FIX: Office always asking for Activation (Solved) (2024)

Author: Konstantinos Tsoukalas ,

If you have previously installed a trial version of MS Office on your machine and now have a paid Office 2016/2019/365 version installed, but Office always asking for activation, continue below to correct the problem.

Before you install a new paid subscription of Microsoft Office 2016/2019, you must first uninstall any other installed version of Office, otherwise you will always be prompted to activate the old Office subscription with a Let's get started screen.

How to FIX: Office always asking for Activation (Office 2016 or Office 2019/365).

If after installing a paid version of Microsoft Office, Office repeatedly prompts for activation, you have the following options to get rid of the activation prompt:

Method 1. Remove Old Office License, by using a script.
Method 2. Remove Registry Entry of Preinstalled Office.
Method 3. Completely Remove all Office versions and re-Install MS OFFICE.

Method 1. Remove Office Activation Prompt by Removing Wrong License.

The first method to stop Office to prompt you to activate an old Office 2016/2019 license, is to remove the license from your computer.

1. Close all Office programs.

2. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
Now according the installed Office version (32 or 64-bit), type the command below and press Enter:

  • OFFICE 2016/2019 32bit
    • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
  • OFFICE 2016/2019 64bit
    • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

4. Now locate which Office product displays an error in LICENSE STATUS and notice the last 5 characters of the installed product key.

5. Finally, copy/paste one of the below commands, according your Office version and replace XXXXX with the 5 characters you notice in previous step.*

  • OFFICE 2016/2019 32bit.
    • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:XXXXX
  • OFFICE 2016/2019 64bit.
    • cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:XXXXX

* e.g. In this example the command will be:

  • cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:8MBCX

6. Now open any Office program and check if the activation problem is resolved. If not proceed to next method.

Method 2. Stop Office Asking for activation by Removing "Let's get started" screen at Office Startup.

If you purchased a new computer with Office preinstalled and you installed an Office 2016/2019 volume license without uninstalling the preinstalled version, continue and remove the registry entry of the pre-installed version of Office to get rid of Let's get started screen.

1. Close all Office programs.

2. Open the Registry Editor. To do that:

a. Simultaneously press the Windows + R keys to open run command box.
b. Type regedit and press Enter.
c. Select Yes in the 'User Account Control' prompt to proceed

3. Once you are inside the Registry Editor, navigate to following location: *

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM

* Note: If the "OEM" key doesn't exist in the above location, skip to method-3.

4. Right-click at the OEM key and click Delete.

5. Now proceed and Delete also the OEM key at the following location:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM

6. Close Registry Editor and restart your PC.

Method 3. Stop Office from Always Requesting Activation by Uninstalling & Reinstalling OFFICE.

The last method to stop Office from constantly asking you to activate it, is to remove & reinstall Office by using the Office Uninstall Tool.

1. Close all Office programs.

2. Download and run the Office Uninstall tool (aka "Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SARA)".

3. At Uninstall Office Product, select to uninstall all Office products and click Next.

4. When the Office removal is complete, restart your computer.
5. Install and activate your Office subscription. *

* Notes:
1. To install Office 2016 or Office 2013, follow these instructions: How to install or reinstall Office 2016/2013 on a PC.
2. To install Office 365 or Office 2019, follow these instructions: How to install or reinstall Office 2019 or Office 365 on a PC.

That's it! Which method worked for you?
Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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FIX: Office always asking for Activation (Solved) (9)

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Konstantinos Tsoukalas

Konstantinos is the founder and administrator of Since 1995 he works and provides IT support as a computer and network expert to individuals and large companies. He is specialized in solving problems related to Windows or other Microsoft products (Windows Server, Office, Microsoft 365, etc.).

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FIX: Office always asking for Activation (Solved) (2024)


Why does my Microsoft Office keep telling me to activate? ›

This can happen if you don't uninstall the pre-installed version of Office on your new PC before installing a volume license version of Office. To stop the prompts for activation, make sure your Office uses volume licensing and then update the registry.

How do I get Office activation to stop popping up? ›

How To Stop Microsoft Office Activation Wizard From Popping Up
  1. Click on the notification icon in the taskbar and choose to turn off all Office notifications. ...
  2. If you are not seeing the notification icon in your taskbar, you can get to it another way. ...
  3. Click on it and choose to turn the notifications off.

How do I get rid of Microsoft Office activation message? ›

Restart any Office app and the message should be gone. If this is a constant issue, reset your credentials: Open Spotlight by selecting the magnifying glass at the top right of your desktop. Search for and open Keychain. Type in Office and then delete the data license file.

Why is my Microsoft Office suddenly unlicensed? ›

If Office activation fails, you'll see an "UNLICENSED PRODUCT" error message in the title bar of your Office apps, and most features of Office are disabled. Follow these instructions to reactivate your license: 1. Open any Microsoft Office app.

How to activate Microsoft Office for free without product key? ›

How to Activate Microsoft Office without a Product Key:
  1. Go to Microsoft's website and sign in with your account.
  2. Look for “My Account” or “Services & subscriptions”.
  3. Click on the “Activate” button for Office.
  4. On the activation page, choose “Activate without a product key”.

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