Activate Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013

In many cases, Office 365, Office 2016, and Office 2013 activate automatically after you install Office on your PC, and you won't have to manually activate Office or enter a product key. But sometimes Office needs your help to activate.

If you're prompted to activate, scroll down and select your Office product below. If you access this topic from the Activation wizard, you can see your Office product in the wizard, like this:

Shows the version of Office as shown in the Activation Wizard.

If the Activation wizard isn't open, see What version of Office am I using?

Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, Office Professional, or individual Office applications

These versions of Office are one-time purchases that can be installed on a single computer. Select from the options below.

Do you have a product key? It's ok if you don't--not every version of Office comes with a product key. It depends on how you got your copy of Office. If you have a product key, see Where to enter your Office product key. After you enter your product key (if you have one), see install Office. After you install Office, it should automatically activate for you. If it doesn't, you can follow the steps in this article.

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.

  1. Open an Office application, such as Word. (Can't find Office? Here's how to find Office in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.)

  2. View and accept the license agreement, if prompted.

  3. Activation might take place automatically. If Office doesn't activate automatically, do one of the following:

    • If the Activation Wizard appears, select I want to activate the software over the Internet, and then select Next. If nothing happens when you select Next, use the Enter key on your keyboard.

      Shows the Microsoft Office Activation Wizard
    • If the Activation Wizard doesn't appear, create a new blank document, and then go to File > Account and select Activate Product.

      Shows the Activate Product button in the Backstage view
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the activation process.

  1. Open an Office application, such as Word. (Can't find Office? Here's how to find Office in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.)

  2. View and accept the license agreement, if prompted.

  3. Activation might take place automatically. If Office doesn't activate automatically, do one of the following:

    • If the Activation Wizard appears, select I want to activate the software by telephone, and then select Next. If nothing happens when you select Next, use the Enter key on your keyboard.

      Shows the Activation Wizard with the telephone option selected
    • If the Activation Wizard doesn't appear, create a new blank document, and then go to File > Account and select Activate Product.

      Shows the Activate Product button in the Backstage view
  4. Under Step 1, select your country/region, and then call the Product Activation Center phone number that’s listed under the country/region you selected.

    Shows how to select your country and view the phone number for the Product Activation Center
  5. When prompted, provide the Installation ID that's shown in Activation Wizard under Step 2.

    Shows the Installation ID that you provide to the Product Activation Center by phone
  6. The Product Activation Center will provide a Confirmation ID that you enter in the Activation Wizard under Step 3. Shows where you enter the Confirmation ID that the Product Activation Center provides by phone

  7. Select Next and follow the prompts to complete the activation process. If nothing happens when you select Next, use the Enter key on your keyboard.

If you need help activating Office that came on your new PC or device, see Try, buy, or activate Office that's pre-installed on a new computer.

If you own multiple one-time purchases of Office and are having trouble activating subsequent Office installs, see Change your Office product key.

For a one-time purchase of Office 2016 or Office 2013, you can install Office on only one computer. If you try to install and activate Office on a different computer (owned by you or someone else), or on the same computer after a hardware change, you might see an error message that you have reached the maximum number of activations.

If you follow the transfer terms in the Software License Terms, you can move Office to a different computer, but you must activate it by phone and then uninstall Office from the original computer.

Activate a one-time purchase of Office on a different computer
  1. If you haven't installed Office on another computer yet, follow the instructions in Install Office on your PC or Mac.

  2. Follow the steps in Activate by telephone, described earlier.

  3. Uninstall Office from the original computer.

Read the Software License Terms to review terms on transferring Office
  1. Open an Office application, such as Word. (Can't find Office? Here's how to find Office in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.)

  2. Go to File > Account > About program name (like About Excel) > View the Microsoft Software License Terms.

  3. Terms for transferring ownership are located in these sections:

    • For Office 2016, see section 3. Transfer to a Third Party

    • For Office 2013, see section Can I transfer or reassign the software to another user or computer?

    Note: You can also view the Software License Terms online here: Software License Terms.

If activation fails, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office for help with troubleshooting common activation failures.

If you still can’t activate Office, you can contact support.

Office 365

Office 365 is included with Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions. Select from the options below.

Tip: For Office 365 subscriptions, the option to activate by telephone is disabled.

