Office 365 E1 vs E3

What are the differences between Office 365 E1 vs E3? Below you will find the major differences to help you choose between the two enterprise version. I added a comparison chart at the end of this article so you get a nice overview of the major differences.

If you want to compare all the Office 365 version, make sure you check this article about all the business and enterprise versions.

Desktop versus Browser only

The Office 365 E1 version is focussed on the Online version only. So you get Word, Excel, Outlook and Onenote, but only the web version of it. If you are a small company or doing only minor editing of Office documents, then the web version can be more then sufficient.

The Office 365 E1 version also lacks the ability to install the Office apps on your mobile devices. And that is one of the major setbacks of the E1 version. If you are a lot out of the office, you just can’t simply check or open that Excel sheet or Word document on your mobile device.

The E3 version comes with a full license to install the desktop version of Word, Excel, Outlook, Onenote and Publisher on your Windows computer or Mac. And also you can install the Office apps on your tablet or mobile phone.

So in short Office 365 E1 vs E3 from an application standpoint:

  • Want Outlook, Word or Excel on your desktop? > Office 365 E3
  • Do you want the Office apps on your mobile? > Office 365 E3
  • Only minor Office document editing and none of the above? > Office 365 E1

Cloud Storage in Office 365 E1 vs E3

If we look into the standard services of Office 365, then there is almost no difference between the E1 and the E3 version. But there is one difference between the two, and that is how much personal cloud storage you get.

Office 365 E1 comes with “only” 1TB cloud storage for your Onedrive for Business account. Each user gets 1 TB of personal storage. Which is more than enough in most cases. With E3 you get 1Tb by default and the ability to expand it to 5 Tb. With a call to Microsoft support, you can get 25 TB/user.

Remote Desktop / Citrix – Shared Computer Activation

A big decision maker if you are using Remote Desktop or Citrix environment.  E1 doesn’t support activation on shared computers. A lot of enterprise companies are using Citrix, Remote Desktop or Shared Computers, something that won’t work with E1. So if you are using Citrix or a Remote Desktop environment, or if you have kiosk computers, then you should definitely go for Office 365 E3.

In-place Hold and Litigation Hold

With Office 365 E3 you get the ability to place a users mailbox or a subset of his mailbox on hold for legal review. This way you can prevent items from being deleted to review them later. This is something that you think you don’t need until you get your first lawsuit. Only then you will understand the power of this future.

more information on In-place Hold and Litigation Holder

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

DLP policies allow you to comply with the business standard and industry regulations to protect sensitive information and prevent leaking outside the organisation. With DLP you can identify and protect sensitive information in Exchange Online (mail), SharePoint and Onedrive for Business. DLP is not available in Office 365 E1.


Office 365 E1 is really cheap compared to the E3 version. It costs around the $ 8.00 per user/month, the E3 version cost $ 20.00 per month.


So I hope that the explanation above help you selecting the right version for your organisation. If you have any question, please let me know. If you need help setting up your Office 365 tenant, you can always reach me through LinkedIn or Twitter.

You can find more information or check the prices in your current here at Office 365

Office 365 E1 vs E3 comparison chart

E1 E3
Core Details
Price user/month (annual commitment) $ 8.00 $ 20.00
Price user/month (monthly commitment) $ 8.00 $ 20.00
Seat Cap Unlimited
24/7 Phone support All issues
Desktop version of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher
Web version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote
Office apps on tablets and phones
Standard Services
1TB cloud storage (OneDrive for Business)
Unlimited cloud storage (OneDrive for Business)
Email, Calendar (Exchange)
Online meetings, IM (Skype for Business)
Communication and team sites (SharePoint)
Team hub (Teams)
Enterprise Social (Yammer)
Content discovery and search (Delve)
Manage schedules and daily staff work tasks (StaffHub)
Manage tasks and teamworks (Planner)
Manage your business better (Invoicing, Bookings, MileIQ, Business center)
Manage customers (Connections, Listings, Outlook Customer Manager)
Advanced Services
Active Directory integration
Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365
Licensed for hybrid deployment
Support for shared computer activation
Video content management
Compliance – Archiving, eDiscovery, hold
Information protection – message encryption, RMS, DLP
Enhanced Services
Advanced eDiscovery, secure attachments and URLs and access controls
End-user and organizational analytics (MyAnalytics & Power BI)
Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection
Office 365 Cloud App Security
PSTN conferencing to dial into Skype meetings from anywhere
Advanced Data Governance
Advanced security with Advanced Threat Protection and Customer Lockbox
More Info
More Info
& Prices

More Info
& Prices

* MyAnalytics will be available for every business and enterprise plan with hosted exchange. Rolling out in January 2019

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7 thoughts on “Office 365 E1 vs E3”

  1. Hi
    How Microsoft approaches the license (O365 E3) of the mailbox from which the mail is sent.
    We have multifunctional devices (document scanners) and in its configuration the mail server address and e-mail address is entered, e.g. [email protected]. It is similar in ERP system. System sends different messages to employees’ mailboxes.
    Do you need to buy an O365 license for such object ?

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