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Office Activation


I have upgraded my version of Windows, and now my MIT licensed version of Office won't activate. What do I need to do?


Office software distributed by MIT is pre-installed with a product key that configures it for activation via Key Management Server (KMS);  it periodically will contact an MIT server to remain active.

Run the following script from an elevated command prompt to manually trigger an activation with the KMS.

  • You must be on the MIT Network either on campus (wired or Secure MIT wireless) or connected to the GlobalProtect when running the appropriate command. Copy and paste the appropriate activation script below, starting with cscript and including quotes.
  • Office 2010/2013 will no longer activate against the MIT KMS server after 10/31/2021. Download the latest version from the MIT Software Grid.

How to verify your activation

Run the appropriate verification script below from an elevated command prompt to verify the activation of the installed software.

Office 2016/2019/2021

Version Operating system Verification script
32-bit 32-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
32-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
64-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

What to do if the "Genuine Activation" errors still appears?

*Activation can fail if the computer has multiple copies of Office installed. The computer may have shipped with a Vendor offered "trial version".  It is suggested to uninstall all versions of Office using the Microsoft Office Uninstall Tool. The tool may have to be run multiple times with successive reboots.

When the uninstall tool reports there are no versions of of Office found on the computer, please try a new install of Office. 

Verified everything and Activation error window still wont go away?

Prior to using the following registry edit suggestions it is strongly advised to have a full backup of your USER data.

  • Run the "How to verify your activation" script for specific installed version.
  • Verify these lines appear in the report
    • KMS machine name from DNS: KMS.MIT.EDU:1688
    • KMS host caching: Enabled
  • If note, then verify your connection as mentioned in the "  Note" above.

To resolve this problem, export the following registry keys and delete from computer.

Backup your registry before attempting the following.

  1. Close activation screen.
  2. On the Start menu, click Run.
  3. Type regedit, and then press Enter.
  4. Select the following key in the registry.
  5. Right click the OEM value and click File>Export.
  6. Save the key
  7. Once the key is backed-up, click on Edit>Delete
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 with following key

Exit Registry Editor


  • If you have questions or concerns, please contact the IS&T Service Desk.

See also

Did my Office 2016 or 2019. 2021 license successfully activate?

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

January 24, 2024

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  1. Feb 11, 2020

    1) "Elevated" command prompt is an important piece of jargon. In my version of Win 10, "Command Prompt" does not seem to appear as an "App" on the start menu. It's buried.

    In the list of "Apps", I scrolled down to "Windows System", I opened the sub-menu, and there I found "Command Prompt". DON"T OPEN IT! Right click, then select "More", then select "Run as an Administrator". The Command Prompt window that opens was "elevated".

    FWIW, Win 10 decided to open note 1, not 2, but 3 such windows.

    2) My comment from last year is incomplete. Unless you are using the "Duo Security mobile app" you have to try to login and fail the first time.

    When you try to login to cisco, that first time, the "second password" field is not asking you for a password (silly person). It is actually asking you to tell it how you want to get the second factor for login sent to you.

    Once you get that second factor, use it as the "second password" when you try to log in to cisco for the second (and hopefully last) time.

    Your options are:

    1. push - Duo will send a push notification to your registered cell phone with the Duo Security mobile app installed
    2. push2 - Duo will send a push notification to your _second registered device with the Duo Security mobile app installed
    3. sms - Duo will send an SMS to your registered cell phone
    4. phone - Duo will call your registered cell phone
    5. phone2 - Duo will call your second registered cell phone
    6. The one time code generated by your hardware token or the Duo Security mobile app (the code changes ever 60 seconds)

    I tried "phone", and got called on my cell phone not once, not twice, but three times by Duo. With each successive incoming call my phone stopped displaying the keypad. Of course, I needed the keypad to tell the system that I did, in fact, want to hear the activation code. Once the last incoming call had been dealt with I then heard "Thank you for using duo ..."

    The next time I used the SMS (aka "text message"). That finally worked.

    3) It wasn't clear that I had the 32-bit MS Office running under a 64-bit OS. I had to poke around a bit to figure that out. This, of course, affects which of the commands you put in.

    I'm going into detail here because I want to have these notes for my self the next time I have to run this obstacle course. I figure I might as well share it with anyone else who might need it.

    Good luck!
    Jim Bales

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