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How to deal with common Microsoft Office issues such as activation and reinstalling.

Please read the following self-help guide. If you still have problems, please bring your computer to our office in Subiaco and we will fix the issues for you for a small fee.

The latest versions of Microsoft Office (Office 365 and Office 2016, 2019) 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, , Powerpoint, 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 2016/  in a number of ways as follows

1) Repair Office 365 or Office 2016/

In 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

In Windows 10


Right-click the Start button Windows Start button in Windows 8 and Windows 10 (lower-left corner), and select Control Panel pop-up menu.
1a) From Category view, under Programs, select Uninstall a program.

1b) Right-click the Microsoft Office product you want to repair, and select Change.

NOTE: If you have a suite such as Office 365 Home or Office Home and Student 2016/2019, for the suite name, even if it’s just a particular application you want to repair such as Word or Excel. If you have a standalone application such as Word or Excel, search for the application name.

1c) From the How would you like to repair your Office Programs screen, select Online Repair to ensure everything gets fixed, and then select Repair. You can select Quick Repair which runs faster but only detects and then replaces corrupted files. Online Repair does an uninstall and complete repair but takes longer.

1d) Follow the instructions on the screen to complete.

2) Reinstall Office 365 or Office 2016/19

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

office365 account login

Click on “Manage Account” to login to your Office 365  or Office 2016/19 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 all of the above fail, you may need to purchase a new copy of Office 365 or Office 2019.

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?

In Australia you can purchase directly from The IT Guys at a discounted price compared to the Microsoft site by clicking on the following links.


Office 2019/Office 365 Pricing and Products Explained

3) Further Reading

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

Need more help?

Covid-19 Update: Business 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


33 comments to “How to fix Office 365, Office 2016 or Office 2019 “Activation” or “Unlicensed Product” Problems”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.
  1. George S - December 28, 2016 Reply

    Word was playing up as ‘unlicensed’ even though I had six months left. Great – quick repair helped perfect. Thank you!

  2. sam - January 16, 2017 Reply

    HI, I have a PC at my work place and I want to activate Microsoft office 2016 using my own account and this message pops up “THE ACCOUNT …… isnt associated with this office product.” I know what it means, but i just want to ask, Is there a way for me to activate office using my own account. cause the person using this computer before used his account to install it..

    • John Kirkby - January 20, 2017 Reply

      Try “Sign-Out” of the existing account and then sign in with yours. However, to do this you will need to purchase a licence. If you have you may then need to reinstall office. You cannot simply switch to another email if you do not own the software or the subscription.

  3. J - March 5, 2017 Reply

    Thank you so much!

  4. Rachel - March 14, 2017 Reply

    Thank you.This worked so quickly!

  5. Mark - April 30, 2017 Reply

    THANK you. Easy, fast fix — and much appreciated!

  6. bil - May 6, 2017 Reply

    can i ask how to fix that is not working?

  7. par - June 26, 2017 Reply

    Thank you

  8. TJ Walden - July 26, 2017 Reply

    You can also check the associated email address under Office Account. I have seen at companies where they used to have an onsite Exchange and then moved to Office 365 online, it will often get the account wrong. Check spelling and or syntax. like instead of it may be J.doe@Googledomain.local

  9. Kalissa Friedman - August 28, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for that LOVELY advice – my computer now COMPLETELY uninstalled ALL microsoft office products THANKS TO THIS ARTICLE 2 hours before my assignment is due!!!!!!!!

  10. Toni Mayr - December 1, 2017 Reply

    all above mentioned possibilities were done today on my PC by a consierge supporter from MS. Actually he did it twice 🙂
    Finally , nothing changed.
    Opening Outlook 2016 or Word / Excel I still get a warning, that I may have a volume licence product and it is not verified.
    Yes, thx for the news …I know that I have Office 365 Business Premium and I definitely have a registered account :-))

    So what….even MS Support is not able to handle own products???

    BR Tony from Germany

  11. GILBERT CHAUSSENERY - January 6, 2018 Reply

    thanks at last working you are the best

  12. KMN - February 6, 2018 Reply


    Please advise how to export my emails from outlook while my 365 office licence is expired. Please note that i will change my office to 2016 pro instead of 365.

    Thanking you in advance.

    • John Kirkby - February 10, 2018 Reply

      When you download the valid copy of Office 365 or Office 2016, the program should detect your old mail file and restore all the settings to your current copy of Outlook.

