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Q: Did my Office license successfully activate?


Your installation of Microsoft Office needs to check in with MIT's license server at least once every 180 days to remain operational, via the MIT network. If you are running Microsoft Office from off-campus, you must be connected to the MIT network via MIT VPN.

Once you have installed Microsoft Office 2016 / 2019 / 2021, you can validate that your license has been activated by following these steps:
(Note: The screen shots below were taken in MS Office Word, but the process is similar in all Office programs.)

  1. Click on File tab.
  2. Select Account.
    On the right-hand side of the screen, you will see the product activation information as displayed below.
    If you see the words Product Activated, activation was successful. If you don't get this result right away, close the office application you are running, and relaunch the application to check again.
    Note: If you have installed Office while away from campus, make sure you have established a VPN connection to the MIT network to allow Office to check in with the MIT license server. See MIT Remote Access VPN Service Page.
  3. If after closing and then reopening the application you still do not see the Product Activated message, you should verify that your operating system is set up with the correct domain suffix
  4. If you've done everything above (including setting the domain suffix and activated a VPN if off campus) and it's still not working, you may be able to manually activate it by opening a command line shell. Visit the Office Activation page for steps.

Set up Windows with the Correct Domain Suffix:

  1. Access the control panel:
    • Windows 10: Right click on the Start menu and select Control Panel.
  2. Choose Control Panel from this menu and choose System in the Control Panel window.
  3. In the "Computer name, domain, and work group settings" section, click Change settings.
  4. Click Change....
  5. Click More....
    The Primary DNS suffix setting of this computer should show MIT.EDU. If it doesn't, enter MIT.EDU and click OK.

Note: If another domain suffix, e.g., or, is listed, do NOT change it to just

See also

How do I activate Office in Windows?

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

October 04, 2021

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  1. Feb 22, 2015

    If you've done everything above (including setting the domain suffix and activated a VPN if off campus) and it's still not working, what worked for me was to open a command line shell and run:

    • cd '\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\'
    • cscript ospp.vbs /act

    This will run the activation script manually, connect to KMS.MIT.EDU and, at least in my case, remove the not valid warning.

    1. Sep 15, 2015

      Thank you Michael! I also couldn't get my product to activate, but your method worked.

  2. Oct 16, 2015

    32 Bit Office seems to have the vb script file here:

    cd "\Program Files <x86>\Microsoft Office\Office15\"

    cscript ospp.vbs /act

    Running this from command window fixed our activation issue on home machine. Changing domain did not help.

  3. Mar 21, 2016

    This ultimately worked, but I had to:

    • change directories up to the root first (as Win 7 had me in my user director)
    • use double quotes (") for the single quotes (')

    Thank you!

  4. Jun 08, 2016

    I had an older computer also, which had Office 14 (2010) on it, and my instructions above worked for that one too, just changing "Office15" to "Office14". I haven't tried this on Office16 (2016). Hopefully it's finally fixed.

  5. Sep 14, 2021

    This force worked for me as well on Office 16, with double quotes:
    cd "\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\"
    cscript ospp.vbs /act

    Thank you very much!

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