There’s so much talk about what certification to get, what exam to pass, what are the requirements, and how to get certified. However, the opposite side of the coin is the older certifications and exam that go away over time. When technologies become obsolete, Microsoft retires certification exams that are no longer as relevant as they once were to make room for the newer certifications coming out with current technologies.

Microsoft Certifications Retiring Early 2019

Here’s a list of Microsoft certifications that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019:

  • MCSE: Mobility
  • MCSA: Office 365
  • MCSA: Windows 10
  • MCSA: Dynamics 365
  • MCSA: Machine Learning
  • MCSA: Data Engineering with Azure

As a result of one or more of the required exams being retired (see list below), these certifications will no longer be obtainable once the exams for them are retired. If you have already earned one of these certifications, they will still show on your transcript that you have them.

Also, here’s a list of the Microsoft certifications that were retired on December 31, 2018:

  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • MCSA: Cloud Platform
  • MCSA: Linux on Azure

These certification retirements are due to the shift in the Microsoft Certification program moving to a more Role-based certification model. As then below list of exams are retired, and the above certifications are retired as a result, there will be announcements and releases of new exams and certifications that are replacing them. Not only are the new certifications coming more aligned to job-roles, but they will be more relevant to the current state of technology than the old exams / certifications that are being (or have been) retired.

Also, keep in mind that even though Microsoft has retired the MCSA: Linux on Azure certification due to the 70-533 exam being retired, you can still take the LFCS exam. The LFCS certification is a non-Microsoft certification, and is not being retired. Just needed to mention this, as I’ve received a few questions regarding this.

Replacement Certifications

The list of certification retirements above is a little disconcerting to some. Keep in mind that any earned certifications will still show on your transcript, and you don’t need to earn any new certifications unless you feel it would benefit your current role and/or career.

Also, here’s a list of a few of the new certifications that have been announced, or are coming soon that will be replacing many of the retired certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer Expert
  • Microsoft Certified Messaging Administrator Certification
  • Data & AI Certification (coming soon)
  • Dynamics 365 Certification (coming soon)

Microsoft Exams Retiring in Early 2019

Here’s the list of Microsoft certification exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019:

Retiring on March 31, 2019

  • 70-331 Core Solutions in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (originally published  Feb. 1, 2013)
  • 70-332 Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 (originally published Feb. 1, 2013)
  • 70-341 Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (originally published Jan. 15, 2013)
  • 70-342 Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 (originally published Jan. 15, 2013)
  • 70-346 Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements (originally published Feb. 17, 2014)
  • 70-347 Enabling Office 365 Services (originally published Feb. 17, 2014)
  • 70-695 Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications (originally published Jan. 23, 2015)
  • 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices (originally published Sept. 1, 2015)
  • 70-698 Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (originally published Jun. 7, 2016)

Retiring on April 30, 2019

  • MB2-715 Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer engagement Online Deployment (originally published Feb. 24, 2017)
  • MB2-717 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (originally published Feb. 21, 2017)
  • MB2-877 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service (originally published Dec. 8, 2017)

Retiring on June 30, 2019

  • AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
  • AZ-202 Microsoft Azure Developer Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
  • AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)
    • Being replaced with AZ-300 & AZ-301 exams
  • 70-473 Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions (originally published Oct. 27, 2015)
  • 70-475 Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions (originally published Oct. 27, 2015)
  • 70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (originally published Jan 3, 2017)
  • 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (originally published Jan. 3, 2017)
  • 70-775 Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (originally published Feb. 22, 2017)
  • 70-776 Engineering Data with Microsoft Cloud Services (originally published July 5, 2017)
  • MB2-718 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service (originally published Feb. 21, 2017)
  • MB2-719 Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing (originally published June 28, 2018)
  • MB6-895 Financial Management in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (originally published Nov. 3, 2017)
  • MB6-896 Distribution and Trade in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (originally published Oct. 25, 2017)

Retiring on July 31, 2019

  • 70-343 Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 (originally published Apr. 5, 2013)

What does “retiring” an exam mean?

Basically, when a Microsoft certification exam is retired the exam will no longer be available to take. This means that only the people who have already passed it will ever be able to pass the exam. It also means that since the exam is retired, the certification earned by passing the exam may be deactivated. If your certification is deactivated due to an exam you previously passed being retired, then you may need to take and pass a new Microsoft certification exam to re-earn the current version of that certification.

Also, just because an exam is scheduled to be retired doesn’t mean you can’t take it anymore. You actually have until the planned expiration date to take and pass the exam. And, if that exam and it’s related certification is relevant to your job duties, or planned career path, then you may still want to take the exam. However, generally this means there is likely a newer exam, and possibly certification, available for you to pass that would probably be more relevant to your job / career future. In the end, knowing if / when a certification exam is being retired, it’s still up to you to decide if that exam is worth taking before that retirement date passes.

Microsoft does publish the exams they are retiring and the planned retirement date, but the information is a bit hidden / buried within the Microsoft Learning site. As a result, I thought I’d post about the Microsoft Certification Exams that are scheduled to be retired in the first half of 2019 to shed a little light on this to those who may not really be aware.

