Stay ahead of the game with the latest updates to the Microsoft 365 Developer Program

Kelly Bowen-McCombs (She/Her)

February 2024 Update: At this time, we are limiting access to the Microsoft 365 developer subscription to developers and/or organizations with active subscriptions to Visual Studio Enterprise. The following Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program participants can contact their Microsoft partner to be added to an allow list to receive access to a developer subscription:

  • ISV Success
  • Solutions Partner
  • Specialization/Expert
  • Managed Partners
  • Premier or Unified Support plan members

If you do not currently qualify for a developer subscription, you can purchase a single license Microsoft 365 plan and configure it for development. You also have the option to purchase a Copilot license as an add-on. Members who currently have a subscription are not affected by this change.


The Microsoft 365 Developer Program is an excellent resource for developers looking to create solutions for the Microsoft 365 platform. The program offers a Microsoft 365 E5 developer subscription, access to sandbox environments, and a range of developer tools and documentation. Additionally, members have the opportunity to provide feedback to help shape the future of the platform.

Program updates

We value your trust. As part of the Microsoft Secure Future initiative, we’ve made the following improvements to the Microsoft 365 Developer Program.

Updated service plans. The Microsoft 365 developer subscription now includes service plans that were previously missing. For a complete list of the service plans that are included, see Product names and service plan identifiers for licensing.

Geographic limitations. For technical and security reasons, the Microsoft 365 Developer Program only supports a subset of countries/regions listed here: Microsoft 365 International Availability. We review our supported country list regularly. If you are unable to sign up from your country or region, then it means we do not support it at this time.

More frequent renewal checks. To offer a higher level of service to our valued customers, we are shortening the time between renewal checks. Renewal depends on meeting developer activity requirements and following our terms and conditions. This subscription should never be used for production purposes. Data can be removed, and membership suspended if we find violations of the terms and conditions.

Removal of the Microsoft Office 365 E3 Developer offer. We’re finishing the process for removal of the original Office 365 E3 developer offer. If you are one of our first developer program members and you are still using the old subscription, you must migrate to a new paid plan before April 1, 2024. Compare Microsoft 365 Plans | Microsoft 365.

Early access to new and improved services. Have you been caught off guard by a feature update or code change in your production tenant? The developer program is switching to preview mode. Coming soon, you can preview features in the Microsoft 365 Developer E5 subscription. This change will give you early access to updates and new features to test existing solutions, plus an opportunity to provide feedback to the product team to help reduce disruption before the change is generally available.

For more information about the Secure Future Initiative, see the following:

Microsoft 365 developer research panel

We are creating a research panel of Microsoft 365 developers who can help guide us and influence the program development. By joining, you can help us determine and prioritize upcoming features, share your challenges, review design prototypes, and offer suggestions for program improvement. When you join the panel, we’ll reach out to you to share designs and a variety of studies to get your feedback.

As part of the research panel, you will receive invitations to participate in user research studies. You can decide how often you want to participate and which studies to do. You can leave the panel at any time.

Join the Microsoft 365 developer research panel today!

Follow us on X (Twitter) / @Microsoft365Dev and subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date on the latest developer news and announcements.


Discussion is closed. Login to edit/delete existing comments.

  • Danilo Dias 7

    Hey Kelly,

    Is there a way to sign up to get notifications for when the free Microsoft 365 E5 subscription will be back up?
    Alternatively, is it possible for me to get a paid subscription and get a Sandbox?
    (United States)

    I’m in the middle of a career change and need to get my certifications. The door is closing for me to get a job.


  • Roobeshwara Sharma 4

    Microsoft 365 E5 developer subscription is not available now for subscription. Currently, I can join the developer account, but not able to create an instant sandbox subscription. There is no subscription option as mentioned in the welcome email. When will this service be back in registration?

    • Jayesh Pandit 3

      Same is the case here with me. No E5 sandbox option available for subscription.
      Earlier the issue was with the Security checks of the mobile number & then with some kind of Microsoft Correlation Error.
      Microsoft, we kindly request to resolve this issue & allow us to subscribe to E5 sandbox for testing & playing around.
      Hoping to hear some positives in a couple of days.
      Thanks in Advance!!

      • Kelly Bowen-McCombs (She/Her)Microsoft employee 4

        We are piloting a new verification process now and hope to roll it out in the next two-three weeks on the site or sooner. After joining the program, this new process allows customers to request a tenant, go through a validation process, and then receive an invitation. We’ll announce when we roll this process out on the blog. Your frustration, your desire to leverage the program for learning and development, the urgency – we hear it. We feel it in our guts. We are working as quickly as we can to get things working for you.

        • Eric Kasper 2

          What’s the updated timeline?

          Why was the program not left on and then the update rolled out? If you search Google you can see the volume of issues this decision has caused for several developers, students and organizations.

