Adding email accounts without license

Copper Contributor

I am using Office 365 Standard Business


In addition to my employees which have full access to all features. Do I have option to create email accounts, without having to pay additional license fee for that?



21 Replies

Hi @parsarvin,


You can add additional smtp addresses to the same user or create a shared mailbox and give access to that user.


Best Regards,
Nuno Árias Silva 

Thanks @Nuno Silva can you share the instructions link please? 

@Nuno Silva I am not sure if this is what I asked exactly. I was looking for adding additional and separate email accounts without having to assign license to them. so they just act as email account and no Office apps or Onedrive etc is assigned to them. 


let's say you want to give someone a temporary email account or for any reason you don't want to pay additional license fee for just creating additional email account.


in the other words, there are many email services which really cost a dime and let you create hundreds of additional email address with no additional charge  but with Office 365 It doesn't make sense to pay another 10-15$ just to create another email account. 


Please advise 

Hi @parsarvin,


The licensing model is per user that login to an account, but you have the other options that I have mentioned you like other vendors.


The best way is to create a shared mailbox.


 Best Regards,
Nuno Árias Silva

I must say I start regretting for using Microsoft as a domain for a start up. The services are made for big companies and mainly support massive internal cooperation. 
I also do not understand why is is not possible to add a new email account without the 365 subscribtion. It does not make any sense. It is a basic need for any growing company. In todays world you work with many free lancers and in networks and you need to provide an email for people who are not working fulltime for you. It´s called Network business model. 

Your solution is to create a shared inbox? It is not the same as a private email is it.   @Nuno Silva 

@Nuno Silva Can I add email users to our office 365 account in which the user will only be using the email function, or do I have to buy each employee a full user license at $12.50/mo?


@parsarvin  I'm a sole proprietor and I had the same question. I understand the answers you gave.


I have a temporary second person working for my firm for a few months. I have created an email user account for her, but have not purchased a license. Could you answer a few more questions I have about the distinction?


1. Does my second user need a license just to access her email even if she doesn't use any of the Office applications?


2.  If my second user already has a license to use the Office software through another entity (her school) can she use the apps (Outlook, for example, for email and Word to edit documents I share with her) without me purchasing a user license for her? 


3. If I want her to be able to access my firm's folders on OneDrive, does that alone mean she needs a license?


Thank you for any info you can share.

The only solution I have found is $4.00 per user per month (Exchange Online - Plan 1) or $8.00 per user per month (Plan 2) checkout the link below. 


You can go into a chat and have the licenses added by a rep if you are an admin, I would recommend this because the instructions were not CLEAR when you do it yourself, really painless using the rep, they want your Co Name, Email add, Comp address and phone, they add the license(s) and you then admin the license. Easy.  The cheapest way out that I found.


It seems like the Microsoft folks do not understand the question, or want to ignore the obvious (probably they don't want to answer) either way its like a circular firing squad.  I didn't want to waste any more time on it

Robert Morgan

Nothing worse than trying to get answers from a company that doesn't want to answer.

The Solution is to create normal mailbox with password, assign license, then convert it to shared mailbox, then remove the license and enjoy !
How to add a Microsoft O365 Email Account without adding a License | Send & Receive from that Email "Account" in Outlook Desktop App

[WARNING: This extra email account(s) can only be accessed on an already existing paid MS user account -- so this is a bit different than the original post.]

A fantastic Microsoft Tech Support Agent just helped me get this working.

O365 Admin > Teams & Groups > Shared Mailboxes > Add > Save > Select new mailbox > Members Edit > Add Members > (select user that will send / receive email in outlook).

O365 Admin > Home > Users > Active Users > Hover over new user > Click Blue Key Icon (Reset Password)

Now add the user into Outlook. Consider creating a rule that all incoming mail is moved to Main Inbox | all outgoing mail is copied (can't move outgoing mail) to Main Sent Items.

@jackiekimmel - I think you're mistaking a user forum for a support channel. You should contact your reseller (or MS) if you have a specific issue or don't like their licensing model.


If you go to your admin section of office 365 go to Billing>purchase services>and select the service you want.  The $4.00 or $5.00 per month license sounds more like what you need rather than the standard business license.  Once you get the license, you go to users and then add then add user.  You will have the option to apply this new reduced license to the user.  Hope this helps.



