How To Reset Office Activation State?

There are lots of users moving to Office 365. This will become a common issue whereby users will no longer require their OEM version or Retail version of Office and move over to the subscription based Office product. I came across where a client had moved from HOMEPREM to BUSINESSPREM subscription, The Office product activated with both Product keys and one the one hand, the product is activated and on the other hand, the other Subscription has Expired. To complete this, ensure you close all of the Office applications.

Remove Product Key via Command Line

To complete this, ensure you close all of the Office applications.

You will have to use the command line to check the status of the product registration and then unpin the key which needs to be uninstalled. Run CMD with elevated privileges (As Administrator).

If you are using a 64x installation of Office, your location of the files should in the following location:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

You need to get to the above location on the CMD console you open. Then run the following:

  • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16>Cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus

This is to get the license status of the Office product on your machine

Above you can see there are multiple subscriptions. You then need to run the following to uninstall the key:

  • Cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:“Last 5 of installed product key”

If you have more than a single subscription over a period of time, you may need to remove the other keys. After running the /unpkey: command line you will see a “Product Key uninstall successful” message.

Remove cached identities in HKCU registry

  • Ensure that you back up the registry.In the Registry Editor navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity\Identities and remove all of the identities under \Identities.


Remove the stored Credentials in the Credential Manager:


  • Open Control Panel > Credential Manager.  Remove all Windows credentials listed for Office16.

Other locations that must be cleared

These locations gets inherited information when the package is installed. Therefore you need to clear out the information from these locations.

  • Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Credentials
  • Appdata\Roaming\Microsoft\Protect
  • Appdata\Local\Microsoft\Credentials
  • Appdata\local\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Licensing


Registry CleanUp

  • HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity
  • HKEYU\(The Users SID)\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity

Then you can open any of the Office Packages and go to Office Account. You will be requested to sign-in. Once done, the package will reactivate the license on your machine.


Over the years, you may uninstall and reinstall application packages. Only when you have activate a similar product you will then notice all the registry entries that has been added to your system and this can cause an issue. Therefore, when you uninstall the application, always perform a clean removal which includes the registry clean up.

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