        • Paola Miller 1

          Hello Kelly,

          It’s been 3 weeks since your post was written and over 1 month since the Microsoft Delevoper Program was closed for registration. Is there any approximate time when you will roll out the new verification process?

        • Kody Jordan 4

          Any updates? Disappointed by the lack of communication.

          • Kelly Bowen-McCombs (She/Her)Microsoft employee 1

            Post was updated this morning. Please review.

    • Roobeshwara Sharma 0

      Hi Kelly,

      March 04, 2024, Thank you for the response,
      Still, I am continually monitoring to get the subscription, and I can see the same message.

      ” Welcome, Roobeshwara Sharma
      Thank you for joining. You don’t currently qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.”

      I have purchased a Trial license and it will be converted into a paid license by the 8th of March. Is there any possibility of converting the current subscription to a developer subscription? I am already utilizing the current subscription for my Client’s integration development with MS Teams and this delay affects my roadmap plan significantly.
      I already reviewed the latest update and still finding difficulty in meeting any of the current requirements.

      Please let me know any advice from you to resolve my requirement.

  • HridoY Ahammed Nirob 3

    Why I Cant Create E5 ?
    Please Solution

    Note : Thank you for joining. You don’t current qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.
    We’re showing you content based on the preferences that you selected. To add or change your selections, go to the Settings page. See all Microsoft 365 Resources.

  • B Karthik Goud 3

    Hello Kelly,

    I have signed up for Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox almost it was asked for tenant details and other details but got some error after that I received subjected mail with “Welcome to the Microsoft 365 Developer Program – please take the next step!” after few days I haven’t saw option to setup later I got this You don’t current qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.

    The subscription is really required for me for learning and development please please help me humble request.

  • Angelus 1

    Can someone please explain why I was eligable last week but unable to join and now I’m not eligable?

    Its not Geographical as I am in the allowed country list? So what is it? and what do I need to do to be eligable again?

  • shubham-nagane 0

    You don’t current qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.


    Hope your guys are doing well,
    I started working on Microsoft SharePoint development recently and I was trying to setup tenet, but I’m unable to setup.
    I would like to request you to please guide me further in this issue I have attached the ticket above for your ref.
    Please let me know anything I can share with to resolve this issue.

    Looking forward to hearing from all. any response is appreciated.

  • Mayuresh Bakshi 2

    Hi Kelly
    Thanks for the informative post. I’ve been trying to join the Microsoft 365 Developer Program for the last few days. Once I proceed after clicking on Join action button, it takes me to a dashboard where it shows the following message – “Thank you for joining. You don’t current qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.”

    I am not sure what the criteria for joining from a US Account is right now. Is there an outage stopping me from joining the program? Or is there a list of criteria that qualifies me to join it as an individual planning to study for multiple Power Platform certifications.


    • shubham-nagane 1

      Kelly’s replay.

      Hi Mayuresh,

      As she already replied on this please wait for few weeks so we can get the new Microsoft 365 developer account.

  • Wouter Steen Redeker 2

    Hi Kelly,
    I love the idea that Microsoft have a developer program so people can learn to work with Microsoft 365.
But I’m very disappointing that Microsoft/you praise the developer program in this blog, but in the meantime the put it offline for many people who want’s to join the developer program (like you praise in you blog).
    The most people we still can’t use the E5 license:
 Thank you for joining. You don’t current qualify for a Microsoft 365 Developer Program sandbox subscription.
For details about Developer Program member benefits, see the Microsoft 365 Developer Program FAQ.

    WHEN get I use the developer program with the E5 license?

    • shubham-nagane 0

      Kelly’s replay.

      Hi Wouter,

      As she already replied on this please wait for few weeks so we can get the new Microsoft 365 developer account.

  • qwdr wret 2

    Is there any timeline for when new applications to the developer program will be reopened? I, along with many others in this thread, have found this to be extremely frustrating. The poor grammar and lack of explanation of the problem when you try to sign up is evidence of how poorly thought through and implemented this change is…

  • anthonycardenemail 4


    I joined the Developer Program from a valid email on January 1st and was able to use the sandbox. Now, when I log back in, I’m getting the YOU DON’T QUALIFY FOR A SANDBOX message. How? How did I qualify before, and now I don’t? I was literally just using it. I’m from the USA, so please don’t give me that “Geographic Restrictions” bs. This is very infuriating because I have projects that I need to do for work that REQUIRE me to test using this test environment. Who can I open a ticket with? This is utterly ridiculous.

    Frustrated Computer Engineer.

    • Kelly Bowen-McCombs (She/Her)Microsoft employee 0

      I can appreciate how frustrating it is when programs change unexpectedly. Currently, we are limiting access to the Microsoft 365 E5 developer subscription to qualified partners. We continuously evaluate customer scenarios to determine whether to change requirements based on various factors (performance, security, service quality, customer goals, etc.).

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