Assign licenses to users

Assign licenses when you add users to your Visual Studio Online account. This way, you can control how licenses are assigned.

You can add unlimited eligible MSDN subscribers at no charge. Your account includes 5 free Basic monthly licenses for those who don't have MSDN subscriptions. To get more monthly licenses, set up billing for your account through Microsoft Azure. You can then buy licenses and come back here to assign them.

Set up your own license

  1. Sign in to youraccount.visualstudio.com as the Visual Studio Online account owner or project collection administrator.

  2. Go to the Users hub.

    Go to Users hub

    By default, you have a Basic license as a new user.

    Your account appears on the Users hub 
  3. Edit your license, if necessary. Save your changes when you're done.

    Edit a license

    For example, Francis has an account that's associated with an MSDN subscription for Visual Studio Ultimate. This subscription includes access to Visual Studio Online at no charge. So, she changes her license from Basic to Eligible MSDN Subscriber. This also frees up a Basic license. Visual Studio Online validates and updates her license the next time that she signs in.

    Why won't my subscription validate?

Add other users and licenses

  1. Sign in to youraccount.visualstudio.com as the Visual Studio Online account owner or project collection administrator.

  2. Go to the Users hub.

  3. Add the sign-in accounts for users who have eligible MSDN Subscriptions. Set them to Eligible MSDN Subscriber.

    Add eligible MSDN Subscribers

    Their subscriptions are validated after they sign in to Visual Studio Online. Why won't their subscriptions validate?

    If your Visual Studio Online account is connected to your organization's directory, users must be members of that directory, or else they can't sign in. Why can't they sign in?

    MSDN Subscribers validated after signing in
  4. Add your 5 free users and assign Basic licenses to them. They can use the core Visual Studio Online features with Visual Studio Express.

  5. Get licenses for other users who don't have eligible MSDN subscriptions or for those who need to use additional Visual Studio Online features:

    1. Set up billing in Azure.
    2. Buy user licenses in Azure.
    3. Go back to the Users hub. Add those users and assign their licenses.

      For example, suppose you set up billing for your account. Then you bought 3 more Basic licenses, 1 Professional license, and 5 Advanced licenses. Now you'll assign them.

      Assign licenses after buying more licenses

Remove users from your account

If your account is connected to your organization's Azure Active Directory, deleting users from the directory is enough to revoke their account access. But if your account isn't connected to a directory, or if your users have licenses that you want to reassign or revoke, follow these steps.

  1. Sign in to youraccount.visualstudio.com as the account owner or an administrator.
  2. If you're the account owner or project collection administrator, go to the Users hub and remove the user.

    Delete users from the Users hub

    Otherwise, go to your account's Security settings to remove the user.

    Go to Security settings  Delete users from Security settings 
  3. If these users have Visual Studio Online licenses that you don't need anymore, reduce those licenses in Azure. This way, you won't get charged for them at the next billing cycle.

    1. Sign in to Azure as the Visual Studio Online account owner.

    2. Go to Visual Studio, select your account, then go to the Scale page.

      Select your Visual Studio Online accountGo to the Scale page 
    3. Reduce your licenses, then save your changes.

      Drag the sliders to adjust your licenses 

Q & A

Q:Why can't I assign licenses?

A:Only the Visual Studio Online account owner and project collection administrators can assign licenses in the Users hub.

Q:When should I select "Eligible MSDN Subscriber"?

A:Select this license only when you know the user has an active and eligible MSDN subscription, and you have the account associated with their MSDN subscription.

  • If a user has different accounts, one for Visual Studio Online and one for their MSDN Subscription, they can change the account associated with their MSDN subscription.

  • If a user is set to "Eligible MSDN Subscriber" but doesn't have an active and eligible MSDN subscription, they can't sign in to Visual Studio Online until they have an eligible MSDN subscription, or you assign them a different valid license.

  • If the user has an active and eligible MSDN subscription but still can't sign in, make sure they're using the account associated with their MSDN subscription. There might be some delay if their subscription is new. If necessary, they can change the account associated with their MSDN subscription. For more help, contact Visual Studio Online Support.

Q:What are "eligible" MSDN subscriptions?

A:They are MSDN subscriptions that include access to Visual Studio Online at no charge:

  • Visual Studio Ultimate with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Premium with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Test Professional with MSDN
  • Visual Studio Professional with MSDN
  • MSDN Platforms
  • Microsoft BizSpark

Q:What's the difference between the Visual Studio Online licenses and MSDN subscriptions?

A:Here's how they compare:

Q:Why won't my MSDN subscription validate?

A:Make sure the subscription is linked to your sign-in address. You can check this in your MSDN account portal. If you're using an organizational account to sign in, your Visual Studio Online account must also be connected to your organization's directory. If this isn't the case, see these other reasons why your subscription won't validate.

Q:What happens if I add people outside of the Users hub?

A:They'll get the next available license in this order: Advanced, Basic, Professional. Although you can change these licenses if necessary, you should add users through the Users hub because you can control how licenses are assigned.

You can't add users outside of the Users hub if you don't have available licenses.

Q:I was an early adopter, but now I can't sign in. What do I do?

A:The Early Adopter program ended on May 7, 2014. If you had the Early Adopter license, you'll need either a Visual Studio Online license or an eligible MSDN subscription.

Your account also changed back to the free limits:

  • 5 free Basic users
  • 60 monthly minutes of cloud-hosted build time
  • 15,000 monthly virtual user minutes of cloud-hosted load testing

To get more user licenses or shared resources, set up billing for your account by linking it to an Azure subscription.

Try this next

  • Set up billing for your account to get more user licenses or resources, like build or load testing capacity.