Resolving Activation Prompts in Office 2021, 2019, 2016, and 2013 After New PC Installation

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Resolving MS Office Activation Prompts

When you set up a new PC and install Microsoft Office versions like Office Standard, Office Home and Student, Office Home and Business, or Office Professional, you might encounter a recurring activation prompt. This issue typically occurs if the new PC already had a version of Office preinstalled that wasn’t removed before installing your new Office suite.

Step-by-Step Guide to Resolve the Issue:

It is crucial to uninstall all existing Office versions on your new PC BEFORE INSTALLING YOUR NEW SOFTWARE to prevent these erroneous activation prompts from occurring, including trial versions, preinstalled versions, subscriptions, legacy versions, and their components. Manufacturer-preinstalled trial versions of Office 365 often cause this problem, and failing to remove this product before installing your purchase can cause reoccurring activation prompts. Failing to do so causes conflicts between the new and old Office installations, leading to persistent activation prompt

Step-by-Step Guide to Resolve False Activation Prompts in Microsoft Office:

Step-by-Step Guide to Resolve the Issue

Confirm the Presence of Preinstalled Office Software:

  • Before proceeding, verify if there is any preinstalled version of Microsoft Office on your new PC. For convenience to the customer, it is common in many new computers for the manufacturer to pre-load a trial or limited version of Office onto their new computers.

Uninstall Preinstalled Office Versions:

  • Access the Control Panel or Settings app on your PC.
  • Navigate to ‘Programs and Features’ or ‘Apps & Features’.
  • Look for any Microsoft Office applications (including trial versions) that the manufacturer preinstalled.
  • Select each Office application and click on ‘Uninstall.’ Follow the prompts to remove the software completely.
  • Restart your PC after the uninstallation process to ensure all changes are applied.

Install the New Office Version:

  • Once the preinstalled versions are completely removed, proceed with installing your new Microsoft Office suite.
  • Ensure you use the correct installation media or download link and that your product key is readily available.

Activate the Newly Installed Office Suite:

  • Open any Office application, like Word or Excel.
  • Navigate to File > Account.
  • Under the ‘Product Information’ section, you should see an option to activate the product. Follow the prompts to complete the activation process.
  • If prompted, enter the product key that came with your purchase of Office.

Check for Updates:

  1. After installation and activation, ensure your Office suite is updated to the latest version.
  2. Go to File > Account > Update Options, and click ‘Update Now’.
  3. Installing the latest updates can resolve any lingering issues related to activation prompts.

Contact Support if Issues Persist:

  • If, after following these steps, you still encounter activation prompts or face any issues, it may be necessary to contact Microsoft Support for further assistance. They can provide more specific guidance and troubleshooting steps tailored to your situation.


  • Most issues with false activation prompts can be resolved by methodically uninstalling any preinstalled versions of Office and carefully installing and activating your new Office suite. Keeping your system updated and seeking support when needed is crucial to ensuring a smooth experience with your Microsoft Office software. These steps should effectively resolve the activation prompts when installing Office on a new PC. Always back up your system before installing major software packages or changing your system’s registry. For further assistance or more detailed instructions, refer to the Microsoft Office support resources or DirectDeals Support for assistance at or (800) 983-2741 during regular business hours.

Volume License Deactivation (For Business or Corporate Users)

Business or corporate users with volume licenses may not have the option to uninstall software, so instead of uninstalling the software, the user should deactivate all previous office versions to ensure the new installation recognizes the volume license.

Detailed Process to Deactivate Previous Versions of Microsoft Office Volume License Products

Volume License Verification:

  • Initial Steps: Begin by opening Microsoft Word. Navigate to File > Account to access your Office account details.
  • Identification: Volume license versions are usually identified as ‘Office Standard’ or ‘Office Professional Plus’. These versions typically feature a ‘Change Product Key’ link.
  • Non-Volume License Indicators: If your screen shows options like ‘Manage Account’ or ‘Update Options,’ it indicates a non-volume license version. In these instances, refer to our specific guide for activating other Office versions.

Deactivating Previous Office Versions:

  • Purpose: For volume license holders, deactivating previous versions is essential for ensuring that the new installation is recognized correctly and operates without activation issues.
  • Procedure: This process involves accessing the software’s internal settings or using administrative tools provided by Microsoft for volume licensing. Detailed instructions for deactivation can be found in our specialized volume license management guide.

Registry Update for Microsoft 365 Activation Prompt Removal:

  • Caution: Modifying the Windows Registry is a delicate process that must be cautiously approached. Incorrect changes can lead to significant system issues.
  • Steps:
    • Close all Office applications.
    • Right-click the Start button, select Run, type ‘regedit’, and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
    • Carefully navigate to the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM.
    • Right-click the OEM value and select File > Export to back up the key.
    • After backup, select Edit > Delete to remove the key.
    • Repeat the process for the key located at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM.
    • Close the Registry Editor and restart Office.


  • These steps should effectively resolve the activation prompts when installing Office on a new PC. These steps vary slightly based on the Office version and your specific setup, especially for volume license users. Always back up your system before making changes to your system’s registry. For further assistance or more detailed instructions, refer to the Microsoft Office support resources or DirectDeals Support for assistance at or (800) 983-2741 during regular business hours.
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