I realize that this is a one year old thread, but I didn't see a solution.  My recent research found a good article from with what I believe is an acceptable path forward for non-licensed admin accounts to receive eMail. - David

2 for 1 - Mail enable unlicensed admin accounts - MSEndpointMgr

Hi Nuno Silva,

Please consider this use case: my company wants to have an email email address removed for privacy reasons
This is an email that doesn't owned by any particular user. It is only for a customer service contact address.
It also should be a separate login.

So, can we create an email account only for the email services?


Yes, say leveraging or shared mailbox approach, btw, you need to consider the security measurement without license with those 'admin' account, such as log retention, MFA, those embedded with E3, even E5 or AAD plan2

@parsarvin is possible in that cenario:


Suppose your company has 20 employees.

Only 5 employees will be licensed for Office 365 and will access email through Outlook 365.

The other 15 employees will use the mechanisms that already existed to send and receive emails, be it pop3, imap or whatever, pointing to their "legacy" server.

In summary: All 20 users have email, 5 will be fully managed by Exchange Online, and 15 will not.

For this you need:
1 - Carry out all the authorization of ownership of your domain normally, that is, add/modify the DNS entries on your server to use MS Exchange Online as the incoming server. Using the wizard or doing the setup exactly as suggested should suffice.
1.1 - At this time, only the 5 licensed users will receive and send email normally. It's not what we want. Let's go.
1.2 - Well, at this point, if I send external email to any of the 15 email accounts that aren't licensed, I'll get an "invalid recipient" error or something. Let's fix this.
2 - The first thing you need to do is go to the "Exchange Administration Center" and access "E-mail flow"/"Accepted Domains". It may be translated differently in your language, but it will be there.
2.1 - Select your private domain, that is, the domain you already had when you subscribed to Office 365.
2.2 - You must choose that this domain is used for "Internal Relay" and NOT "Authoritative" which is the default. In this way, we're telling Microsoft not to assume that it "owns" all of my company's email account management.
2-3 - Okay. But we still need to warn Exchange that, since it won't validate ALL email accounts in the same place, where it should validate them if they don't exist in its scope. We do this with a Connector in the next step.
3 - Still in the Exchange Administration Center", go to "E-mail flow"/"Connectors" and follow these instructions.
3.1 - Email flow scenario > From: Office 365 > To: Your organization's email server
3.2 - Name and Description > Anything that identifies your remote email server... It's just for easy identification.,
3.3 - Connector Usage > Use only for emails sent to all accepted domains in your organization.
3.4 - Routing > Put the IP or the FQN of your private email server.
3.5 - Security restrictions > I recommend using TLS issued by a trusted CA. Currently, even shared servers like Hostgator offer free SSL, so if your server has a certificate, you won't have major problems with this step. If your server doesn't have a security certificate, you need to test that without TLS the connection will work correctly. Never tested.
3.6 - Validation - I recommend testing with 1 email address that has an Office license and 1 email address of those 15 examples that only exist on your "legacy" server.
3.7 - If the connection to the server fails, it is probably the address that is wrong or the TLS security settings. Check. If validation of email accounts fails, you need to check the error that returns to take some further action. Under normal conditions, it shouldn't give an error.

If the above configuration went smoothly, at this point you have:
5 email accounts that:
A) Send/receive email via Outlook 365 or;
B) They receive via POP/IMAP from Office 365 and send via legacy SMTP (yes, this works if the email accounts are duplicated 1 on Exchange and another on the legacy server)
C) DO NOT receive via POP/IMAP from the legacy because the boxes are managed by Office 365/Exchange, ok?

15 email accounts that:
A) DON'T send/receive email via Outlook fact they don't even log into Office 365 because they don't have a license or;
B) Receive via legacy POP/IMAP and send via legacy SMTP;
C) All external/internal email sent to any of these 15 accounts will enter via Exchange but will be redirected to the mailboxes that are managed by your Legacy.

This way, all your 20 employees can use your emails, in full, but only 5 will be managed by Exchange and will need a license.

Hope this helps.

I know this is an old post but I wanted to give my two cents.


I was able to purchase a license for an email no Microsoft 365 by going to admin center -> marketplace -> all products and searching for exchange you were then able to get the $4.00/month email only license. I bought the license and then was able to assign it to a user. You will need to scroll because they are trying to push their other products but just use control find 4.00 and it will pop up. @parsarvin