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion some people have regarding Microsoft certification exam retirement and certification deactivation. If you have further questions, please post them in the comments. Thanks!

Posted by Chris Pietschmann

Chris is a Microsoft MVP and has nearly 20 years of experience building enterprise systems both in the cloud and on-premises. He is also a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect and developer, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and Cloud Advocate. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.


  1. Hi Chris,

    When is the Data & AI Certification scheduled to be released?

    IMO: So there is a plan to terminate current certification paths within data science & engineering but have no replacement yet. And the paths around ML/AI have only been up for less than year. To me that is disastrous. I know that I shouldn’t complain about improvements that make the certification offering more in line with real job roles. But I think that Microsoft should have stuck with the program that they have already put a lot of investment in developing, a program that clearly must have been good for something. How will I know that they won’t make new paths in 2020 and make the 2019 paths void? The paths need to be seriously thought out and kept with for at least a couple of years to build confidence with the professionals. If they feel the urge to throw it in the bin some months down the road there should at least be some ruling principle that they will stick with the “cards” they have for some (serious) time. Now they just come off as extremely indecisive.

    Data Scientist @ Forefront


    1. Chris Pietschmann January 4, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      The Data and AI certification paths are supposed to be released soon. I don’t know if that means this month, or just within the next couple months. The important thing is that the old certifications that are set to retire will be replaced with new job-role oriented paths. This is a new direction Microsoft Learning is following that better fits what people do on the job. As far as the future, certifications can change over time, the important thing is that you’re certified and you can choose when/if to renew or earn the new certifications if you feel it will benefit your career. IMO, they aren’t being indecisive, they actually changed their mind based on tons of customer feedback and are reorienting the certifications to be more meaningful and valuable to everyone.


      1. This change seems to specifically benefit people already in careers. What about those that want to go on a certification path in order to pursue careers? I, for instance, would like to pursue a career in Cloud and/or Azure. What would be my options?

      2. Chris Pietschmann March 3, 2019 at 7:16 pm

        Job role based helps even if you aren’t in IT yet. If you are looking to be a developer or administrator then it’s more clear what Microsoft certifications would fit the direction you’re aspiring to pursue.

  2. Hi Chris,
    Could you please help to understand, how to earn MCSE certification in Cloud as per 2019 track ?



    1. Chris Pietschmann March 3, 2019 at 7:19 pm

      You’ll need to pursue one of the new Azure certifications tracks as the MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure has been retired. You can find info about these on under the Certification section.


  3. Hi Chris

    “AZ-302 Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Certification Transition (originally published Late 2018)”

    Confirming: Is this exam published / live (not in beta). The MS content is not clear.



    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      You can take the 70-302 exam now.


  4. Hi Chris,
    Do you know the replacement of the 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning or where I could look for it?


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      There isn’t really a replacement for 70-774 yet. Microsoft is still releasing all the new certification exams and paths.


  5. Microsoft has changed the retirement date for a couple of exams of my interest:
    MB6-895 and MB6-896 are now scheduled to be retired August 30, 2019.
    A wild guess could be that the new exams are delayed?


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 11:03 pm

      It’s possible this could be the reason. I haven’t heard of Microsoft deploying exam retirement due to new exams not being ready yet. However, it’s a logical conclusion that could be made. We may never know, but at least you have a little longer to pass the exams if you still are looking at those exams.


  6. does anyone know when the new AZ203 courses will be released( replacing AZ200)


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 4, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      There already is training content from multiple different vendors available for the Az-203 certification exam.


  7. Good breakdown, thanks!


  8. Has Microsoft decided to retire AZ-300/AZ-301? Any tentative dates?


    1. Chris Pietschmann February 15, 2019 at 6:27 am

      No AZ-300 and AZ-301 are not being retired.


  9. So I was interested in obtaining the MCSA. But I’m really confused with some of the changes Microsoft is making. Is it safe to assume that I can take the replacement courses in lieu of the courses being retired and still obtain the MCSA certificate? I.e., can I take MD-100 in lieu of 70-698?

    I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what is needed to obtain the MCSA. Is it three of the listed courses? And then from there 3 of the MCSE courses to obtain the MCSE? Any help is appreciated.


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 11:14 pm

      The new certification exams that start with “MD-“, “AZ-“, etc are for the new job role based certification paths. As a result, they do not count towards the MCSA and MCSE certifications. Also, Microsoft has retired a few of the MCSA and MCSE certifications in favor of the new job role based certifications instead.


  10. When are the Windows Server 2012/R2 Exams (70-410, etc) going to be retired?


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      If it hasn’t been announced then we’ll have to wait until Microsoft announces it.


  11. Thank for your information, I want to prepare for MSCA SQL Server 2012/2014 Exam 461, should I pass the MTA certification first or not?


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 25, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      If you’re newer to the technology then the MTA certification exam may help you prepare. Otherwise, if you’r experienced then going straight to the 461 and other exams may be the better route. You’ll have to use your judgement.


  12. Vinicius Watson March 19, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    What about database development, business intelligence and database administration paths? The latest ones are from 2016 and I am thinking about going thru BI but I feel that everything is outdated


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 30, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Microsoft is still releasing all the new exams for the new job-role based certifications. We should see what they have planned for these types of certs in the coming months.


