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Q: How do I activate Office in Windows?

  • I have upgraded my version of Windows, and now my MIT licensed version of Office won't work... 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.

Note: you must be on the MIT Network either on campus (wired or Secure MIT wireless) or connected to the VPN when running the appropriate command. Copy and paste the appropriate activation script below, starting with cscript and including quotes.

Office Professional Plus 2013:

Version Operating system Activation script
32-bit 32-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office15\ospp.vbs" /act
32-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Office\Office15\ospp.vbs" /act
64-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office15\ospp.vbs" /act

Office Professional Plus 2016:

Version Operating system Verification script
32-bit 32-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16\ospp.vbs" /act
32-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles(x86)%\Microsoft Office\Office16\ospp.vbs" /act
64-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "%Programfiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16\ospp.vbs" /act

How to verify your activation

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

Office 2016

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

Office 2013

Version Operating system Verification script
32-bit 32-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
32-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
64-bit 64-bit Windows cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

What to do if the Activate window still shows?

  • 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.

Verified everything and Activate window still wont go away?

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 Help Desk.

See also

Did my Office 2013 or 2016 license successfully activate?

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

February 22, 2018

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