Incident Log: MS Office Activation

So, like I said, I got the job working as a part-time IT technician.  It wasn’t long into the job that my boss told me about a recurring issue they’d been having, and told me to figure out a solution.  That’s all: Go- and do. He’s like that.  I wasn’t a fan at first, but I’ve really come to appreciate just how much I learn because of it.

That aside, the solution took a couple of tries, but eventually I got it.

The Situation

A user has Microsoft Office installed on their workstation.  It requests an activation key.  After the key is input, everything runs fine for several hours… then it requests an activation key again.

The Solution

1. From an elevated command prompt, input the command:
cscript “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS” /dstatus

You should see a pair (or more) of Office keys.  Locate the ones that say License Status: Expired.  That’s your problem key.  The messa

2. In the same command prompt, input the following:
cscript “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS” /unpkey: Last 5 characters of bad key

That’s it… you’re done!  Office should now function properly.
If you don’t see an expired key, or if you can’t tell which key is the problem, go ahead and repeat this step with all the keys.  Then, when you open Office again, you can input your valid key and Office will work just fine.

The Source

So Windows ships with a dandy little app from the appstore called My Office.  If MS Office is installed over this without My Office being installed, the My Office 60-day trial key will remain in your system… so after sixty days, you’ll start getting messages to activate.  It’s quite annoying, but doesn’t actually prevent Office from functioning if you have a valid key used to activate it.  Following this procedure will delete the My Office key and leave your valid MS Office key on the system.

I realize it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it was my first solo fix.  I was proud of it.  I hope it helps you out, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *