About A5 and A1 licenses in Microsoft 365 at IU

On this page:


On January 16, 2021, due to changes in Microsoft 365 Education licensing, Indiana University integrated Microsoft's A5 and A1 education plans into Microsoft 365 at IU :

  • A5: The A5 license provides full use of the IU Microsoft 365 service, including the ability to download and install applications on personal devices.
  • A1:The A1 license provides use of the Microsoft 365 service, including web-based access to the online versions of Microsoft 365 but does not include the ability to install these applications on personal devices.

For more on the differences between A5 and A1 licenses, see Microsoft 365 Education license comparison.


Eligibility for the A5 and A1 plans depends on your status with IU; see IU account types and eligibility.


On January 16, 2021, existing A5 licenses for IU affiliates and retired faculty members were replaced with A1 licenses. Those affected no longer have access to licensed desktop versions of Microsoft 365 applications (including Outlook), but they do retain access to the web-based online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook via Microsoft 365 at IU.

Desktop applications that are no longer licensed will stop functioning 30 days after the date of the licensing switch. You will see start to see warnings upon launching affected applications 14 days before they are deactivated on your device; for example:

  • Unlicensed warning at the top of the Word window
  • Unlicensed warning in a dialog box

The IT Communications Office emailed clients affected by the Microsoft 365 license change on January 15, 2021.

Differences between online apps and desktop applications

Not all of the applications featured in desktop versions of Microsoft 365 are available online. Additionally, the web apps lack some functionality compared to the desktop versions. Differences in some of the most commonly used features include:

  • The online version of Word does not support mail merge, VBA and Forms scripts, SmartArt, or captions.
  • The online version of Excel does not offer VBA and Forms scripts, "What if" analysis tools, external references, workbook protection, or slicer and Timeline filters, and offers only basic formulas.
  • The online version of OneNote does not offer clipping experiences, drag-and-drop section groups, editing of embedded files, inking tools, or template support.
  • When working with web apps, your files are stored in Microsoft OneDrive at IU, not locally on your personal computer.

For a full list of functionality differences, see Office for the web service description.

Get help

If you have an IU-related business need for Microsoft applications that are not included in your license (for example, Skype for Business for use with an IU phone number), or if you believe you have been incorrectly placed into one of the affected groups listed above, contact your campus Support Center to ask to be reverted to an A5 license.

Office telephone service for faculty and staff at Indiana University will begin to transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams at IU in the first quarter of 2023. UITS encourages all students, faculty, and staff to switch from Skype for Business to Teams for chat now. Faculty and staff should continue to use Skype for Business for external phone calls until notified that their account has been moved to Teams Calls. For more, see About Microsoft Teams Calls at IU.

If you are not eligible for an A5 license through IU, and you would like to purchase a license that allows desktop app access for yourself, see Buy Microsoft 365 Personal and Buy Microsoft 365 Family. Note that these are personal Microsoft 365 licenses; IU does not purchase licenses through these channels.

This is document bgrk in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2022-12-09 14:51:05.