Microsoft shuts down Teams Free (Classic). What’s next?

You'll have to pay to move your data.

by Rafly Gilang
Rafly Gilang
Rafly Gilang
Rafly is a journalist with growing experience, ranging from technology, business, social, and culture. A holder of the Romanian government scholarship, his writing has been published in several... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Microsoft announced the retirement of its Teams Free (Classic), which will be effective starting April 12, 2023.
  • Users can import their data under two new paid plans.
  • Those who wish to remain on the free tier can move to Microsoft Teams (free), although none of the data will transfer to the new account.
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Beginning on April 12, Microsoft will start ending its support for its legacy-free Teams app.

The news came a few weeks after the rollout of Microsoft Teams Premium, which will hit the general public in February 2023 with a 30-day free trial. 

“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”

It’s received with a pinch of salt, however, as small and medium-sized businesses complain about the cutoff date. 

Microsoft Teams’ naming structure can be confusing to understand. We say goodbye to Microsoft Teams Free (classic) to Microsoft Teams (free), but what are the available options?

Can I still use Microsoft Teams for free after its ending?

The short answer is yes, although you wouldn’t be able to access the chats and other data from Teams without exporting them before the mentioned cutoff date. You have to sign up for the new free version of Teams, which comes under a different set of features. 

“After the switch, however, you’ll have access to a different set of features than you did with Teams Free (classic), and your data won’t be retained (including data for existing channels, chats, and recurring meetings). If you want to keep your data and continue using Teams, consider upgrading to Teams Essentials.”

Here’s how to download Microsoft Teams on Windows 10 and here’s how to use it on Windows 11.

Microsoft Teams Essential ($4 per user/month)

For a little bump of $4 per user/month, Microsoft offers an unlimited group meeting (up to 300 participants) up to 30 hours long and 10 GB of cloud storage/user. 

“Designed specifically with small- and medium-sized businesses in mind, Teams Essentials is the newest version of Teams, which you can purchase separately from Microsoft 365 offerings. After April 12, 2023, Microsoft will no longer support Teams Free (classic). By upgrading to Teams Essentials by that date, you’ll maintain access to your data.”

Microsoft 365 Business Basic ($6 per user/month)

Another similar plan is the 365 Business Basic for $6 per user/month with all the perks from Essential and an additional 1 TB of cloud storage per user and web and mobile versions of all Microsoft 365 applications. 

However, for organizations and businesses with over 300 members, Microsoft recommends to upgrade to Microsoft Office 365 E1 for $10 per user/month. 

Have you used Microsoft Teams’ premium plans? Are you worried about the ending of Teams classic free? Let us know in the comments!

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