Using product keys with Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013

Your Microsoft account takes the place of your Office product key for many tasks, such as activating Office and reinstalling Office. Check the sections below to find out if you need an Office product key and what to do with your key if you have one.

Office is asking me for a product key

If Office is asking you for a product key to activate Office, in many cases you can enter your Microsoft account instead. This is the account that you used to buy or subscribe to Office. We can help if you forgot your Microsoft account or password.

If you see this screen in Office, select Sign in with an active account instead.

Shows the dialog box where you enter your product key

If you see this screen (or a similar screen) in Office, select Sign In.

Shows a message that indicates that the Office install was deactivated.

Note: If you bought a new, unused Office 365 product key card to renew an Office 365 subscription or to buy your trial, you can enter that product key if Office prompts you for it. You can also enter the product key at www.office.com/setup.

There are a few exceptions where you'll need to do something other than sign in.

  • If you bought a DVD or USB drive through your employer's Home Use Program (HUP), you'll need your product key to install Office on a PC. To locate your product key online, see Find your HUP product key.

  • If you're using a volume license version of Office Professional Plus at work, you'll need to contact your admin for a product key.

  • If you see a yellow or red banner in an Office app that says SUBSCRIPTION EXPIRED, you must renew your Office 365 subscription to keep using Office. For help, see Renew Office 365 for home.

  • If Office came pre-installed on your new device, and you see a yellow or red banner in an Office app that says PRODUCT NOTICE Most of the features of <app> have been disabled because it hasn't been activated, you must start a new Office 365 Home trial or buy Office. For help, see Try, buy, or activate Office that's pre-installed on a new PC.

  • If you bought Office Professional Plus online, see Can I buy a product key? or, if your product key isn't working, see My Office product key isn't working.

My new Windows 10 PC came with Office but I can't find a product key

If you see a Let's get started screen with options to try, buy, or activate Office, this means that Office is installed on your new PC as a 1-month trial of Office 365 Home. You won't receive a product key from your PC manufacturer unless you paid for an Office product key card. Instead, you can start a trial of Office 365 for Home, or buy Office. For help, see Try, buy, or activate Office that's pre-installed on a new PC.

A screenshot that shows the default try, buy, or activate options for a PC that comes with Office pre-installed.

If you paid for an Office product to be included on your new Windows 10 PC, a digital product key is transmitted to your PC when you activate Windows 10. You won't receive a printed product key. Instead, you'll see a message similar to the following when you start Word 2016 (or any Office app). For help with this screen, see Activate an Office purchase or free offer on a new PC.

Shows the Activate button to activate Office that's included on your new PC

Do I need a product key to reinstall Office?

You don't need a product key to reinstall Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013. If you subscribe to Office 365 Home, you don't need a product key to install Office on additional computers. Just go to www.office.com/myaccount and sign in using the Microsoft account that you used to buy Office. We can help if you forgot your Microsoft account or password.

Note: The process of reinstalling Office through the Home Use Program (HUP) is different. See Install or reinstall Office through the Home Use Program (HUP).

Can I view my product key in Office?

No, you can't. For security reasons, the full product key isn't displayed within Office.

Instead, for Office 365 and Office 2016, you can view the Microsoft account that Office belongs to. This account takes the place of your product key and can be used to reinstall Office from www.office.com/myaccount and to activate Office.

To view the Microsoft account that Office belongs to, open a document in Word 2016 (or any Office app) and go to File > Account. Look for the email address after Belongs to below the product name.

Shows the email account that's associated with Office

Can I view my product key online?


Yes, but this only works for Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, Office Professional, and individual Office apps. Product keys for Office 365 aren't displayed online.

Product keys for one-time purchases of Office and individual Office apps are available at www.office.com/myaccount. However, you don't need a product key to reinstall or activate these products. If these products are prompting you for a product key, you can sign in using the Microsoft account that you used to buy and download Office.

If you still want to view your product key, here's how:

  1. Go to www.office.com/myaccount and sign in, if prompted.

  2. Select your Office product.

  3. Select View your product key. Note that this product key won't match the product key shown on an Office product key card or in the Microsoft Store for the same purchase. This is normal.

Shows the View your product key link for an Office one-time install

If you bought Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, Office Professional, or individual Office apps from the Microsoft Store and you haven't installed them yet, you can also view their product keys and install them from the Microsoft Store.

