Office 365: Accounts for People Who Leave U-M


U-M Office 365 accounts are maintained automatically via MCommunity affiliations; individuals with multiple affiliations retain access as long as one eligible role remains. When all eligible roles are removed from an individual’s MCommunity profile, you will immediately lose access to your U-M Office 365 account. 

Note: The Collaboration Services team cannot provide an exact date for when a student's affiliation changes and they lose access. It depends on when their department changes their role from student to alum. That process is solely handled by each department and they do not inform us of their schedule for doing this. For this reason, any preparations, like downloading/transferring U-M Office 365 files, should be done before your graduation date.

All files stored within U-M Office 365 OneDrive and Sharepoint (including Teams Meeting recordings) will be deleted. Any Office 2016 software that was installed while actively affiliated at the university will only be able to view documents (read-only.) It will not be able to edit Office documents again until you have a new, personal, paid license for Office 365. Or, you can use Google to access and edit the documents.
Note: If you need to retain access to your account after your active affiliation ends, you may pursue a sponsorship.

This document explains what steps to take before you lose access to your U-M Office 365 account.

Note U-M Office 365 accounts remain intact for emeritus/emerita faculty who retain all standard computing services. For details, see 19.K Emeritus/Emerita Status in the U-M Faculty Handbook.

Important: email addresses cannot be used for personal Office 365 accounts.  They are reserved for enterprise U-M Office 365 accounts only. If you choose to personally purchase Office 365, do not use a email address.

For more detailed information on what happens when someone leaves U-M, see Leaving U-M.

Retaining Your Files From OneDrive

Saving Your Files

Before your affiliation with U-M ends, be sure to save all of your files in OneDrive to another location.

Option 1:

Download files and folders from OneDrive or SharePoint using the web app.

Option 2:

If you have a large number of files in OneDrive, you may want to use the OneDrive sync client (Windows | Mac). Remember to turn off, disable, or uninstall the OneDrive sync client after moving your files. 


For either option:

  • Delete any files that remain in OneDrive after downloading them.
  • Files will be read-only unless a licensed version of Office is present.

Moving Your Files

ITS recommends saving your personal files to your computer.

Uncooperative Departures

The university provides multiple options to help access, share, and store information.

Important: Sensitive data is not permitted in OneDrive. If any files include sensitive university data, see the Sensitive Data Guide for where to store it.

Involve the ITS User Advocate as soon as possible.

With User Advocate involvement, U-M Office 365 Administrators can assist in:

  • Preserving the contents of an account
  • Moving U-M Office 365 files and folders from one account to another
  • Inactivate the U-M Office 365 account access sooner than the automated process

Note Download university data from the person’s account if time is critical.

Last Updated: 
Friday, March 19, 2021