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What happens to my University Microsoft account when I leave Cambridge?

On leaving the University you will lose access to all the services provided under your University of Cambridge Microsoft user account. It is your responsibility to make alternative arrangements if you want to keep any data in your OneDrive filestore and Exchange Online mailbox.


As soon as you get your University and Microsoft account cancellation date, YOU MUST ACT QUICKLY to ensure you don't lose access to the data in your accounts.

Staff and students: You'll receive an email providing one month's notice of the cancellation of your UIS accounts. Your files, emails and other data on University systems and Microsoft systems will be inaccessible from the cancellation date onwards and deleted shortly afterwards. Please make alternative arrangements for all data you wish to keep.

Making alternative arrangements

If you are looking to replace your Office 365 suite and/or file storage, it is always advisable to research the best option for your own needs, especially if you are looking at paid versions. The products and services listed below are not endorsed by the University, and this list is not exhaustive, but they are a useful starting point for some popular options.

If you are installing purchased or free software always make sure you obtain these from reputable sources – this normally means directly from the developers or from the App Store on MacOS and iOS (The Google Play Store is not as strict as Apple's store when it comes to selling apps, so be wary of unknown developers and product names).

Microsoft Office365

Buying your own licence/subscription

Microsoft offer a number of paid options on their website for Home and Personal editions of Office. This includes subscription offers and standalone installations.

See: Choose your Office (Microsoft web store)

These options work on both PC and Mac (though some applications included in some packages are for PC only, please read the Microsoft website for full information). If you purchase any of these and activate the license your installed applications will continue working without having to reinstall.

Free alternatives to Microsoft Office include:

  • Microsoft Office Online
    Web-only version of Microsoft Office
  • Keynote                      
    Presentations for MacOS and iOS
    See: Apple's App Store
  • Numbers                     
    Spreadsheets for MacOS and iOS
    See: Apple's App Store
  • Pages                          
    Word Processor for MacOS and iOS
    See: Apple's App Store
  • Google Docs                
    Office Suite for Windows, Mac also web applications
  • Neo-office                   
    Office suite for Macs
  • LibreOffice                  
    Office suite for Windows, Mac and Linux


Alternative storage solutions


IMPORTANT: For all storage options you will need to manually move your files from your University provided storage BEFORE LEAVING THE UNIVERSITY to ensure no data is lost.

For leavers who have also purchased Dropbox for Business through the University, see Dropbox - Leaving the University.


If you are going to purchase one of Microsoft's Office365 Home or Personal editions, then 1TB of OneDrive storage will be included in your package.


Storage with Web access and applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Offers a range of storage options starting at 2GB for their free account.

Google Drive

Storage with Web access and applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. Offers a range of storage options starting at 15GB for their free account.


Storage with Web access and applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS. Offers a range of storage options starting at 5GB for their free account.

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