Learn Fabric for FREE with an M365 Developer License

Are you interested in learning Power BI and/or testing out the brand new Microsoft Fabric (preview)? Do you want to do it outside of your corporate environment? We’ve got great news for you! You can sign-up for the Microsoft 365 Developer Program entirely for free, with no credit card needed!

Our friends over at BIFocal made a video on this topic, so if you prefer to watch rather than read, check it out on YouTube!

What do you get when you sign up?

Great news! You get a FREE M365 E5 tenant – with 25 user licenses and a pre-configured sandbox for development*. This includes admin privileges!! So – if you’re studying for a certification or just trying to learn what admins can and cannot do, this is a great option.

An E5 tenant includes Power BI pro licenses for all users, and you can even access the 60-day trial of Premium features 💣! It does require a bit of set-up, but fear not, we’ll walk you through it.

How do you sign up?

You do need to use a business email to sign-up for the M365 developer program. Here’s how to get one for free!

1. Head over to signup.live.com and create an account. Note that this username must be globally unique, meaning, someone else can’t already have it. Be sure to select “get a new email address.”

Screenshot of Microsoft's interface to create an account. Users need to add a unique username to the input.

2. Finish signing up by setting your password and logging in.

Now you can follow the sign-up process on the M365 Developer Program site!

1. Sign up with the new email you just created, and add the required info.

Screenshot of the M365 Developer Program sign up interface.

2. After answering a couple of questions, select the instant sandbox, which will configure the tenant for you! It’s so simple!

Screenshot of the M365 sandbox setup. User needs to select the first option, which is a configurable sandbox.

3. Set up a username and password for your tenant admin. You’ll create these – be sure to save them somewhere!

Screenshot of the text inputs for the Microsoft 365 E5 Sandbox setup, requiring region input, Admin username, and Admin password.

4. To complete sign-up, you’ll need to add a valid phone number for authentication.

Note that you can only have ONE M365 Developer Account per phone number, and you cannot use a VOIP number.

5. Once you’re signed up, you can assign licenses to users in the M365 admin portal.

6. Log in to Power BI and start building!!! Have fun!

Screenshot of the Power BI service interface.


7. In the Admin portal of your new tenant, enable the Microsoft Fabric preview!

8. You’ll then need to ensure your workspace has the Fabric trial enabled as well. Have fun!

To learn more about Fabric: check out Microsoft Learn!

* You cannot use this tenant for anything other than testing/learning. Don’t try to scam the system, it’s not kind.

5 thoughts on “Learn Fabric for FREE with an M365 Developer License”

    1. Hi Christy – where are you getting stuck? You have to first sign up for a business email at signup.live.com – after which you can register for the M365 developer program using that new email address. Feel free to elaborate on your question here – it might help others too!


  1. Hey Shannon, great article – thank you!

    What happens after 90 days? of free subscription, is it still possible to use it for free?



  2. Hi Igor! After 90 days the subscription renews! I’m not sure what the limits are, but as long as you’re using the account, it will auto-renew! You’ll get an email reminder if you’re not using it and it’s about to expire.


  3. I am having issues with step # 5. After creating an email and associating it to an M365 account, it won’t let me log into the M365 admin portal to assign a Power BI license. Has anybody else experienced this issue or found a work around?


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