How to activate an end-user subscription license in Office XP

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes how to activate an end-user subscription license for the following editions of Microsoft Office XP:
  • Professional
  • Small Business
NOTE: As of August 2001, the Office XP Subscription License is not available in the United States.

When you start any of the Office programs for the first time after you install Office, the Microsoft Office Activation Wizard automatically runs. You are presented with three activation options, or you can choose to activate Office at a later time:
  • Activate by using the Internet
  • Activate by using the telephone
  • Activate by using a non-subscription product key
If you select the Activate by using the Internet option, the Office Activation Wizard automatically contacts the Microsoft licensing servers through your Internet connection. The only information that you must provide is your country/region. If you are using a valid product key that has not been used previously, your product is activated immediately.

If you select the Activate by using the telephone option, call the telephone number that is provided in the Office Activation Wizard, and then type the confirmation number that is provided by the customer service agent.

If you select the Activate by using a non-subscription product key option, you are prompted to type the product key from the non-subscription version. If you type a valid product key, your end-user subscription license is converted automatically to the license that is applicable to the product key that you typed. In this scenario, you are prompted to quit and restart all open Office programs. The next time that you restart an Office program, you are prompted to activate your license for the non-subscription product key that you typed. You can activate the license by using either the Internet option or the telephone option, as described earlier in this article. After you activate your product, you have a license to use Office that never expires.

With an end-user subscription version of Office, you can start the Office programs up to 20 times without activating the product. If you fail to activate the product, the programs begin running in reduced-functionality mode. In reduced-functionality mode, you cannot save modifications to documents or create a new document, and additional functionality may be reduced. No existing Office files or documents will be harmed, and you can easily change Office out of this mode by following the instructions in the screens that are presented.

An end-user subscription license has a finite expiration date, but the license is renewable. The subscription period begins when you activate your product and continues for 12 months. The license is only for the computer on which the product is installed. The license cannot be sold or moved to another computer. It can only be sold along with the computer.

Activate by using the Internet

To activate your product by using the Internet, start any of the Office programs, and then follow these steps:
  1. In the Office Activation Wizard, select the Activate by using the Internet option, and then click Next.
  2. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.
  3. On the Customer Information page, type your personal information. The only field that you are required to complete is the Country/Region option. Select the appropriate country from the list, type any other information that you want, and then click Next.
  4. On the Special Offers page, you have three choices for obtaining information and offers from Microsoft. None of these options are selected by default. If you want to receive the information or offers from Microsoft, select the options that you want, type your e-mail address, and then click Submit.

    When you click Submit, your information is sent to the Microsoft licensing servers. When your information is validated, the Activation Complete page appears, including the date on which your license expires.
  5. Click Finish.

Activate by using the telephone

If you do not have Internet connectivity or you choose not to activate Office by using the Internet, you can select the Activate by using the telephone option. To activate your product this way, start any of the Office programs, and then follow these steps:
  1. In the Office Activation Wizard, select the Activate by using the telephone option, and then click Next.
  2. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.
  3. In the Select your location list, choose a country/region. Call the telephone number that is listed in step 2 in the wizard. The customer service agent asks you for the installation ID and gives you a confirmation ID in return. Type the confirmation ID in the boxes that are provided.

    NOTE: Make a note of the confirmation ID provided by the customer service agent. You may be able to reuse the confirmation ID on the same computer if you have to reformat your hard disk and reinstall Office in the future. If the confirmation ID does not work at that time, call the customer service agent again, and request a new confirmation ID.
  4. Click Next. The Activation Complete page appears, including the date on which your license expires.
  5. On the Activation Complete page, click Finish.

Activate a non-subscription Office product

To activate your product by using a product key for a non-subscription version, start any of the Office programs, and then follow these steps:
  1. In the Office Activation Wizard, click to select the I do not want to activate this subscription product check box. When you select this option, boxes appear where you can type the 25-character product key, which is located on the gold sticker on the back of the CD case for your non-subscription version of Office. Type the product key, and then click Next.
  2. When you are prompted to quit any programs that are running and restart the programs for this change to take effect, click OK.