Here's how to view your product key in the Microsoft Store:

  1. Go to www.microsoftstore.com. In the upper right-hand corner, select Sign in and enter the user ID and password you used to buy Office.

  2. After you sign in, select Order History under the Sign in menu.

  3. Locate the Office one-time purchase or individual Office app, and then select Install Office to view your product key (this doesn't actually install Office). Note that this product key won't match the product key shown in My Office Account. This is normal.

Shows the product key in the Microsoft Store on the Digital content page

My product keys don't match

This is normal. The Office product key shown on www.office.com/myaccount will always be different than the product key that's shown on a product key card or email receipt. They are two different types of keys, even though they use the same format.

Can I change my product key?

Yes, you can change your Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, or Office Professional product key by reinstalling Office. To learn how, see Change your Office product key

I have a new product key. Where do I enter it?

Here's what to do with a new, never used Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013 product key:

  1. Go to www.office.com/setup.

  2. Sign in with your Microsoft account, or create one if you don't have one. Be sure to remember this account so that you can install or reinstall Office later, without a product key.

    Important: If you're renewing an Office 365 subscription, enter the Microsoft account that's associated with your subscription. We can help if you forgot your Microsoft account or password.

  3. Enter your Office product key, without hyphens.

  4. Follow the prompts to finish the redemption process.

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Can I buy a product key?

It depends on what you're trying to do.

  • To buy a brand new copy of Office 2016, or start a new Office 365 subscription, you can buy an Office product key card from a retailer. You can redeem your key at www.office.com/setup to set up your Microsoft account and install Office. You can also buy a digital download directly from the Microsoft Store at www.microsoftstore.com. You'll receive a product key if you buy a one-time purchase Office 2016 or individual Office apps, but you won't need or receive a product key for Office 365.

  • To renew your Office 365 subscription, you can buy an Office 365 product key card from a retailer and redeem the key at www.office.com/setup. You can also renew your subscription online, without a product key, at www.office.com/renew.

  • If Office is prompting you for a product key, and you want to buy a product key to activate Office, it's better to uninstall your current version of Office and then buy and install a new version of Office from the Microsoft Store. This way you can be sure that Office will activate successfully.

    Click Buy Office below to compare prices and options and to make your purchase.

    Link to buy Office

If you're shopping for Office product keys elsewhere, we recommend that you review our tips for safer shopping to make sure you're buying genuine Microsoft software. Be sure to read the tip called Beware of Product Keys Sold Separately if you want to buy a product key online. If you buy a product key online and it doesn't work or stops working, see My Office product key isn't working.

I bought a product key card but there's no key on it

If you bought an Office product key card, you might need to carefully scratch off a silver foil coating on the back of your product key card to reveal your product key. If you damage the key while scratching off the foil coating, see I lost or damaged my product key.

Tip: A product key card might also contain bar codes and other groups of letters and numbers, but the product key will always be shown in the format XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.

Scratch off the foil coating to reveal the Office product key

I lost or damaged my product key

If you lost or damaged your product key, but have a valid proof of purchase, Microsoft support may be able replace your product key or provide other options. Contact Microsoft support for assistance.

If you believe the product key has been lost, stolen, or misplaced and you simply would like to buy a newer version of Office, you can click Buy Office below to compare prices and options and to make your purchase.

Link to buy Office

If you're shopping for Office elsewhere, we recommend that you review our tips for safer shopping to make sure you're buying genuine Microsoft software. Be sure to read the tip called Beware of Product Keys Sold Separately if you want to buy a product key online.

My Office product key isn't working

If your Office product key doesn’t work, or has stopped working, you should contact the seller and request a refund. If you bought a product key separate from the software, it’s very possible the product key was stolen or otherwise fraudulently obtained, and subsequently blocked for use. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest sellers who offer stolen, abused, or otherwise unauthorized Microsoft product keys for sale. Sometimes these product keys are printed on counterfeit labels or cards with a download link to Microsoft software, and sometimes they’re distributed with software media that is unauthorized for resale, such as promotional media, original equipment manufacturer reinstallation media, or other Microsoft program-specific media.

Contact support about my product key

If you’ve followed the guidance in this article and still need help, visit our Microsoft support page for assistance.

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