Free Microsoft Teams (classic) to be discontinued, data backup required by April 12, 2023

Teams[German]Microsoft has announced, that the free offer of Microsoft Teams (classic) will be terminated. Companies should switch to the paid Microsoft Teams Essentials subscription. However, there is still a free option to use Microsoft Teams. But those who have been using Microsoft Teams (classic) for free until now will have to take action, as existing accounts will be deleted after the offer ends on April 12, 2023.


Discontinuation effective April 12, 2023

The information that the free version of Microsoft Teams will be discontinued can be found on the Microsoft page Microsoft Teams Free (classic) is retiring. There it states:

Microsoft Teams will be retired

Microsoft Teams Free (classic) is retiring

After April 12, 2023, Microsoft Teams Free (classic), the legacy free Teams app for business, will no longer be available.

That's a clear announcement, aimed primarily at companies that have used Microsoft Teams for their communications for free via a corresponding app.

Microsoft Teams Essentials recommended

In order to be able to continue using the service in companies, Microsoft recommends an upgrade to Microsoft Teams Essentials on the above page and writes:

Upgrading to Microsoft Teams Essentials is the easiest way to continue using Teams and maintain access to all your chats, files, teams, and meetings. Teams Essentials also provides unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours in length with up to 300 participants per meeting, and 10 GB of cloud storage per user—all for only $4.00 per user/month.

Those who take up the offer on the website can upgrade via a code that appears and get Microsoft Teams Essentials free for the first three months. A company that previously used MS Teams for free and used the max 100 participants will go from 0 to a monthly subscription cost of 340 euros starting in the fourth month. This promotional offer is valid from January 1, 2023 to May 31, 2023.


Does it boil down to Teams Premium?

If you think you have to use Microsoft Teams as a company, you might not get far with the 3.40 € per user/month mentioned above. Microsoft has updated the Microsoft Teams Premium licensing page as of February 3, 2023, which includes the technical details on licensing Microsoft Teams Premium. On this U.S. site there is a "buy now" button that lists $10 as the price for Teams Premium per user per month. There is a 30% discout offer about $7 at this page. It seems that many users are in need to use this subscription to get the required features.

Teams Premium

Free Microsoft Teams still available

There is still an option from Microsoft to sign up for a free version of Microsoft Teams. This variant has the following limitations:

  • Unlimited group meetings up to 60 minutes
  • Up to 100 participants per meeting
  • 5 GB cloud storage per user

However, it is mandatory to re-register for this service. A Microsoft account and a Teams app are then require.

Save data until April 12, 2023

Regardless of which Microsoft Teams variant you choose, when Microsoft Teams (classic) is discontinued, the user accounts in question will be closed. Microsoft writes about this:

After April 12, 2023, Microsoft Teams Free (classic), the legacy free Teams app for business, will no longer be available.

Switch to Microsoft Teams (free)

If you prefer to continue using a free version of Teams, sign up for the newer free option, Microsoft Teams (free). You'll be able to view and save files in your current account through April 12, 2023, however, none of it will transfer to your new account.

Preserve your files

You have until April 12, 2023 to view and export your files. After that date, you'll lose access to Teams Free (classic) and your data will be deleted.

So anyone who hasn't backed up their existing files in Microsoft Teams (classic) by the April 12, 2023 deadline will lose them. Should keep administrators affected by the discontinuation of Microsoft Teams (classic) on their radar.

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