Which button do I click to activate, purchase, download, or use an Office 2010 product?

This article is to help you start using a Microsoft Office 2010 product if you:

  • Already bought Office 2010 and need to activate the product.
  • Have not yet purchased Office 2010, but want to buy it.
  • Want to use Office Starter 2010.
    Office Starter 2010 is a basic version of Office 2010 that includes Word Starter and Excel Starter. It is pre-loaded on your computer, ready for you to use.

Watch a video that shows what these buttons do:

If you are trying to open an Office file but do not have the necessary software installed, you can choose an option for installing the software you need. For example, if you purchased Office but have not activated it, and you double-click a Microsoft Word file, you need to activate your software license to open the document. Or, if you are using Office Starter and you double-click a Microsoft PowerPoint file, you may want to download the PowerPoint Viewer 2010 to see the presentation.

In these situations, the Microsoft Office 2010 dialog box gives you the opportunity to activate or purchase Office 2010, to download a viewer, or to use Office Starter.

Use the following table to decide which option to choose. Note that the choices provided in the dialog box depend on what software is pre-loaded on your computer.

If this is your situation... Click this button...
You purchased an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc.

Activate.    When prompted, enter the 25-digit product key and follow the on-screen instructions to install and activate your license.

If you need to retrieve your Product Key from the Internet, do the following:

  1. Go to http://www.office.com/GetKey.
  2. Insert the PIN, found on your Office 2010 packaging.
  3. Follow the online instructions.
  4. Take note of your 25-digit Product Key.
You do not have Office 2010, and you're not interested in using Office Starter 2010. Purchase.    You will be sent to an online website to make your purchase. Be sure your computer is connected to the Internet before clicking this button.
You're trying to see a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. Download.    You will be sent to a website where you can download the PowerPoint Viewer 2010. With the viewer you can see the presentation, but you cannot edit it. If you want to edit the presentation, purchase an edition of Office 2010 such as Home and Student, which includes PowerPoint 2010.
You want to work with basic documents and spreadsheets using Office Starter 2010.

Use.    Installation of Office Starter begins, and Word Starter is opened. You can start using Microsoft Excel Starter 2010 and Microsoft Word Starter 2010 right away.

After you close Office Starter programs, you can find them again by going to the Windows Start menu, clicking All Programs, and clicking Microsoft Office Starter.