Activate Office 2010 programs

The following information is provided to help you to activate your Microsoft Office 2010 programs. For troubleshooting information, visit the Microsoft Help and Support site.

If you are using this computer at work or as part of an organization, you might be using a volume edition of Microsoft Office 2010. For information about activating by using a volume license, see Activate volume editions of Office 2010.

In this article


How do I activate my Office 2010 programs?

When you start your Office program for the first time after installation, you are prompted to enter your Product Key, if you have not already done so during Setup.

Activate over the Internet or by phone

When you enter your valid Product Key, the Activation Wizard automatically runs and it gives you two choices on how to proceed:

  • Activate by using the Internet     The Activation Wizard automatically contacts the Microsoft licensing servers through your Internet connection. If you are using a valid Product Key that has not already been used for the allowed number of installations, your product is activated immediately.

When you activate through the Internet, your product ID (derived from the installation Product Key) is sent to Microsoft. A response (the confirmation ID) is sent back to your computer to activate your product. If you choose to activate your product through the Internet and you are not already connected, the wizard alerts you that there is no connection.

  • Activate by using the telephone     You can telephone an Activation Center and activate your product with the help of a customer service representative.

 Important   Activation Center numbers are not listed in this article, because there are many numbers, and the correct number for you is based on several factors. Microsoft software can be obtained under various licenses, including individual retail licenses, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) licenses, and volume licenses. Telephone numbers vary by product license and country/region. In step 2 of the Activation Wizard, use the telephone number provided to call the Microsoft Activation Center.

Telephone activation might take longer than activation through the Internet. You should be at your computer when you call, and you should have your software Product Key available.

  1. In the Activation Wizard, select the country/region where you reside and where you plan to use the product.

The wizard provides one or more telephone numbers.

  1. Call the Activation Center.

The customer service representative asks you for your installation ID (displayed on your screen) and other relevant information. After your installation ID is verified, you receive a confirmation ID.

  1. In the Activation Wizard, type the confirmation ID in the spaces provided at the bottom of the screen, and then press ENTER.

 Notes 

  • Telephone activation is not available for Trial and Subscription versions.
  • Microsoft Text Telephone (TT/TTY) services are available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. In the United States, using a TT/TTY modem, dial (800) 718-1599. From outside the United States, using a TT/TTY modem, dial (716) 871-6859. TT/TTY service is only available in English.

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How do I activate at a later time?

If you don't want to activate your copy of the software when you install it, you can activate it later.

If you have a problem with your activation, contact a customer service representative by using the telephone number provided in the wizard.

 Note   Telephone support is not available for Trial and Subscription versions. Therefore, the wizard does not provide a telephone number for either of these versions.

  1. Click the File tab.
  1. Click Help, and then click Activate Product Key.
  2. Follow the instructions in the Activation Wizard.
  3. When the wizard finishes, exit the Office program, and then restart it.

 Note   If you click Activate Product Key again before you exit and restart your Office program, you see a message saying that This product has already been activated.

  1. Repeat steps 1 through 4 for any Activate Product Key button that you see.

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How can I tell whether my software has been activated?

  1. Click the File tab.
  1. Click Help.
    • If you don't see an Activate Product Key button, your software has been activated.
    • If you do see an Activate Product Key button, your software hasn't been activated. You should follow the instructions in the "How do I activate at a later time" section.

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What is a trial version?

A trial version allows you to evaluate the Office 2010 for a limited amount of time, typically 30 or 60 days.

 Note   Some trial versions cannot be converted to the full product. In such cases, you must uninstall the trial version and install the full product separately.

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What does convert mean?

Convert means you have finished evaluating a trial version and have decided to purchase the full product. You are prompted to provide a Product Key that you already have or will purchase online.

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What is activation, grace period, and reduced functionality?

To continue to use all of the features of your product, you must activate the product. Microsoft Product Activation is a Microsoft anti-piracy technology that verifies software products are legitimately licensed.

Activation     This process verifies the Product Key, which you must supply to install the product, is in use on computers permitted by the software license.

Grace period     Before you enter a valid Product Key, you can run the software for 30 days, which is the grace period. During the grace period, certain features or programs may be enabled that are not included in the product you have purchased. After you enter a valid Product Key, you will see only the programs and features you have purchased.

Reduced Functionality mode     After the grace period, if you have not entered a valid Product Key, the software goes into Reduced Functionality mode. In Reduced Functionality mode, your software behaves similarly to a viewer. You cannot save modifications to documents or create new documents, and functionality might be reduced. No existing files or documents are harmed in Reduced Functionality mode. After you enter your Product Key and activate your software, you will have full functionality for the programs and features you purchased.

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What if I am using this computer using at work or as part of an organization?

If you are using this computer at work or as part of an organization, you might be using a volume edition of Microsoft Office 2010. For information about activating by using a volume license, see Activate volume editions of Microsoft Office.

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What if I am using Office Starter 2010?

If you are using Microsoft Office Starter 2010, the software came pre-installed on your computer. Office Starter 2010 is already activated, and there is no Product Key for you to enter.

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