Office 365 Office /16/13 “Activation” or “Unlicensed Product” ProblemsOfficelogoOrange_Web

The latest versions of Office (Office 365 and Office /2016/2013) all need activating by logging into an Office 365 account.

This is normally achieved upon installation, however we have noticed that Windows or Office automatic updates can sometimes result in the products being “Disabled” or requiring “Activation

These problems can occur in any or all of the Office products such as Word, Excel, Access, , Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, Infopath or Lync; by displaying one of the following messages (or similar)

“Unlicensed Product”

Office 365 Word Unlicenced product

“Product Deactivated”



“We’re sorry, something went wrong and we can’t do this for you right now. Please try again later”


or similar.

You can re-activate Office 365 or Office /2013/2016  in a number of ways as follows

1) Repair Office 365 or Office 2013/16/19

In Windows 7 or 8 locate “Control Panel” > “Programs” > “Programs and Features”

office 365 control panel change


Highlight “Office 365 ProPlus” (do not click on it) and select the “Change” button

office 365 repair


Select “Quick Repair“. If this does not fix your problems try “Online Repair” and failing that move to Step 2) below

2) Reinstall Office 365 or Office 2013/16/19

From any of the office products click on the left arrow in the top left of the product, then click on “Office Account

Click on “Manage Account” to login to your Office 365  or Office 2013/16/19 account

office365 sign in page

Once signed in, navigate to “software

office 365 software download

Then click on “Install“. This will download a file that needs to be executed by clicking on it. This will start the “Office 365 reinstall

If none of the above work, you may have an unsupported version of Ofice, click on the links below to find out if your version of Office is still supported

Can I still use Office 2016?

Can I still use Office 2013?

Can I still use Office 2011 for Mac?

Can I still use Office 2010?

Office 2019/Office 365 Pricing and Products Explained

3) Further Reading

You will also find more useful links and information at the following links

Need more help?

Covid-19 Update: as usual for workshop repairs, remote support and onsite support.

If you live in Western Australia, and you need any kind of computer help, please complete the form here before bringing your device or computer to us at 315 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, Western Australia or call us out by clicking here. You can email us at or call:

08 6118 2601 

Microsoft Silver Cloud Partner

For instant remote control sessions, follow the instructions found on this page


45 comments to “Office “Activation” or “Unlicensed Product” Problems”

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  1. bezo - November 26, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the idea this really fixed my problem

  2. Alan McNamara - January 7, 2015 Reply

    I am setting up office 365 for a no-for-profit community newspaper and have reached the limit for installs. 10 machines using one email address. I have 3×5 licences and the 11th asked me to disable an earlier installation.
    Are you able to give me any ideas on how I can change the installation key’s email address for the 3rd licence?
    Can I uninstall this from the machines which have this key and install with an other email address?
    I realise this might not be in your field but I amr running out of suggestions.
    Hope you can help.

  3. mahesh pitroda - January 11, 2015 Reply

    Office 365 was no silecat parsnal I’d I’m self employed how cen cariet corporate I’d to use office 365

  4. Russell Smith - February 13, 2015 Reply

    If anyone faces Activation error in Office 365 then need to consult Microsoft Support team to resolve issues as soon possible.


  5. Doug Cummings - February 18, 2015 Reply

    Outlook 2013. Product Activation Failed. I am unable to activate it as this was a downloaded program and I do not have the disc’s.

    • IT Guy - February 19, 2015 Reply

      The full version of Office is available to download from your Microsoft Account

  6. Doug Cummings - February 18, 2015 Reply

    Need a copy of Outlook 2013 in order to activate product. Somehow the program on the computer has become corrupted and I do not have any disc’s to initiate a repair.

    • IT Guy - February 19, 2015 Reply

      If you have a valid subscription to Office 2013 do the following:

      1) Uninstall Office
      2) Login to your Microsoft Account
      3) Download the new software from your account page

  7. A Michaux - March 21, 2015 Reply

    Usually, when I re install, the software works until I start up again, and I have to un-install, re install it all over again each time!
    I have a slow internet connection, so it takes ages before I can eventually start doing something…
    I’m really tired of this.

