A subscription notice appears when I open a Microsoft 365 application

If you see a notice to buy, renew, or reactivate your Microsoft 365 subscription when you open Word, Excel, or any other Office application, you'll need to take action in order to keep using Office.

How to get the notifications to stop

Select an error message below to view the steps

What the notification looks like

You might see one of the following yellow warning bars across the top of the application:

Shows the Renew Your Subscription banner and the Buy button

--or--

Shows an example of the Subscription Expired banner with a Reactivate button

Why it happens

Your Microsoft 365 subscription is about to expire, or has expired. To continue using Office, you must renew your Microsoft 365 subscription.

How to turn it off

Renew your subscription to Microsoft 365 by doing one of the following:

  • If you see RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION in the yellow warning bar, select Buy, and follow the steps to renew your subscription online.

  • If you see SUBSCRIPTION EXPIRED in the yellow warning bar, select Reactivate, and then select Buy to renew Office online. If you bought a new, unused Microsoft 365 product key from a retailer, select Enter Key.

After you renew your subscription, close all Office applications to remove the renewal message. If you need help renewing your subscription, see Renew Microsoft 365 for home.

What the notification looks like

You might a yellow or red warning bar with this message across the top of the application. You might also see a Let's get started screen with options to try, buy, or activate Office using a product key.

Why it happens

If Office was pre-installed on your new device, you must start an Microsoft 365 Family trial or buy Office to continue using it.

How to turn it off and keep using Microsoft 365

See Activate Office for help with activating Office on your new device.

What the notification looks like

You might a yellow or red warning bar with this message across the top of the application. You might also see a Let's get started screen with options to try, buy, or activate Office using a product key.

Why it happens

If Office was pre-installed on your new device, you must start a Microsoft 365 Family trial or buy Office to continue using it. If you don't want to buy Office, you can select Use free at Office.com to use Office on the web in your browser.

How to turn it off and keep using Microsoft 365

See Activate Office for help with activating Office on your new device.

What the notification looks like

You might see a yellow warning bar across the top of the application:

Screenshot of the Product Deactivated warning bar

You might also see a dialog box that looks like this:

Screenshot showing the Product Deactivated error message

Why it happens

The Office install on your computer was signed out or deactivated using the instructions in Deactivate a Microsoft 365 install. This is typically done to allow you to sign in to another Office device (Microsoft 365 Family) or to free up an Office install (Microsoft 365 for business).

How to turn it off and keep using Microsoft 365

Select Sign in and enter your Microsoft 365 account. This will activate Office. If you've reached your sign-in limit (Microsoft 365 Family), or if there are no Office installs left (Microsoft 365 for business), you can sign out of or deactivate another Office install using the steps in Deactivate a Microsoft 365 install.

What the notification looks like

You might see a yellow warning bar across the top of the application:

Screenshot of the "Couldn't Verify Subscription" warning bar

You might also see a dialog box that looks like this:

Screenshot of the "Couldn't Verify Subscription" error message

Why it happens

While you don’t need to be online at all times to use Office, you do need to connect to the Internet intermittently so Office can verify that your subscription is still active. If Office can’t check the status of your subscription for an extended period of time (usually around 30 days), you’ll see the Couldn’t Verify Subscription message, and Office will eventually go into reduced functionality mode.

How to turn it off

Reconnect to the Internet, and then choose Retry.

What the notification looks like

You might see a yellow warning bar across the top of the application with one of the following messages:

"ACCOUNT NOTICE. Your Microsoft 365 subscription has a pending change. To keep using your applications without interruption, please sign in now.”

"UPDATE REQUIRED. Your Microsoft 365 subscription has a pending change. Please apply the change now to keep using your applications."

Why it happens

Your organization switched to a different Microsoft 365 for business plan, and you need to install the version of Office that comes with your new plan. If you're using Office 2016, you can simply update Office. If you're using Office 2013, you'll need to uninstall and reinstall Office.

How to turn it off

Follow the steps in “Account Notice” appears in Office after switching Microsoft 365 plans to reinstall or update Office.

What the notification looks like

You might see a yellow warning bar across the top of the application with the following message:

"ACCOUNT NOTICE. We've run into a problem with your Microsoft 365 subscription and need your help to fix it.”

Why it happens

This message is often triggered by a problem with your Microsoft 365 subscription payment. For example, if your payment was declined due to an expired or cancelled credit card, your subscription may become expired or suspended.

For help with fixing this issue, see Office error "Account Notice: We've run into a problem with your Microsoft 365 subscription".

What the notification looks like

Shows Unlicensed Product in the red title bar, the disabled interface, and the message banner

You could be getting this message for a variety of reasons. If you see Unlicensed product, or a different error message, try the troubleshooting steps in Unlicensed Product and activation errors in Office.

What happens if you do nothing

If you don't respond to the notification, Office will eventually run in reduced functionality mode and will show Unlicensed Product notifications. You’ll still be able to open and print your documents but you won’t be able to edit them or to create new ones.

Tip: In the meantime, you can use Office Online for free in your web browser. Go Office.com to access the free version.

If you're still getting notifications after renewing or buying Microsoft 365

You might still need to enter a product key, if you bought a physical box or card from a retail store. Even if you already paid for it, your subscription won’t actually start until you enter the product key on the box or card, or follow the link in your email receipt. For help with using a product key to renew your Microsoft 365 subscription, see Renew Microsoft 365 for home .

Check your renewal status online before calling support. To make sure your subscription renewed successfully, find out when your subscription expires. If the expiration date doesn't look right, contact Microsoft Support.

Still need help? Contact support.

For Microsoft 365 Family or Personal, contact support.

If you use Microsoft 365 at your work or school, reach out to your Microsoft 365 admin or IT department.

Tip: In the meantime, you can use Office Online for free in your web browser. Go to Office.com to access the free version.

Need more help?

Get support
Contact us
Expand your Office skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×