Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
true

Set automatic licensing options for an organization

Note: If you use Google Cloud Directory Sync, you must pick one method for automatic licensing assignment—either the option in the Google Admin console described here or Google Cloud Directory Sync License Sync.

You can override your top-level organization’s automatic licensing setting for one or more lower-level organizations within it. For example, if you have G Suite Basic automatic licensing turned on for your top-level organization, you can override that setting and turn it off for one or more lower-level organizations.

Furthermore, you can set different options for a parent organization and any children. For example, if you have G Suite Basic automatic licensing turned on for your top-level organization, but you override that setting and turn it off for a lower-level organization. For any of that organization’s children, you can override the parent settings and turn automatic licensing back on.

Learn how to turn on automatic licensing for your top-level organization, or learn more about automatic licensing.

When is organization-level automatic licensing available?

The ability to override a parent organization’s automatic licensing depends on the Google services you have, and your organization structure:

  • If you only have one primary Google service such as G Suite, all users automatically receive a license for that service. There’s no option to override this automatic licensing at any organization level.
  • If you have only one primary Google service but one or more secondary services (such as G Suite with Google Vault or Google Drive storage), the option to override a parent organization’s automatic licensing setting is available for the secondary service, but not the primary one.
  • If you have only one top-level organization with no lower-level organizations, you can see that automatic licensing for your Google service is turned on for your organization, but you don’t have any override option.

When you inherit or override a setting

By default, any organization below the top level inherits the automatic licensing setting of its parent. Inherit means, “Take the same setting (on or off) as the parent.”

You can, however, set the option for any organization to override its parent’s automatic licensing setting. Override means, “Ignore the parent and set the option independently.”

Inherit scenarios

There are 2 possible inherit scenarios:

Parent automatic licensing setting Child setting Result
On Inherit
  • Automatic licensing is turned on for the child.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned off for the parent, it is also off for the child. 
Off Inherit
  • Automatic licensing is turned off for the child.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned on for the parent, it is also on for the child.
Override scenarios

There are 4 possible override scenarios:

Parent automatic licensing scenario Child setting Result
On Override > On
  • Automatic licensing is turned on for the child, independent of the parent setting.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned off for the parent, it remains on for the child.
On Override > Off
  • Automatic licensing is turned off for the child, independent of the parent setting.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned off for the parent, it remains off for the child.
Off Override > On
  • Automatic licensing is turned on for the child, independent of the parent setting.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned on for the parent, it remains on for the child.
Off Override > Off
  • Automatic licensing is turned off for the child, independent of the parent setting.
  • If automatic licensing is later turned on for the parent, it remains off for the child.

Set and change automatic licensing overrides

Set an organization to override its parent setting
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Billing.
  3. For the service you want, to the left of the service name, click the Down arrow Down Arrow to expand the box.

    The Auto-licensing field shows whether you have automatic licensing assignment turned on or off for the entire organization. It also shows any organizations that are currently overriding the default setting.

  4. Click Override for specific organizations.

    Dynamic Licensing override for specific organizations

  5. (Optional) If required, to the left of an organization name, click the Down arrow Down Arrow  to view any children.
  6. Hover over the entry you want and click Override.

    Dynamic Licensing override

  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for any other organizations to override the parent setting.
  8. Click Done.
  9. On the Billing page, click Save.

    The organization now appears in the list of overriding organizations in the service box on the Billing page.

    Dynamic Licensing overriding organizations

Revert an organization’s override setting

When you revert an override, the organization inherits the automatic licensing setting from its parent.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Billing.
  3. For the service you want, to the left of the service name, click the Down arrow Down Arrow to expand the box.
  4. On the list of overriding organizations, to the right of any entry, click X to remove the override.
  5. Click Save.

Note: You can also revert an override by following steps 4–9 of the override procedure above and clicking Inherit instead of Override in step 6. This is useful if you want to perform both overrides and reversions at the same time.

Dynamic Licensing inherit

Switch an overriding organization’s automatic licensing setting

You can switch an overriding organization’s automatic licensing setting from on to off, or vice versa. In this case, the new setting takes effect regardless of the overall organization or parent setting.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Billing.
  3. For the service you want, to the left of the service name, click the Down arrow Down Arrow to expand the box.
  4. On the list of overriding organizations, to the right of any entry, click On or Off.
  5. Select On or Off.
  6. Click Save.

How automatic licensing affects existing users

Turning automatic licensing on or off only affects whether new users in the organization automatically get a license for the selected service. Existing user licenses are impacted in different ways.

If you turn on automatic licensing at the top level

If you set automatic licensing at the top organization level, existing user licenses aren’t changed at any level, even for different versions of the same Google service. For example, if users in the top-level organization and any lower-level organizations have licenses for Google Drive storage Capacity 1, and you turn on automatic licensing for Google Drive storage Capacity 2 at the top level, existing users’ Capacity 1 licenses remain the same at all levels.

If you turn on automatic licensing for an individual organization

When you turn on automatic licensing for a service for an individual organization, all existing users in the organization are assigned a license for the service. If the number of users exceeds the number of purchased licenses, some users in the organization will not get the license. In this case, you can either get more licenses or reduce the number of users by deleting users or moving users to a different organization.

If any existing users in the organization already have a license for the same service, the earlier license is revoked and the user gets a new auto-assigned license instead. This includes different versions of the same service—for example, different storage capacities for Google Drive storage.

Example: Users in an organization have licenses for Google Drive storage Capacity 1. If you turn on automatic licensing for Google Drive storage Capacity 2 for that organization, all those users’ licenses are switched to Capacity 2.

If the user has any licenses for a different service, those licenses are retained. For example, G Suite Basic and Google Vault are different services, so automatically assigning G Suite Basic licenses doesn’t impact a user’s existing Vault license.

If you move users to a different organization that has automatic licensing turned on

If automatic license assignment is turned on for a certain Google service in Organization A, and a user moving from Organization B to Organization A already has a license for the same service, the earlier license is revoked and the user gets a new automatically assigned license instead. This includes different versions of the same service—for example, different storage capacities for Google Drive storage.

If automatic license assignment is turned on for the top-level organization, and a user moving from Organization A to the top organization already has a license for the same service, the earlier license is retained. This includes different versions of the same service.

If the user has any licenses for a different service, those licenses are retained. For example, G Suite Basic and Google Vault are different services, so auto-assigning G Suite Basic licenses does not impact a user’s existing Vault license.

These rules apply whether you move individual users into a different organization, or whether you move an entire organization into a different organization.

Moving users into an organization might result in more users than the number of purchased licenses. In this case, some users may not have licenses.

If you turn off automatic licensing

If you turn off automatic licensing at any level, all of a user’s previously assigned licenses are retained.

Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Sign in to your account

Get account-specific help by signing in with your G Suite account email address, or learn how to get started with G Suite.