How to get a 180 day trial tenant in Office 365 for testing



30 day trials just aren't long enough, especially if you are testing a Hybrid configuration.

One of the biggest frustrations for Office 365 Administrators who are trying to learn this awesome technology, is that trial tenants expire after 30 days. This is annoying if you have a cloud only trial environment, but what if you are testing a Local - Hybrid Exchange environment that has taken weeks to configure. It is simply too much effort to create a new trial E3 tenant from scratch, remove your domain from the expired tenant, and then configure your new tenant with domains, users, data, and re-configuring the Hybrid Connection Wizard to continue after the initial 30 day trial.

----- What if I told you that you could get a 180 day free trial on Office 365 -----

Most people know that you can extend your existing Office 365 E3 trial for another 30 days, but did you know you can further extend your existing test environment by assigning an E5 trial, and then extending that? This would give you a total of 120 days testing. After that, you can then assign an Office 365 Business Premium  trial license and extend that as well, giving you a total of 180 days free testing.

By utilising the three Office 365 trials with Exchange Online and extending them, you will get a total of 180 days of free Exchange Online testing.

So how does this work in the real world?

My original 30 day E3 trial expired just over a month ago, and I extended it for another 30 days, using this process.
How to extend your Office 365 Trial - Link

The extended period has just expired as well. Rather than get all upset about having to recreate a new tenant and deprovision the old tenant, I started investigating to see if I was able to assign a trial E5 license to my about to expire (extended) E3 license. And it worked !!!

I am now in my third month of my Office 365 trial. I have spent countless hours over the last three months creating and configuring an Office 365 - Hybrid test environment, and it is re-assuring to know that I do not need deprovision my old tenant and create a new one to keep testing.

Follow the processes below to  create - extend your Office 365 tenant for a total of six months - 

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Sign up and create your tenant with an E3 license if you haven't already done it -

First thing we need to do is sign up for a standard Office 365 E3 trial. Browse to this web page -
Office 365 Enterprise E3 Trial - Link - And sign up for your E3 trial.
Fill in your personal details making sure that you enter your valid email and international mobile number.

At the Create your user ID page, select your username and tenant name. Note that your tenant name must be unique and cannot be changed once created.









Use your mobile for verification, and voila - You have just created a test tenant with an Office 365 E3 subscription.

Once you log into the Office 365 portal, go to Billing - Subscriptions -



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You will see that you have an active Office 365 Enterprise E3 trial with 25 licenses available.











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At the end of your 30 day trial (Enterprise E3) - Extend your trial
How to extend your Office 365 Trial - Link

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At the end of trial extension - Add a new subscription for a different 30 day trial
- Note that you can actually mix Business Premium Trial and Enterprise E3 Trial
- In the steps below, I am adding an Enterprise E5 trial

To add a new subscription, click on - Add Subscriptions -






You will now be able to add extra subscriptions.

Under the Purchase Services - Enterprise Suite - Highlight Office 365 Enterprise E5 - Start Free Trial











Under Checkout - Confirm your order - Click 'Try Now'













Continue -

Assign your new licences to your existing users and you will extend the subscription by 30 days.

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At the end of your second 30 day trial (Small Business Suite) - Extend your trial
How to extend your Office 365 Trial - Link

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At the end of your second trial extension - Add a new subscription for a different 30 day trial
- Note that you can actually mix Business Premium Trial and Enterprise E3 Trial
- In the steps below, I am adding an Business Premium Trial

To add your new subscription, click on -
Billing - Subscriptions -












Add Subscriptions -






Under the Purchase Services - Scroll down to - Small Business Suite - Office 365 Business Premium
- Start Free Trial










Under Checkout - Confirm your order - Click 'Try Now'












Continue -

Assign your new licences to your existing users and you will extend the subscription by 30 days.

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At the end of your third 30 day trial (Business Premium) - Extend your trial
How to extend your Office 365 Trial - Link

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In my testing I have confirmed that even though the Business Premium trial licenses are Exchange Plan 1 (against E3 and E5 trials being Exchange Plan 2), I had no issues with my Hybrid environment. You will however lose Exchange Plan 2 features when switching to Business Premium (eDiscovery, Litigation Hold etc), so ensure you do the Exchange Plan 2 testing before switching to the Business Premium trial licenses.

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Extra info -
Here are the direct links to all the available Office 365 Trials

Office 365 Enterprise E3 Trial - Link
Office 365 Enterprise E5 Trial - Link
Office 365 Business Premium Trial - Link

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Update - 15 May 2017 - Now extended to cover my sixth month
My fifth month of using the Office 365 trials with extensions has now finished. I have now confirmed I can extend my third trial to give me a full 180 day trial.

As the third trial was for an E5 license, I can extend the trial as before.

Under my Subscriptions you can see that the E5 trial has expired and is now in Reduced Functionality mode -










To extend the trial, I click on Billing - Purchase Services
Select the appropriate service (E5), Extend trial.












Select - Next







Select your credit card (no payment will be charged)

Extend trial -

Your trial will now be extended.






The Purchase Services page will update to show that the trial has been extended with a new expiry date.











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Congratulations !!!
You have now extended your Office 365 trial for the full 180 days.

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Basic PowerShell Tutorials
01. How to configure your desktop PC for Office 365 Administration - Link
02. How to connect to Office 365 via PowerShell - Link
03. How to create basic PowerShell scripts - Link
04. How to create basic PowerShell scripts with Export-CSV - Link
05. How to create basic PowerShell scripts with Import-CSV - Link

Series Tutorials -
How to manage Enterprise environments - Part 1 - Filtering queries - Link
How to manage Enterprise environments - Part 2 - Creating scripts with a filtered query - Link
How to manage Enterprise environments - Part 3 - Bulk management using multiple filters - Link

Tips and Tricks
General Tips and Tricks for better Office 365 Administration - Link
How to extend your Office 365 Trial - Link
How to get a 180 day trial tenant in Office 365 for testing - Link

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