  13. Martin Rimfält March 21, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Regarding AZ-100 Microsoft claims on their homepage it is retireing it MAY 1, 2019 ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      That’s correct. The AZ-100 exam is being replaced by the new AZ-103 exam on May 1.


  14. Hi,
    I had completed AZ-100 last month and plan to do AZ-101 next week.
    I heard the above two course will be retired on 1st of May 2019.

    Do I take AZ-101 course or need to wait till May 1 and write AZ-103?
    What should I do now? What is the expire date of AZ 100 & 101?

    Please suggest


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 30, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      If you passed AZ-100 then you will earn the Azure Administrator certification after May 1. You do not need to take AZ-101. If you have already taken AZ-101 then you will receive a voucher to put that money towards another exam. 🙂


  15. Well done Chris, to share all this information


    1. Chris Pietschmann March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am



  16. How come MS are retiring the new az-100 and az-101 in May? That leaves no azure exams of this type (as 755 was retired in Dec). And the exam ref books dont come out till 31st March, that means the book is only useful in April. Are they really retiring them?


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 24, 2019 at 9:51 am

      They’re being replaced by the single AZ-103 exam to better help serve certification candidates.


  17. Can you tell us what’s going to happen to the MPN Data Platform competency? We have a few people who’ve started down this path and we now see the final elective exam 70-473 is scheduled for retirement, but there is no information on either a replacement exam or new path for this competency.


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 24, 2019 at 9:44 am

      I’m not familiar with the MPN competencies. You should contact Microsoft in regards to this.


  18. Gilbert Nyandoro April 2, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Is there a replacement for MB6-895 yet?


    1. Chris Pietschmann May 13, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Not yet that I’m aware of, but this exam is still active until August 2019. You still have plenty of time to take it to get certified!


  19. Thanks for the info Chris, I have just passed the MCSA in Office 365, which I started last year. There’s a lot of out of date content but it was a good set of exams to do as the base content doesn’t change. I was a little worried what the retirement meant for the certification I have gained but feel a lot better after reading your facts.



  20. Just wondering if it makes sense to the 70-346 and 70-347 and wait until the new certifications and exams are available ? Or will there be a change in the course outline as well ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann May 13, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      IF the exams and certification are still available and they make sense for you then I’d say go for it. Otherwise, just wait for the new stuff and do that. Once you earn certification it’ll be relevant on your resume for as long as the covered technology is relevant for your job.


  21. Hi Chris, I have done MCSA Server 2012, and now looking for upgrade path to MCSE.

    What are my Options ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann April 24, 2019 at 9:20 am

      You could go with Server 2016, or the new Azure Administrator path. It depends on if your focus is more in Windows Server, or if you see Azure cloud being more relevant for your future.


  22. Given the number of retirements in favour of role-based certifications can you confirm if there are any plans to retire the MCSA Server 2016 certification imminently? Will there be a similar certification (MCSA) for Windows Server 2019 and/or a suitable upgrade path?


    1. Chris Pietschmann May 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      I don’t know what the plans are, but I would expect more role based certifications to be coming.


  23. how can I find the course on Microsoft 0365 : Modern Desktop Administrator Associate ?


    1. Chris Pietschmann July 2, 2019 at 12:13 am

      Since the exams for this one are still new, the training material may not be as readily accessible yet. You could check with training providers, or Microsoft Learning for study materials.


  24. Thanks for the info Chris. I have one more question to you and it would be perfect if you could answer it as fast as possible. Let me try to explain my situation. I have already passed 70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R exam and I need to pass one more exam 70-774 to earn MCSA: Machine Learning and MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (I have already passed other needed exams). The problem, as you wrote, that exam 70-774 retiring on June 30. Should I try to pass 70-744 exam till this date, if I want to earn MCSA ir MCSE certifications or I could wait for the replacement of this exam? Does it mean, that if I do not pass this exam till June 30, I will need to take two exams to get new version of MCSA and MCSE?

    Best regards,



    1. Chris Pietschmann July 2, 2019 at 12:07 am

      Sorry for the delayed response. I’d say just go ahead and take the exam while it’s available if you can earn the certification with exams already passed. However, if you didn’t do it before June 30, then you’ll have to pursue the new path. I believe the Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist Associate certification would be the most appropriate, new path.


  25. Hello, when I have passed for 70-346 (retired), which exam do I need?
    Because in the past was the intention to pass for 70-347.


    1. Chris Pietschmann July 1, 2019 at 11:49 pm

      Both of those exams are now retired. Unfortunately, I do not think that 70-346 will still count towards any certifications. You will need to pursue one of the newer certification paths.


  26. The company that offered me a job stated that I have to obtain a Microsoft Professional Certification before starting to work. After reading, the Microsoft website says that the Microsoft Certified Professional certification is no longer available. Please explain.


    1. Chris Pietschmann July 15, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      Microsoft Certified Professional or MCP was the certification designation if you passed at least 1 Microsoft certification exam. I would focus more on what certification they would like you to achieve. Which certification is the one they’ve requested you to earn?


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