Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office

If Office activation fails, you'll see Unlicensed Product or Non-commercial use / Unlicensed Product in the title bar of your Office apps, and most features of Office are disabled. To restore all features of Office, you'll need to fix the problem that's causing activation to fail.

Use the Activation Troubleshooter for Office 365 and Office 2016

This troubleshooter runs on Windows PCs and can fix activation errors for Office 365, Office 2016, and individual Office 2016 apps, like Visio, Project, Word, and Outlook. If you're using Office 2013, you'll need to fix Unlicensed Product errors yourself.

  1. Select the Download button below.

    Select this button to download the Activation Troubleshooter
  2. Select your browser from the drop-down list to see how to save and then launch the troubleshooter.

    1. At the bottom of the browser window, select Save.

    2. In the next box that indicates officeact.diagcab is finished downloading, select Open.

    3. The Activation Troubleshooter launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. At the bottom of the browser window, select Open to open the officeact.diagcab file.

      If the file doesn’t open automatically, choose Save > Open Folder, and then double-click the file (it should start with "officeact.diagcab") to run the easy fix tool.

    2. The Activation Troubleshooter launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. In the lower-lower left corner select the officeact.diagcab file and from the drop down, select Show in folder.

      Double-click the download, officeact.diagcab to run the easy fix tool.

    2. The Activation Troubleshooter launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

    1. Select Save File, and then OK.

      In the upper-right browser window, select Show all downloads. In the Library, select Downloads > officeact.diagcab, and then select the folder icon. Double-click the officeact.diagcab.

    2. The Activation Troubleshooter launches. Select Next and follow the prompts.

Fix Unlicensed Product errors yourself

If you're using Office 2013, or if the Office Activation Troubleshooter can't fix the problem, try these solutions.

Check your computer's date, time, and time zone

If these settings aren't correct, Office activation might fail. Follow the steps below for your operating system.

Windows 10

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. In the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, select the date or time.

  3. Select Date and time settings.

  4. Select Set time automatically and, if shown, Set time zone automatically. If you don't have the option to set the time zone automatically, make sure your local time zone is shown in Time zone.

  5. Restart any Office app.

Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. In the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, select the date or time.

  3. Select Change date and time settings.

  4. If the date or time is wrong, select Change date and time and correct the date and time settings.

  5. If the time zone is wrong, select Change time zone and select your local time zone.

  6. Restart any Office app.

Windows 7

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. In the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, select the date or time.

  3. Select Change date and time settings.

  4. If the date or time is wrong, select Change date and time and correct the date and time settings.

  5. If the time zone is wrong, select Change time zone and select your local time zone.

  6. Restart any Office app.

Tip: In Windows 7, you can synchronize your computer clock with an Internet time server to keep the computer clock up to date. To do this, select the date or time in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, and then select Change date and time settings. Select the Internet Time tab, select Change settings, select Synchronize with an Internet time server, and then select Update now.

Run Office as administrator

Running Office as administrator helps fix permission issues that might cause Office activation to fail. Follow the steps below for your operating system.

Windows 10

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. Press the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen.

  3. Type an application name, like Word. The Word program icon appears in the search results.

  4. Right-click the Word icon, and select Run as administrator.

  5. Select Yes to allow Office to run as administrator.

Windows 8.1

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. In Windows 8.1, right-click the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen, and then select Search.

  3. Type an application name, like Word. The Word program icon appears in the search results.

  4. Right-click the Word icon, and select Run as administrator.

  5. Select Yes to allow Office to run as administrator.

Windows 8

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. In Windows 8, move your mouse to the upper-right corner of your screen to open the charms bar, and then select the Search icon.

  3. Type an application name, like Word. The Word program icon appears in the search results.

  4. Right-click the Word icon, and select Run as administrator.

  5. Select Yes to allow Office to run as administrator.

Windows 7

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. Press the Start button in the lower-left corner of your screen.

  3. In the Search programs and files box, type an application name, like Word. The Word program icon appears in the search results.

  4. Right-click the Excel icon, and select Run as administrator.

  5. If prompted, select Yes to allow Office to run as administrator.

Update Office

The latest Office updates might contain fixes to activation issues. To learn how to update Office, see Install Office updates.

Repair Office licensing (applies only to Office 2013)

If you’ve tried all of the other solutions but you’re still getting prompted to activate Office 2013, uninstall your product key and then sign in to activate Office.

  1. Select this easy fix to uninstall your product key in Office 2013.

    Easy fix download button indicating an automated fix is available

  2. At the bottom of your browser, select Open.

    Click Open

  3. After the easy fix tool is done, open any Office application, like Word or Excel.

  4. When you’re prompted, sign in with the email and password that are associated with Office.

Check your firewall

If you're using a firewall from another manufacturer, visit the manufacturer's website for information about how to temporarily disable the firewall. For Windows Firewall, please see below.

Windows 10

Windows 8.1 and 7

Check your antivirus software

For information about how to turn off your antivirus software, check your antivirus manufacturer's website. Uninstalling your antivirus software may also help. Don't forget to reinstall it after Office is finished installing and if you turned it off, be sure to turn it on again.

If you're not sure which antivirus software you have, use the following instructions to get to Control Panel to find the name of your antivirus software.

Tip: Windows 10 comes with default antivirus software, Windows Defender. If you determine that you're using it, select the Start button > Settings > Update & Security, and then select Windows Defender on the left. Slide the button to Off. Remember to turn it On again.

  1. Go to Control Panel by right-clicking the Start button Windows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (lower-left corner), and choosing Control Panel.

