Same email address between Office 365 plans?

Do you have both an Office 365 personal and work account?  If you are using the same email address for both services, you are probably sick and tired of seeing the following dialog:



Microsoft provides a link at the bottom of this dialog to “Rename your personal Microsoft account” but you might be asking yourself, how is it possible to have the same email address and why should I rename my personal Microsoft account?

Even though Office 365 for home and business share the same branding, they are actually completely different back end systems.  You are basically logging into and accessing data in two different systems.  The following table from Office support actually highlights some of the key differences between the Office 365 home and business plans:

Office 365 Home Plans

Office 365 Business Plans

Licensed for home use Licensed for business use
Fixed number of users and plans include:

·       Office 365 Home

·       Office 365 Personal

·       Office 365 University

Variable number of users depending upon your needs and plans include:

·       Office 365 Business plans

·       Office 365 Enterprise plan

Users sign in using a Microsoft account, such as or Users sign in with a user ID which is typically their work email address, such as
Email is accessed using a Microsoft account. Email is stored in Exchange Online and is accessed using an Office 365 work or school account.
Files are stored in the OneDrive that’s associated with the user’s Microsoft account. Files are stored in OneDrive which is associated with the user’s work or school account used to sign into Office 365 for business.

You might be thinking, it’s getting a little clearer but you haven’t completely answered the original question.  How is it possible to have the same email address both services?

Like many other services, Office 365 uses an email address to identify users during login.  Office 365 home plans allow you to use an existing email address rather than creating a new Microsoft account (  During sign-up for Office 365 home plan, you provided the same email address you are using for your Office 365 business account.  This causes all sorts of confusion when signing into Office applications, synchronizing files with OneDrive, accessing data, etc.

Why should I rename my personal Microsoft account?

If you wish to keep both your Office 365 home plan and Office 365 business plan, you can simplify your interactions with Microsoft applications, products, and services by separating your work activities from your personal activities.

Please refer to the following article for further guidance on renaming your Microsoft account:

What if I don’t want to keep my Office 365 home plan?

If you have upgraded from an Office 365 home plan to an Office 365 business plan and you want to consolidate data of the two accounts, you would need to migrate your Office 365 home data to the Office 365 business account.

Please refer to the following article for further guidance on migrating data from Office 365 home:


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