    NOTE: Typing a product key for the non-subscription copy of Office does not install that copy of Office, it just activates the end-user subscription license copy that is currently installed. If you want to use the non-subscription copy of Office, uninstall the subscription version, and then install the non-subscription version.

    If you used a perpetual license product key to activate your end-user subscription license, you are requested to activate your copy when you quit and restart one of the Office programs. At this point, you are restricted to the rules and guidelines for mandatory activation licensing, even though you installed an end-user subscription license copy of Office.

How to skip activation

If you do not want to activate your copy of Office, you can click Activate Later on any page of the Office Activation Wizard. The wizard warns you that you have a specified number of times to run the product before you are required to activate it. Click Exit to close the wizard.

NOTE: If you decide to activate your license at a later time, the activation counter decrements each time that you start any Office program. If the counter reaches zero, the Office programs begin running in Reduced-Functionality Mode.

How to renew the end-user subscription license

When the end-user subscription license copy of Office expires, you can run your program five times before it runs in Reduced-Functionality Mode. If your subscription has expired, you will receive the following message when you try to perform most tasks:
This command not available until you renew your license.

You can always renew your license before it expires by clicking Activate Product on the Help menu. When the Office Activation Wizard runs, you have four options:
  • Update personal information
  • Renew your subscription by using a credit card
  • Renew your subscription by using a new subscription CD
  • Renew your subscription by using a non-subscription CD

Update personal information

When you first activated your end-user subscription license, you may have typed your personal information on the Customer Information page of the Office Activation Wizard. If you want to update this information, run the Office Activation Wizard by clicking Activate Product on the Help menu, and then follow these steps:
  1. Select the Update your personal customer information at Microsoft option, and then click Next.
  2. You then have the option to update your information via the Internet or the telephone. Select the option that you want, and then click Next.
    • If you select the Update my personal customer information by using the Internet option, follow these steps:

      1. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.
      2. On the Customer Information page, type the information that you want, and then click Next.
      3. Click Finish.
    • If you select the Update my personal customer information by using the telephone option, follow these steps:
      1. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.
      2. On the Update your product by using the telephone page, select your location, call the phone number that appears, and then give your updated information to the customer service agent.

Renew your subscription by using a credit card

If you want to renew your subscription by using a credit card, follow these steps:
  1. In the Office Activation Wizard, select the Renew your subscription for Microsoft Office XP by using a credit card option, and then click Next.
  2. Select one of these three options:

    • Renew by using the Internet
    • Renew by using the telephone
    • Renew by using a new subscription CD


Renew by using the Internet

To renew your subscription through an Internet connection, follow these steps:
  1. Select the Renew by using the Internet option, and then click Next.
  2. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.

    Notice the "lock" icon that appears above the Help button. This indicates that you are using a secure connection.
  3. The Customer Information page displays the information that you typed when you first activated your copy of Office. If you need to update any of the information, change it, and then click Next.

    NOTE: The only field that you are required to complete on the Customer Information page is the Country/Region option.
  4. On the Special Offers page, you have three choices for obtaining information and offers from Microsoft. None of these options is selected by default. If you want to receive the information or offers from Microsoft, select the options that you want, type your e-mail address, and then click Next.
  5. On the Payment Country/Region page, type your billing information, and then click Next.

    NOTE: You are required to type in all fields on this page if you are using your credit card for billing.
  6. On the Enter Payment Information page, type your credit card information, and then click Next.
  7. On the Confirm Transaction page, click Submit.
  8. The Renewal Complete page appears, showing the updated expiration date for your subscription license. If you want to view and then print a receipt of your credit card transaction, click View/Print Invoice.
  9. The Print Invoice page displays your transaction information. If you want to print the invoice now, click Print. Or, click Finish to close the wizard.

    NOTE: The wizard saves your invoice in the \My Documents\Renewal Receipts folder on your computer's hard disk. If you want to review and print the invoice later, be sure to note the file name that is generated by the wizard. You can view and print this information later by opening the page in your Web browser.


