from all the assigned users in a single hit.

more to follow…