  13. Robert - April 2, 2018 Reply

    I have one pc that will not register. I have looked on the admin account and all looks good, I have uninstalled it and we installed it. I have logged off her account and logged on my account is it still wouldn’t register. I have no idea why this wont register. I haven’t have her log on a different computer to see if that might work.I ‘m not sure what would stop hers from registering on line. Any ideas of what to o next?

    • John Kirkby - April 3, 2018 Reply

      This may be due to the computer having been installed using another licence or account in the past. That computer needs to be removed from that licence before being added to the new one. We have experienced similar problems when trying to “change” the licence ie Business to Business Pro Plus, bu this is usually solved by uninstalling one and then reinstalling the other… are you sure Onedrive or Sharepoint is not still running as a process in the background?

  14. KISHOR - April 14, 2018 Reply

    Dear Sir, Previously I installed ms office 2016 pro plus and used to show user information as XXXXXXX
    I wanted morph so I purchased new ms office 365 , 2016 Subscription Product home copy with XXXXXXXXXX
    First I uninstalled previous ms office 2016 pro plus and installed new mso 265, 2016 Subscription Product, now it shows user information XXXXXX
    But, Now it says Activation required and on Thursday, April 19, 2018 most features of power point will be disabled. Please help me.

  15. Paul - May 10, 2018 Reply

    All the money we pay for office 365 products (900) and we keep getting unlicensed product errors in Windows 10 Enterprise. I do not understand why we would have to reinstall the whole product, or purchase another license. It was working yesterday.

  16. lovemore - May 27, 2018 Reply

    Trying to get the product key

  17. daniel - June 14, 2018 Reply

    Why can’t I copy and paste my resume to edit it in another software since my office 365 has run out? I have to pay to be able to apply for jobs when I am applying to acquire money in the first place?

  18. joann - July 28, 2018 Reply

    thank you very much….it really worked.

  19. Rob Read - August 6, 2018 Reply

    Thanks heaps itguys, the online repair fixed our ‘unlicensed’ Office 2016 issue.

  20. John Clemence - October 1, 2018 Reply

    I tried all of the listed solutions when getting this message re activation every time I tried to use Outlook but only on one of my five machines. Then I accidentally discovered a solution that worked for me every time. I closed outlook and opened word. It automatically reactivated straight away and then I found that I could open outlook and continue as usual. Have no idea why this should work but hey, it does!

  21. Aidan - January 8, 2019 Reply

    Thank you !

  22. kimbo - April 22, 2019 Reply

    awesome finally something that worked!!! thanks so much

  23. Chelsea - June 8, 2019 Reply

    Thank you so much! The Quick Repair worked for me! Yay! Back to writing my dissertation 🙂

  24. Johnny A Gorman - July 4, 2019 Reply

    “It is HEALED” For more than eight days, I tried everything from the Microsoft site, and from every other “fixit” site, including this one, to make office 2019 professional plus stay licensed. I even reinstalled it twice. It would seem to make everything work properly, but within an hour, it would break again.

    This afternoon, I installed Windows 10, update 1903. When it finished, I signed into Outlook, re-entered my Serial Code, and it has worked perfectly, ever since.

  25. hamza - December 26, 2019 Reply

    office reactivation issue while making an image of windows from hard disk to hard disk..

  26. Selly Jalina - February 21, 2020 Reply

    Thank you so much! I was kind of desperate and you saved my life! Cheers from Indonesia 🙂

  27. Cindy - March 15, 2020 Reply

    I no longer have the Activation key, so I can’t uninstall. The “Repair Online” is what caused my issues to begin with. I have an HUP version of Microsoft Office 2016. My link to activate is no longer active. It shows Office installed on my computer, but when I click on Activate and enter my email, it says Office isn’t associated with my email address I entered, and I know it’s correct.

    • Corne van Rooyen - June 10, 2020 Reply

      I have the exact same issue currently like Cindy in March,

      The Office launcher or any Office application when you go to “Activate License” I get this: “We couldn’t find any Office licenses associated with ’email@address’. When I login to my account from the browser I and navigate to, I can see my keys!

      I do not know what to do.

      • IT Guy - July 19, 2020 Reply

        Sometimes the quickest solution is to start a new account and buy a new licence

  28. Craig Byren - June 30, 2020 Reply

    Spent 2 hours on the phone with MS support – tried everything 2 or 3 times. Changed accounts, deactivated, re-activated….. message will not go away for any of the MS products 🙁

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