O365 family, a plea to raise awareness

I appreciate this is underorthadox but I’m out of options, hopefully Paul will read this and can pass it on to someone at MS who can highlight it as an issue as I’m sure I won’t be the only one affected.

I have terminal cancer, about 4-6 weeks left. My wife and 2 kids are all enrolled in an Office365 family plan that I own and administrate with all their own cloud storage etc. The 2 kids are also subject to the MS Family parental controls when using their laptop. All I want to do is transfer the Administrator/Owner/Payee account from my own to my wifes account.

I have been told by MS support that this is impossible.

The workaround is to let my plan expire (having backed up any Onedrive stuff above the free tier storage locally of course,) at which point my wife can create a new plan, add the kids, migrate all the Onedrive content back and setup parental rules from scratch. Given that I’m the admin precisely because I’m the most tech literate this seems like an unreasonable ask to me.

This will impact anyone in my situation, those who lose loved ones, divorcees etc and seems like a huge failing of the product. Hopefully it can reach the radar of someone senior enough to be able to do something about it.

Conversation 9 comments

  • anoldamigauser

    Premium Member
    14 April, 2022 - 10:58 am

    <p>My condolences for your situation. This is one of those instances where it is clear that the people designing these systems are young and still think in terms of the invincible me. I have seen this discussed in relation to social media accounts, but this is very similar. One would think that Microsoft would solve this as they very much try to push "family" subscriptions, and families change over time.</p><p><br></p><p>If I could offer some advice, I would say that you should make a list of your accounts, passwords, and urls for accessing them. In the case of your MSA, create an alias for the family to use and make that the primary address. Change the payment method to one in your wife’s name. If she is using Outlook or Mail for email, then add that account so she will get the emails. If she uses OWA, then create a separate browser profile and use it with that MSA. At least that way, your wife and children will not need to change anything with their accounts.</p><p><br></p><p>Again, I my condolences for your situation. </p>

  • christianwilson

    Premium Member
    14 April, 2022 - 4:40 pm

    <p>You’ve been with us in this community a long time. I’m really sorry to hear about this and wish it wasn’t happening to you.</p><p><br></p><p>Not being able to change the owner of a MS Family is a huge oversight. I would suggest doing what anoldamigauser said. Since it isn’t costing any more to keep your account active, maybe repurpose your account as a family "admin" account used just for managing the family, maintaining the subscription, etc. Not ideal, but it would allow your family to continue using M365 as they have been. </p>

  • spacein_vader

    Premium Member
    15 April, 2022 - 1:56 am

    <p>Thanks both, your workaround is my intention, but it really shouldn’t be necessary to do so. I’ll see how I get on that way</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    15 April, 2022 - 3:16 am

    <p>Hi spacein_vader, really sorry to hear about your illness. I love reading your comments and sparring with you occasionally, when we have different opinions, I think we can usually convey our differences, and often agree to differ, without getting shouty or name calling, that is a rare thing in this modern, Internet, world. I will sorely miss your input.</p><p><br></p><p>I agree with the others, it was my first thought, too. Keep your account as the admin account purely for payment and settings purposes. Put your wife’s card as the payment method (or I buy activation codes from Amazon, which are usually 1/3 off in sales).</p><p><br></p><p>I do think it is a stupid situation for Microsoft to be in, that there is no way to change the administrator on an account. That is a huge oversight. And it is a situation I have thought about a lot, with increasing age, I have family accounts from Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. What will happen to those purchases and subscriptions, when I’m gone.</p><p><br></p><p>This sort of stupid petty thinking by these services is the last sort of stress you need in such a situation, or for the bereaved, when they have to deal with such a thing after the fact – most people don’t know in advance when they will leave this mortal coil and cannot sort this things out before they go.</p><p><br></p><p>I’d be worried that telling them I’ve died will get all my purchases, that the family shares, annulled. I think it might just be "safer" to bequeath my wife all of my passwords (password safe).</p><p><br></p><p>I’ve also thought of having someone post on all of my forum accounts (E.g. here, TWIT etc.) that I have died. I feel a real sense of community in many of these forums and would like the people to know why I have suddenly stopped posting, why I stop responding. On the other hand, that also feels very precocious and narcissistic to me… That said, I’d like to know when my forum friends have departed for pastures new.</p><p><br></p><p>Whatever.</p><p><br></p><p>My thoughts are with you and your family at this hard time. May you find peace and spend the remaining time with your family.</p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      15 April, 2022 - 11:13 am

      <p>Not at all narcissistic. Forums become communities just like in real life, and if a member passes the loss is felt by all the people he or she touched. I sometimes wonder about folks from here or the old Supersite that were frequent posters and suddenly disappeared. </p><p>As an aside, I think this forum is really held back by the lack of notifications, @ replies, direct messages, etc. </p>

  • Chris_Kez

    Premium Member
    15 April, 2022 - 11:06 am

    <p>I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this right now. Office 365 administration should be the last thing you and your family need to worry about. </p>

  • SherlockHolmes

    Premium Member
    15 April, 2022 - 11:46 am

    <p>I hope somehow you can focus on the real things in the time you have left. Be with your family. Im so sorry to hear that. </p>

  • George Coll

    Premium Member
    21 April, 2022 - 11:44 am

    <p>our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family</p><p><br></p>

  • Paul Thurrott

    Premium Member
    22 April, 2022 - 9:21 am

    <p>First of all, apologies for not replying here sooner. </p><p><br></p><p>I did reach out to a friend at Microsoft and he told me that there is a solution for this, and they are reaching out to you. Microsoft is also updating its public documentation for this issue so that it’s not just a special case and will help anyone in a similar situation. </p><p><br></p><p>Let me know if you’ve not heard from them, please. </p>

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