    • IT Guy - March 23, 2015 Reply

      It should not do this.

      I think you may need to do a complete reinstall of windows and office. That should fix it once and for all

  8. A Michaux - March 21, 2015 Reply

    It was fixed with the quick repair now…

  9. muhammad - March 29, 2015 Reply

    how do i setup or signup for office 365 can anyone help me?

  10. Mike Bulaon - April 22, 2015 Reply

    Hi. How can you totally uninstall office 365 in a windows 8 tablet like redfox scribe 10.1″. I would rather install MS office 2010 or 2013 instead of pay on an annual basis?


  11. eHDF office 365 cloud - May 18, 2015 Reply

    This is by far the most efficient help-guide that I have ever read on office 365 activation and un-licensing issue so far. I think I should stream line and clean the process like the way you have suggested. Accept a little pat of encouragement from my side.

  12. Dagdita - May 20, 2015 Reply

    Has anyone else noticed that accounts that are on a monthly subscription deactivate often as Microsoft is trying to verify they are paying their monthly bill. In order to activate again we log into the O365 email and click install. It only takes about 5 minutes but it’s annoying having to log into the portal to do this. It should just activate within the word program when we using the O365 account.

  13. mark - June 9, 2015 Reply

    thanks your suggestions worked. Out of all the crap that is on the internet and trying to syphon through everything I came upon your site and tried what you suggested and it worked. thumbs up.
    how long does the windows 365 continue for? and is this a process that I keep doing if I get the “renewal signs” again?

  14. wayne - June 13, 2015 Reply

    check your clock – I replaced the rtc battery and forgot to reset the time and when I started my Office 365 programs I saw the unlicensed product message. As soon as I reset the clock the programs worked as usual.

  15. Rehan - July 25, 2015 Reply

    How to get rid of the activation wizard (pop up) in Office 2013 Plus?
    I’ve even deleted the registration folder using REGEDIT, but still failed to achieve what I actually wanted.
    Any help would be highly appreciated.

    • IT Guy - July 27, 2015 Reply

      Activate the product. If your still getting popups…its not properly activated. Try a complete units and reinstall if the quick repair does not work

    • Rajesh Dhankhar - October 22, 2017 Reply

      same problem brother..

  16. Jane Craig - August 1, 2015 Reply

    I have spent hours today trying to get my already installed version of Office 365 working on my new Mac. I tried to open Word and was asked for the product key. This generated a message that the key was not valid. I then read threads that ssaid to change the location to the US in system prefs on my mac, but that didn’t help. I also tried signing in to an existing Office 365 subscription but got a message that my microsoft account and password were incorrect. This is seriously bad!

    • John Kirkby - August 5, 2015 Reply

      Hi Jane…not good. If you know what email address you used to sign in the first time around, you should be able to receover it and download the software from your Microsoft Account. … then and you should be offered 3 choices.
      1) I forgot my password
      2) I know my password, but can’t sign in
      3) I think someone else is using my Microsoft account

      do this using an “incognito window” in Chrome or “private browsing” in Safari. In this way it is like signing in for the very first time and will not remember your past failed attempts.

      Please let us know how you get on

  17. Paul Thibodeau - August 3, 2015 Reply

    That’s all fine and good unless you’re in a location that doesn’t have internet access. In that case, there’s no way to run the repair. If a user is remote and for whatever reason, they don’t have an internet connection they are unable to take any of these steps.

    • John Kirkby - August 5, 2015 Reply

      Agreed. We dont know of any other way of doing so if you dont have internet access

  18. Jarrod - August 11, 2015 Reply

    Thanks so much guys. This article was straight forward and easy to understand. Better than half the other websites I dug up on the issue, which took a whole page to try and explain what only took three steps! Programs up and working again. Cheers!

  19. belle - August 17, 2015 Reply

    I was getting the same “Unlicensed Product” error, and Outlook 2013 would freeze within 30sec of opening, and give me a “Not Responding” error – The Quick Repair above did the trick beautifully! Thank you!!

  20. Svetlana - August 26, 2015 Reply

    Hi, please can you help.
    When I log in to my Microsoft account, there is no Software to navigate to.
    Where I can find the MS Office download file?

