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Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office

When you go through activation of your Office product and it fails, you will see Unlicensed Product or Non-commercial use / Unlicensed Product in the title bar of your Office apps. This will cause most features of Office to be disabled. You will need to fix the problem that is causing the activation to fail.

Step 1: Sign in with the correct account

You may be logged into the wrong account. Try signing in using all your personal email addresses in case you bought Office using a different email address. If you're at work or school, you may need to log in using your work or school account instead of your personal email account.

Try this: Sign in to Office

Step 2: Check for multiple copies of Office

You may not realize you have more than one copy installed. Activation can fail if you have multiple copies of Office installed.

Try this: Check for multiple copies of Office



Step 3: Check your subscription status

If your subscription has expired, you'll see "We couldn't find any Office products." Renew your subscription to use Microsoft 365.

Try this: Check your subscription status

Step 4: Troubleshoot activation

If Office still won't activate, choose your Office version for additional troubleshooting help.

Microsoft 365

Office 2019 and Office 2016

Office 2013

Step 1: Sign in with the right account

Please try signing in using all your personal email addresses in case you bought Office using a different email address. If you're at work or school, you may need to log in using your work or school account instead of your personal email account.

To check if your Microsoft account is associated with Office, sign in to Services & subscriptions. Your Office product or Microsoft 365 subscription should be listed there. If it's not, your email address won't work for signing in to Office.

Step 2: Check for multiple copies of Office

Activation can fail if you have multiple copies of Office installed. Let's uninstall any versions of Office you aren't using before we continue to troubleshoot.

  1. Open Control Panel using the steps below for your operating system:

    • Windows 10 On the Windows 10 task bar, type Control Panel in the Type here to search box, select Control Panel in the search results, and then select Programs and Features .

    • Windows 8.1 or 8 Right-click theStart buttonWindows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10(lower-left corner), select Control Panel , and then select Programs and Features .

    • Windows 7 ClickStart > Control Panel > Uninstall a program .

  2. In the Search Programs and Features box (upper-right corner) of Programs and Features , search for the word office .

    You might see multiple versions installed, like this:

    Shows two copies of Office installed in Control Panel

    If more than one version appears, right-click the version you aren't using and select Uninstall .

    If only one version is listed, you can go to Step 3: Check your Microsoft 365 subscription status.

  3. When the uninstall is finished, restart your computer.

  4. Open an Office app and sign in, if prompted.

  5. If Office still won't activate, try running an online repair as described in Repair an Office application to fix up the remaining install of Office. If you still can't activate, proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Check your Microsoft 365 subscription status

If you have an Microsoft 365 for home subscription, let's make sure it's still active and renew your subscription, if necessary.

If you don't have Microsoft 365, you can skip to Step 4: Troubleshoot Office activation.

  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 Microsoft 365 subscription.

  4. Review the details under theSubscriptions heading or Cancelled subscriptions heading.

    Shows an Office 365 subscription that has expired
  5. If your subscription has expired, you can renew it by following the steps in Renew Microsoft 365 Family.

  6. After you renew your subscription, you can restart your Office apps as needed. If Office still won't activate, continue to the next step

Step 4: Troubleshoot Office activation

Select your version of Office for troubleshooting steps:

Microsoft 365

Office 2019 and Office 2016

Office 2013

Microsoft 365: Use the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant runs on Windows PCs and can help you identify and fix activation issues with Microsoft 365.

  1. Select the Download button below.

  2. The Application Install dialog box opens. Select Install to start the installation.

  3. The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant opens in a new window. SelectI agree to accept the Microsoft Services Agreement.

  4. Select Yes to allow the app to make changes to your device.

  5. Follow the prompts to troubleshoot your Office activation issue.

If Office still won't activate after you run the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant, you can Fix Unlicensed Product errors yourself.

Office 2019 and Office 2016: Use the Activation Troubleshooter (non-subscription Office products)

The Activation Troubleshooter runs on Windows PCs and can fix activation errors for Office Home & Student, Office Home & Business, Office Professional, and individual Office apps, like Visio, Project, Word, and Outlook.

  1. Select the Download button below.

If Office still won't activate after you run the Activation Troubleshooter, you can Fix Unlicensed Product errors yourself.

Fix Unlicensed Product errors yourself

If you've tried the earlier troubleshooting steps and Office is still unlicensed, you can troubleshoot activation failures yourself.

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, selectChange 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.

  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

  • Select the Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security and then Firewall & network protection.
  • Select a network profile.
  • Under Microsoft Defender Firewall, switch the setting to On. If your device is connected to a network, network policy settings might prevent you from completing these steps. For more info, contact your administrator.
  • To turn it off, switch the setting to Off. Turning off Windows Defender Firewall could make your device (and network, if you have one) more vulnerable to unauthorized access. If there's an app you need to use that's being blocked, you can allow it through the firewall, instead of turning the firewall off.

Windows 8.1 and 7

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Start button icon , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type firewall, and then click Windows Firewall.
  2. In the left pane, click Turn Windows Firewall on or off. Administrator icon If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Click Turn on Windows Firewall under each network location that you want to help protect, and then click OK.
  4. If you want the firewall to prevent all programs from communicating, including programs that you have previously allowed to communicate through the firewall, select the Block all incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed programs check box.

Warning

You should not turn off Windows Firewall unless you have another firewall enabled. Turning off Windows Firewall might make your computer (and your network, if you have one) more vulnerable to damage from worms or hackers.

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button Start button icon , and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type firewall, and then click Windows Firewall.
  2. Click Turn Windows Firewall on or off. Administrator icon If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. Click Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) under each network location that you want to stop trying to protect, and then click OK.

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 theStart button >Settings > Update & Security , and then select Windows Defender on the left. Slide the button to Off . Remember to turn it On again.

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 buttonWindows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10(lower-left corner), and chooseSettings .

  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 orOff .

  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 andOK 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 Microsoft 365 URLs and IP address ranges.

Still need help? Contact Support

If you’ve tried everything in this article and still need help, you can email our support team using the form below.

Questions? Contact Us


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