Solve Office product key problems

What does this guide do?
Resolves product key errors that you get while installing Office 2010, Office 2013 suites, Office 365 or standalone programs of these Office versions on your PC.

Who is it for?
Users of Office 2010, Office 2013 suites and Office 365 who run into product key issues.

How does it work?
We’ll begin by asking you questions about your Office installation and the product key issue you’re experiencing. Then we’ll take you through a series of troubleshooting steps that are specific to your situation.

Estimated time of completion:
5-10 minutes.

Choose your Office version

To start, check the Office packaging or installation DVD and pick your Office version:

Choose your Office version

To start, check the Office packaging or installation DVD and pick your Office version:

Using Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office preloaded programs

If you've bought Office, follow instructions in the Office product packaging to use your product key instead of using the Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office programs that may be preloaded on your PC. This should avoid product key errors.

If you're trying to use one of these preloaded programs to install your purchased copy of Office, you'll need to know this information:

Option 1: Using the product key with Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office with this logo 
MicrosftOfficeLogo
 

Starting Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office with this logo to install your purchased copy of Office will only work for these versions: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, or Microsoft Office Professional 2010.

Here's what it looks like in Windows 7

P2_Windows7
 

Here's what it looks like in Windows 8

P2_Windows8_OPK
 
P6_Windows8_TOPK
 
  

Typing a product key for any other version of Office will cause an error.

Option 2: Using the product key with Microsoft Office with this logo
MicrosftOfficeLogoRed
 

Starting Microsoft Office to install your purchased copy of Office will only work for these versions: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013, Microsoft Office Professional 2013, or Microsoft Office 365 Home.

Here's what it looks like in Windows 8

P6_Windows8
 

Typing a product key for any other version of Office will cause an error.

If you need help finding your product key, see Find your Product Key for Office 2010


What do you want to do next?

Installing when another version is on the same PC

Option 1: Manually remove another version

Installing Office on a PC that already has another version can sometimes cause product key errors. Check your PC for another version and remove it before you try to install the version you want.

In Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.
  3. Look for another Office product in the list.
  4. Click it, and then click Uninstall.
  5. Repeat if you see multiple Office products in the list.

In Windows 8

  1. From the Start screen, type Control Panel in the search box, and tap or click Apps.
  2. Tap or click Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features.
  3. Look for another Office product in the list.
  4. Tap or click it, and then tap or click Uninstall.
  5. Repeat if you see multiple Office products in the list.

WARNING Before you remove the other version of Office, make sure you have a way to reinstall it.

Option 2: Automatically remove another version

If you can't remove Office from Control Panel on your PC, use one of the following easy fixes to automatically remove the Microsoft Office suites from your computer. Just download the fix, then click Run.

Warning Each easy fix will remove ALL the Microsoft Office suites. For example, if you use easy fix for Office 2010, and you have Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 and Outlook 2010, it will remove both products.

Here's an easy fix: remove Microsoft Office 2013 suites
Download

Here's an easy fix: remove Microsoft Office 2010 suites
Download

Here's an easy fix: remove Microsoft Office 2007 suites
Download

Here's an easy fix: remove Microsoft Office 2003 suites
Download

Now try to install the version of Office you want and type in the product key.

If you need help finding your product key, see Find your Office product key


What do you want to do next?

Using the right product key

Most Microsoft products use a 25 character product key. If you own many Microsoft products, it's easy to confuse the keys and use the wrong one.

Here are some common things that can happen:

  • Using the product key from a sticker on a PC
    These product keys are normally for Windows. Check the sticker for a product name to make sure it's for the Office product you're trying to install.
  • Using the product key from an earlier version of Office
    Office product keys aren't interchangeable between versions. For example, you can't use a Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 product key if you're trying to install Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010.
  • Using the product key from an individual program to install a suite
    Office product keys aren't interchangeable between suites and individual programs. For example, you can't use a Microsoft Word product key to install Microsoft Office Home and Student.
  • Using the product key supplied by a school or company
    Schools and companies usually buy a different type of Office license. The product keys they supply to students, teachers, and employees are known as volume license keys. These keys can't be used for retail Office versions like Home and Student, Home and Business, and Professional.
If you need help finding your product key, click one of the following links:

What do you want to do next?

Mistyping the product key

Reading the product key from a label can be difficult. Letters and numbers may look the same.

To avoid typing mistakes, here's a list of most commonly mistyped characters:

  • The letter B and the number 8.
  • The letter Q and the number 0.
  • The letter G and the number 6.
  • The letters V and V back to back (VV) appear like the letter W.
TIP If you bought Office online and received the product key in a confirmation email, try copying and pasting it from the email to avoid typing errors.
If you need help finding your product key, click one of the following links:

What do you want to do next?

Typing the product key in the right window

The Office version and the way you bought it plays a big role in how you enter your product key. Following the instructions in the Office product packaging should lead to success. But what happens if the packaging is lost?

Don't worry; here's information that can help:

Option 1: Office comes with a new PC

If you bought Office at the same time you bought your new PC AND the product key wasn't in a package (as shown in the images below), go to http://office.microsoft.com/getoffice to use the product key.

Option 2: Office package comes only with a product key

If the Office package ONLY came with a product key (no DVD), go to http://office.microsoft.com/setup to use your product key. The Office package should look like one of these images:

OfficePackWithKey1
 OR 
OfficePackWithKey2
 

WARNING If you've already visited http://office.microsoft.com/setup and used this product key to install Office once before you'll get a product key error if you try to use it again. If you need to re-install Office, sign in with your Microsoft Account.

Option 3: Office package comes with a product key and DVD

If the Office package came with a product key AND a DVD, use the DVD to setup Office and type the product key when prompted. The Office package should look like this image:

OfficePackWithKey_DVD
 

NOTE If you lost the DVD or your PC doesn't have a DVD drive, go to http://office.microsoft.com/downloadoffice and use the product key to download and install Office. Use this link ONLY if Office came with a DVD.

If you need help finding your product key, click the link I need help finding my product key.


What do you want to do next?

Using Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office preloaded programs

If you've bought Office, follow instructions in the Office product packaging to use your product key instead of using the Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office programs that may be preloaded on your PC. This should avoid product key errors.

If you're trying to use one of these preloaded programs to install your purchased copy of Office, you'll need to know this information:

Option 1: Using the product key with Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office with this logo 
MicrosftOfficeLogo
 

Starting Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office with this logo to install your purchased copy of Office will only work for these versions: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, or Microsoft Office Professional 2010.

Here's what it looks like in Windows 7

P2_Windows7
 

Here's what it looks like in Windows 8

P2_Windows8_OPK
 
P6_Windows8_TOPK
 

Typing a product key for any other version of Office will cause an error.

Option 2: Using the product key with Microsoft Office with this logo 
MicrosftOfficeLogoRed
 

Starting Microsoft Office to install your purchased copy of Office will only work for these versions: Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013, Microsoft Office Professional 2013, or Microsoft Office 365 Home.

Here's what it looks like in Windows 8

P6_Windows8
 

Typing a product key for any other version of Office will cause an error.

If you need help finding your product key, click the link I need help finding my product key.


What do you want to do next?

Still having problems?

If you're still having problems, post a question to the Microsoft Community or contact support.

We're happy to help!

We're glad we could help fix your Office product key problem.

Here are some additional resources that you may find useful:

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Article ID: 10081 - Last Review: May 9, 2016 - Revision: 83

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