    Options and commands list see after pressing Windows logo key + X

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In Category view, select System and Security > Security and Maintenance, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

    • In Large icons or Small icons view, select Security and Maintenance, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

If Windows can detect your antivirus software, it's listed under Virus protection.

  1. Go to the Control Panel by right-clicking the Start button Windows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (lower-left corner), and choosing Control Panel.

    Options and commands list see after pressing Windows logo key + X

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In Category view, select System and Security > Action Center, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

    • In Large icons or Small icons view, select Action Center, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

If Windows can detect your antivirus software, it's listed under Virus protection.

  1. Go to Control Panel by choosing the Start button Windows 7 Start button (lower-left corner), and choosing Control Panel.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In Category view, select System and Security > Action Center, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

    • In Large icons or Small icons view, select Action Center, and then select the down arrow next to Security.

If Windows can detect your antivirus software, it's listed under Virus protection.

Check your proxy settings

If you use your device both at home and at work, try turning off the proxy settings in Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer before you install Office. If you’re using a different browser, check their help to find out how to turn off proxy settings.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Click the Start button Windows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (lower-left corner), and choose Settings.

  2. Select Network & Internet, go to the bottom of the selections on the left side, and click Proxy.

  3. In Automatic proxy setup, automatically detect settings or use setup script, by sliding to On or Off.

  4. In Manual proxy setup, you can choose to use a proxy server. Generally, it will be off and if you slide it to On, be sure to select Save. And if it was off by default before you turned it on, be sure to slide back to Off when you've finished using it.

Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9, 10, or 11

  1. In Internet Explorer, click Tools (upper-right corner) > Internet options.

  2. Click the Connections tab, and then click the LAN settings button.

  3. Under Proxy server, clear the option "Use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections)."

  4. Click Apply and OK to save changes. Restart your computer.

Note: There might be more proxy settings that you need to bypass. If this doesn't work, and you’re installing Office from work or school, check with your IT department for more information. For IT administrators, please see Office 365 URLs and IP address ranges.

Connect to the Internet

Make sure your subscription is active

Make sure you installed the Office that's part of your plan

Deactivate an install

Connect to the Internet

While you don’t need to be online at all times to use Office, you do need to connect to the Internet intermittently so Office can verify that your Office 365 subscription is still active. If Office can’t check the status of your subscription for an extended period of time (usually around 30 days), you’ll see the Couldn’t Verify Subscription message, and Office will eventually go into reduced functionality mode. To fix this, reconnect to the Internet, and then choose Retry.

Make sure your Office 365 for Home, Personal, or University subscription is active

  1. Close all Office apps.

  2. Go to your Services & subscriptions page.

  3. If prompted, choose Sign in and enter the Microsoft account email and password associated with your Office 365 subscription.

  4. Review the details under the Subscriptions heading.

    Screenshot showing the Services & subscriptions page
  5. If your subscription has expired, you can renew it by following the steps in Renew Office 365 for home.

  6. After you renew your subscription, you can restart your Office apps as needed.

Make sure you installed the Office that's part of your plan

Let's make sure that the Office you have installed is the one that's associated with your Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscription.

  1. Sign in to your account page.

  2. On the My Account page, select Install >.

  3. Check to see if your computer is listed under Install Information.

    The Install Information section lists the computers where you have installed Office from this account. If you have not installed Office from this account, you'll see "You haven't used any installs."

  4. If your computer isn't listed, select Install to install Office and get a current license for this account.

Deactivate an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University install

If you've exceeded the number of installs that your Office 365 subscription supports, you can deactivate an Office install that you're no longer using so you can install Office on a different device.

  1. Go to https://office.com/myaccount and sign in using your Microsoft account, if prompted.

  2. Select Install >.

  3. Under Install information, select Deactivate Install to deactivate the Office installs that you no longer use.

    The Install page showing the computer name and the name of the person who installed Office.

After you deactivate an Office install, you still can view and print documents from that device, but you won't be able to edit them or create new ones. Office lets you know that the install is deactivated by showing Unlicensed Product errors. If you want to use Office on the device, you'll need to reactivate Office by signing in to your Office 365 account when prompted.

Connect to the Internet

Run the Support and Recovery Assistant

Deactivate an install

Connect to the Internet

While you don’t need to be online at all times to use Office, you do need to connect to the Internet intermittently so Office can verify that your Office 365 subscription is still active. If Office can’t check the status of your subscription for an extended period of time (usually around 30 days), you’ll see the Couldn’t Verify Subscription message, and Office will eventually go into reduced functionality mode. To fix this, reconnect to the Internet, and then choose Retry.

Run the Support and Recovery Assistant (Office 365 for business)

As an Office 365 for business user, you can download Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365 to help you fix activation issues. If that tool doesn’t resolve your issue, continue with the instructions in this article.

Deactivate an Office 365 for business install

If you've exceeded the number of installs that your Office 365 subscription supports, you can deactivate an Office install that you're no longer using so you can install Office on a different device.

  1. Go to https://portal.office.com/Account/#home and sign in using your work or school account, if prompted.

  2. From the Install status tile, select Manage installs.

  3. Under Install status, select Deactivate to deactivate the Office installs you no longer use.

    Shows the Deactivate command for an Office 365 for business install

After you deactivate an Office install, you still can view and print documents from that device, but you won't be able to edit them or create new ones. Office lets you know that the install is deactivated by showing Unlicensed Product errors. If you want to use Office on the device, you'll need to reactivate Office by signing in to your Office 365 account when prompted.

Repair Office

To learn how, see Repair an Office application

Uninstall and reinstall Office

To learn how, see:

  1. Uninstall Office

  2. Download and install Office

Still need help? Contact Support

If you’ve tried everything in this article and still need help, you can contact Office support.

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