Please explain how to create *free* Teams account with a business email address (not Office 365)


Please read carefully. This is not quite straightforward. Please understand that I am familiar with Office 365 and Teams, as I am Global Admin for several tenants. However, this is about the FREE Version of Teams...



I want to setup a free Teams account according to

If I'm doing that with a pure MSN account like "", everything will work fine. I will get a Teams free account - Great!



The problem starts when I want to use an existing email address. One that has no Office 365 and no Azure Account. Hopefully.


What I encountered is that if you ever have created any kind of account at Microsoft with the domain of that existing email address, one cannot creat a free Teams account. If I am wrong, please help me.


So if I try with the address "", I end up with " hasn't been added to your organization's directory. Contact your admin or try a different email." as soon as I hit the Next button. 


Luckily, I remember that "" was used once to create an account for Volume Keys at

Since I know that there was never an Office 365 tenant, I can now do an Office 365 admin takeover according to


This done, I now can actually create a new Teams account with "". 

The problem here is that I now have a Teams account with a time limited (until early 2021) "Microsoft Teams Exploratory" license. I have not found any reliable hint on how long that licence will be valid. Most sources mention January 2021...


Nice, but I wanted a free account without time limit.


Assigning an alias to the MSN account (i.e. adding as alias to will not work either. The MSN account notices immediately that there is a tenant and refuses to add that alias. Bummer...


So, apparently, free Teams accounts are only possible with free MSN accounts. :(


Or, one is using a business email address which never ever has been registred at microsoft for whatsoever.. 



Am I correct with this?


In any case, is there a way to create a free Teams account with a business email account which has been registred at Microsoft? Not on Office 365, I mean.






7 Replies

Hello @DanHuber  This article talks about requirements for using Teams, and it includes instructions on how to create your own domain.  Let us know if you still have questions after reviewing this.


Thank you for being a member of the Teams community.

Hello @ThereseSolimeno,


Let me rephrase.

First question:

Is it true that the free Teams account can only be used with an MSN account?

I presume the answer is yes.


Digging a bit more into the issue:

  • If there is an attempt to get the free Teams with a non-MSN Emailaddress, there is always an error "<emailaddress> hasn't been added to your organization's directory. Contact your admin or try a different email."
  • This is misleading at first view because it implies that the email domain has been setup already. This is not the case.

Second question:

It seems that all non-MSN addresses being tried lead to exactly that error message. 

Except if the domain used is actually registred in Office 365.

Is this assumption correct?


Going on:

  • If the domain is not registered in Office 365, but it has been used to i.e. register a Volume License Account, one can "take over admin" as described in
  • Doing this actually creats a "registration" of that very domain in Office 365, albeit without licenses.
  • Login in to with that just taken over admin account, allows me to add a new user. That user won't have any license, though.
  • Registering that user now with the free Teams account (see link above), equips that login in the Office 365 portal with a so called "Microsoft Teams Exploratory" license

Question three:

It seems to me that this is the only way to get Teams "for free" for a non-MSN account. Is this correct?




@DanHuber how did you get the teams exploratory licence? Or did you find how to do this another way? I’m stuck
Dan, did you ever get this figured out? we are in the almost exact same position. We have some paid cloud MS services, but would like our staff to use teams free. They dont need much just the chat with customers who also use paid teams.

Hello @jayatnet ,

That particular customer decided agains Teams and went with Zoom. He was anyway only interested in a cheap videoconferencing solution for a limited time. Thus I have not further investigated.

On the other hand, there was quite some movement around Teams in the last couple of months. Perhaps something hast changed, but I would not know, sorry.


@jayatnet  I got my free teams through a power bi account - it allowed me the free account automatically.