  21. desy - September 10, 2015 Reply

    Thanks For your information 🙂

  22. sam - October 3, 2015 Reply

    Hi. I can’t activate office 365 because the product key is not valid. how to activate it?

    • John Kirkby - October 7, 2015 Reply

      You are going to have to get on the phone to Microsoft and see if they can reactivate it for you.

  23. Idris Adeshile - November 18, 2015 Reply

    Hi guys, i am an IT officer. I recently installed MS Office 365 on 5 different laptops in my organization using the 5 in 1 licence pack with just a single email account. All the 5 computers were licensed with the same microsoft email address for the license. The issue is this, all the computers are on a LAN and when different user log into any of the laptop their respective LAN id will be update on the MS word and Excel at the top right corner. The displayed name comes up when a document is been edited or comments are made on a document. A particular computer switches to that microsoft account used in authenticating it without a manual switch and will make the user believe someone else is working on her document becuse when she edit or comment its the name on the Microsoft account that displays instead of of the name attached to the local id of the user. Please why this automatic switch and solutions please.

  24. A Layton - February 10, 2016 Reply

    The first suggestion worked well – thanks ! Interesting that this “improvement” or “bug” might cause the naïve to repurchase the product…..

  25. ratnesh - March 13, 2016 Reply

    i have purchased office365 and i have product key but i have forget my activate account how can i find my account please give me comment soon

    • John Kirkby - March 17, 2016 Reply

      Go through the “lost password” process, and if all else fails…call them … better still use the online chat facility. It costs nothing

  26. Robert Campion - August 19, 2016 Reply

    Hello guys. I live in the UK and have a problem activating Office 365.I bought my laptop December 2015, and had the same trouble them. A few weeks ago, I took the laptop back for repair, and so had to reinstall the various programs. The same problem has returned–Word is and “unlicensed product”. I have tried File=>My Account, etc, but that does not work. I then tried installing again, but an error notice came up. I’m running out of patience with Microsoft. Any ideas?

    • John Kirkby - August 22, 2016 Reply

      Microsoft have made more tech support available for Office. Access it by logging into your Microsoft Account through Office Account => Manage Account. Sign into MyAccount, then goto “Admin” and finally to “Support” then “Service Request” t may take them a day ot two, but they do get back to you.

  27. mikey - October 26, 2016 Reply

    i accidently set it up with the wrong email and i dint know the password for it. I actually dont know if it is even a real email. What should do?

  28. mikey - October 26, 2016 Reply

    It also says i have entered the product key too many times, but i entered it on this computer first so i don’t understand why.

  29. adam - November 9, 2016 Reply

    i have office pro plus pre-installed in the package of my laptop, but the product was activated using a different account and i have no contact with this person. i now use my own account for office but then this error happened just now and i could not reactivate it. is there a way to fix this?

    • John Kirkby - November 10, 2016 Reply

      If Pro Plus, Im guessing it is being paid monthly? If so, the original owner may not have paid the renewal. Id suggest buying something such as 365 Home and reinstalling from your user account. It will download and copy over the other version of office and you can then handle future renewals yourself.

  30. David Maerzke - December 10, 2017 Reply

    Microsoft has really caused us a bunch of extra work. We had to switch licensing around 3 times and this latest requires a full uninstall of Office 365. I don’t know why they think this acceptable.

  31. John Kirkby - January 6, 2018 Reply

    Q – We installed Office 365 in December & it is not working on this laptop. We don’t know why it has stopped working & have carried out all the checks & it still won’t work. Please help

    A – Try first signing out and then signing in again. If this fails i suggest uninstalling office, reboot, login to Microsoft account and downloading installer and reinstall office from scratch. Before installing office again, make sure you have the latest OS updates (for Windows or Mac) updates and patches installed.

  32. Johnny A Gorman - July 4, 2019 Reply

    I have tried all of the “fixes” numerous times, including re-install. They will “fix” the problem for a short time, then I will get the Unlicensed Product message again. I am convinced that there is no permanent fix, for Office 2019 Pro Plus. This is either terrible engineering, or a deliberate ploy, to get people off of 2019 and on to 365.

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