Do you have a product key? It's ok if you don't--not every version of Office comes with a product key. It depends on how you got your copy of Office. If you have a product key, see Where to enter your Office product key. After you enter your product key (if you have one), see install Office. After you install Office, it should automatically activate for you. If it doesn't, you can follow the steps in this article.

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.

If Office prompts you to activate by entering an email address, it's important to enter the Microsoft account that's associated with your Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscription. If sign-in fails, you might be entering the wrong email address. For help identifying the correct email address to use, see I can't remember the Microsoft account or password I use with Office

  1. Open an Office application, such as Word. (Can't find Office? Here's how to find Office in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.)

  2. View and accept the license agreement, if prompted.

  3. Activation might take place automatically. If Office doesn't activate automatically, do one of the following:

    • If the Activation Wizard appears, select I want to activate the software over the Internet.

      Shows the Activation wizard for Office 365
    • If the Activation Wizard doesn't appear, create a new blank document, and then go to File > Account and then select Sign in.

      Shows the Sign In button in the Backstage view
  4. Follow the prompts to enter the email and password of your Microsoft account. This is the email address and password that you associated with your copy of Office.

    Shows the sign-in window

If you need help activating Office that came on your new PC or device, see Try, buy, or activate Office that's pre-installed on a new computer.

If you exceeded the maximum number of installs that your Office 365 for Home, Personal, or University plan supports, you can't activate additional installs until you deactivate an existing install.

  1. Go to http://www.office.com/myaccount.

    If prompted, sign in with the email address and password associated with your copy of Office.

  2. Select Install.

    Shows the number of installations and the Install button
  3. Under Install Information, select Deactivate Install to deactivate the Office installs that you no longer use.

    Shows the Deactivate Install link

    Note: If you subscribe to Office 365 Personal and need more installs, you can switch to an Office 365 Home subscription.

If activation fails, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office for help with troubleshooting common activation failures.

If you still can’t activate Office, you can contact support.

Office 365 ProPlus or Office 365 Business

These versions of Office are included with some Office 365 for business plans and some Office 365 Education plans. Select from the options below.

Tip: For Office 365 subscriptions, the option to activate by telephone is disabled.

In most cases, you won’t need a product key for your Office 365 for business subscription. For example, if you bought Office 365 online directly from Office.com or the Microsoft Store, you can sign in and set up Office 365 for your organization without entering a product key.

If you do have an Office 365 for business product key, you can use it to activate a new subscription, renew a subscription, or add licenses to a subscription. See Enter your product key for Office 365 for business to enter your product key (if you have one). Then you can install Office. After you install Office, it should automatically activate for you. If it doesn't, you can follow the steps in this article.

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.

  1. Open an Office application, such as Word. (Can't find Office? Here's how to find Office in Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.)

  2. View and accept the license agreement, if prompted.

  3. Activation might take place automatically. If Office doesn't activate automatically, do one of the following:

    • If the Activation Wizard appears, select I want to activate the software over the Internet.

      Shows the Activation Wizard for Office 365 Business
    • If the Activation Wizard doesn't appear, create a new blank document, and then go to File > Account and then select Sign in.

      Shows the Sign In button in the Backstage view
  4. Follow the prompts to enter the email and password of your Office 365 for business work or school account.

If Office prompts you to activate by entering an email address, it's important to enter the work or school account that you used to install Office 365 for business. If sign-in fails, you might be entering the wrong email address. For help identifying the correct email address to use, see I can't remember the Microsoft account or password I use with Office.

If you exceeded the maximum number of installs that your Office 365 for business plan supports, you can't activate additional installs until you deactivate an existing install.

  1. Go to https://portal.office.com/Account.

  2. Under Install status, select Manage installs.

  3. Under one of the computers listed in Install status, select Deactivate to deactivate the Office installs that you no longer use.

    Screen shot of Deactivate for O365 business install

As an Office 365 for business user, you can download Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365 to help you fix activation issues.

If you still can’t activate Office, contact your admin for help. If you are the admin, see Contact Office 365 for business support.

Office Professional Plus

Office Professional Plus is used by volume license customers and Home Use Program (HUP) customers. Select from the options below.

If your admin gave you a product key to activate Office, see Activate volume editions of Office.

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.

If activation fails, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office for help with troubleshooting common activation failures.

If you still can’t activate Office, contact your admin for help.

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