Activate Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2013

Important: September 13, 2016: When opening an Office application, you may see the following error message:

"Microsoft Office cannot find your license for this application. A repair attempt was unsuccessful or cancelled. Microsoft Office will now close."

This issue impacts customers who are in the Office version 16.0.7167.2040. We are actively fixing this issue. In the meantime, please update to build 16.0.7167.2060 or later where this error message doesn't occur. For steps on updating see this article.

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.

  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 your new computer came with Office pre-installed, some computer manufacturers include a digital product key, and others include a product key card. To find out if you need a product key, go to Start > Microsoft Office > Activate or Start > Word 2016 > Activate on your new computer. If you're not prompted for a product key, this means you have a digital product key and you don't need a product key card. Just follow the prompts to associate a Microsoft account with Office.

If you're prompted for a product key, look for the product key on a card in the computer's packaging. The key uses a combination of 25 letters and numbers and looks like this: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.

If you can’t find a product key card, it's possible that the computer manufacturer pre-installed Office but didn't include an Office 365 subscription or Office license. To continue using Office, use the Try or Buy options to start a trial or buy Office.

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 activation failures began after you upgraded to Windows 10, see Office error code 0x8004FC12 when activating Office.

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.

  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 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 your new computer came with Office pre-installed, some computer manufacturers include a digital product key, and others include a product key card. To find out if you need a product key, go to Start > Microsoft Office > Activate or Start > Word 2016 > Activate on your new computer. If you're not prompted for a product key, this means you have a digital product key and you don't need a product key card. Just follow the prompts to associate a Microsoft account with Office.

If you're prompted for a product key, look for the product key on a card in the computer's packaging. The key uses a combination of 25 letters and numbers and looks like this: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.

If you can’t find a product key card, it's possible that the computer manufacturer pre-installed Office but didn't include an Office 365 subscription or Office license. To continue using Office, use the Try or Buy options to start a trial or buy Office.

If activation fails, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office for help with troubleshooting common activation failures. If activation failures began after you upgraded to Windows 10, see Office error code 0x8004FC12 when activating Office.

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.

  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 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 that tool doesn’t resolve your issue, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office. If activation failures began after you upgraded to Windows 10, see Office error code 0x8004FC12 when activating Office.

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 activation fails, see Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office for help with troubleshooting common activation failures. If activation failures began after you upgraded to Windows 10, see Office error code 0x8004FC12 when activating Office.

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

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×