Renew by using the telephone

To renew your subscription by using the telephone, follow these steps:
  1. Select the Renew by using the telephone option, and then click Next.
  2. Read the Microsoft Office Privacy Policy page, and then click Next.
  3. On the Renew your subscription by using the telephone page, select a country/region from the Select your location list. Using the phone number that is generated by the wizard, call a customer service agent. After you provide your installation ID and credit card information to the customer service agent over the phone, type the confirmation ID that is provided by the customer service agent. Click Next.

    The Renewal Complete page appears. Note the new expiration date for your end-user subscription license.

    NOTE: You do not have the ability to view or print a receipt if you renew your license over the telephone.


Renew by using a new subscription CD

You can also renew your end-user subscription license by using a new subscription CD. These CDs can be purchased at any retail store that sells Microsoft products. After you purchase the subscription CD, follow these steps:
  1. Run the Office Activation Wizard (on the Help menu, click Activate Product), and then select the Renew your subscription for Microsoft Office XP by using a new subscription CD option.

    When you select this option, boxes appear where you can type the 25-character product key, which is located on the gold sticker on the back of the new subscription CD case.
  2. Type the product key, and then click Next.

    If you type a product key that already was used to renew a subscription, the following message appears:
    The product key entered has already been used for a subscription renewal. To continue with the renewal process, please type in a valid 25-character product key, or you may renew with a credit card instead.
    If you type a valid subscription product key, the Renewal Complete page appears.


Renew your subscription by using a non-subscription CD

Your final option is to renew your end-user subscription license by using a non-subscription version of Office, which you can purchase at a retail store. After you purchase this new version of Office, follow these steps:
  1. Run the Office Activation Wizard, and then select the Install a non-subscription version of the product by using a CD (with a product key) obtained from your local authorized Microsoft retailer option.

    When you select this option, boxes appear where you can type the 25-character product key, which is located on the gold sticker on the back of the non-subscription CD case.
  2. Type the product key, and then click Next.

    If you are prompted to quit and restart all programs that are running, click OK.

    If you used a non-subscription product key to renew your end-user subscription license, you will be prompted to activate your copy when you quit and restart any of the Office programs. At this point, you are restricted to the rules and guidelines for mandatory activation licensing for the end-user subscription license product that you originally installed.

    NOTE: When you type a product key for a non-subscription copy of Office, this does not install that copy of Office. Instead, it just activates the copy that is currently installed. If you want to use the non-subscription copy of Office, you must uninstall the end-user subscription version and then install the non-subscription version.


How a license expires

Code that runs every time you start an Office program is built into Office XP. This code detects when your product license expires and automatically reminds you about pending expiration dates well in advance of expiration. As the expiration date approaches, the reminders to renew your subscription increase in frequency. The following table shows the frequency of reminders for the end-user subscription license version.
   Length of time until expiration          Reminder appears
   ----------------------------------------------------------------

   60 days                                  One time
   30 days                                  One time
   Between 30 and 15 days                   Every 3 days
   Between 14 and 8 days                    Every day
   7 days to day of expiration              Every time you start an 
                                            Office program
				
NOTE: If you wait for the expiration notice to appear, you will not have the option to use a non-subscription product key to update your license. You will only be able to renew your license over the Internet, over the telephone, or by typing a new subscription product key.

To renew your subscription, select the option that you want, and then click Next. The renewal process is the same as the procedure that is described in the "How to Renew the End-User Subscription License" section of this article.

To renew your license with a non-subscription product key, click Activate Product on the Help menu in any Office program, and then follow the steps in the Renew Your Subscription by Using a Non-Subscription CD section of this article.

What to do if your end-user subscription license expires

If you ignore all of the impending license expiration warnings, and you do not renew your subscription license before the expiration date, you can start the Office programs a total of five times before they start in reduced-functionality mode. To quit reduced-functionality mode, you must renew your subscription license. Because the Office Activation Wizard appears every time that you start an Office program (running in reduced-functionality mode), you have an opportunity to renew your license each time you start a program. If you do not renew your license when you start an Office program, you can also click Activate Product on the Help menu inside the Office program. This starts the Office Activation Wizard.

Properties

Article ID: 293191 - Last Review: December 4, 2007 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office XP Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Office XP Small Business Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB293191

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