Office 2013 Product Re-Activation RRS feed

  • Question

  • I installed Office 2013 Professional Plus on my work laptop without any issues.  Yesterday, I had to do a chkdsk C: /F to resolve some disk errors that were detected by Windows 8 Pro.  Now, whenever I open an Office 2013 application, I am being asked to activate Office 2013.  I have chatted with customer service - completely no help because all the rep did was give me the phone number to Product Activation which is an automated telephone system with no options helpful to people having this problem and no chance to speak to a live human being.  

    I have searched the Internet and followed instructions to attempt to activate Office 2013 via telephone, but the option to activate by telephone is not present in any of the activation wizards.  What a frickin nightmare!

    It is the beginning of the Memorial Day holiday, after 6:30 p.m. so I guess I am just SOL until Tuesday - thanks Microsoft for putting me through this horrible experience with your products and your customer service!


    Saturday, May 25, 2013 3:10 AM


  • I know of a couple of reasons for constant reactivation requests.

    Please confirm that you only have one copy of Office 2013 installed. If there is an unactivated factory installed trial as well as a purchased copy installed, the activation system gets "confused".  Go into Control Panel, Programs and Features and check to see if there is more than one Office 2013 entry.

    Repair or Uninstall Office 2013 /2010 / 2007





    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg998767.aspx#BKMK_OfficeRepair Office 365 (2013) - Repair is same as earlier versions

    The factory installed trial is typically called something  like “Microsoft Office 20** Single Image” because it allows the factory to install all 3 trials (Home and Student, Home and Business, and Pro) at the same time. (For this problem you can ignore Office Starter, and an entry that is just "Microsoft Office 2010")  If you are uninstalling the factory trial to clear up conflicts with another installed copy, you MUST do an Office Repair of that other installed copy, boot the computer and you will probably have to also do an activation of the installed copy.



    Another, possibly more likely, cause of this problem is a Windows Access Rights issue. Sometimes Windows gets "stupid" and does not grant itself the required Windows Access Rights to the registry when you are doing the activation. So the activation information is accepted, but when you shut down Window, the registry changes are not saved permanently. Thus, when you boot the computer again, Office asks for the activation information, AHHH! (to your frustration). One possible fix for this is to boot the computer then start one of the Office applications using "Run As Admin". Do the activation then boot again to see if the fix holds.

    Win 7 - 5 ways to Run As Admin - link


    FYI: for this situation, you can consider Vista and Win7 to be essentially interchangeable with only minor differences between the user interface in the 2 versions.

    In Win7, even when you are logged in as administrator, UAC no longer gives you “Full” administrator rights. To get all of the access you now also have “run as administrator”

    It appears there is an error where your userid is not being allowed to update the activation information in the registry.

    The general process is :

    • Close all of the office apps
    • Start one of the Office apps using any one of the following “run as admin” techniques
    • Activate office
    • Close the app
    • Start it normally, confirm the message has “gone away”
    • If the message is gone, reboot the computer
    • Start the office app again to confirm that the message really is gone for good (was saved in the registry)


    What is 'Run as Administrator' in Win7?



    Why “Run As Admin” when logged in as Admin



    (optional) Confirm that access rights are a problem:



    (optional) NTFS Permissions Reporter (free tool) – What are the NTFS permissions?


    This is a good tool for reporting on file access rights


    I wonder what those characters at the paid support lines are paid to do. A lot of them like to refer customers here, to unpaid support ... ?!?@?!  It is obvious that no one over there reads these forums and they do not use our freely provided knowledge to update the script monkeys scripts <yes, this is a pet peeve of mine>


    When you do a phone activation, MS's intent is to handle all of the activations automatically.  There is "live" phone support, but it is hidden. You either have to be "fat fingered", hitting invalid answers, or "deaf" and not reply to any of the initial prompts. Eventually, they will think you are dumb enough to need to speak to a live "service" rep.  But they, apparently do not know about fixes to your specific problem.

    • Edited by Rohn007MVP Sunday, May 26, 2013 7:16 AM
    • Marked as answer by Rex Zhang Tuesday, June 4, 2013 1:16 AM
    Sunday, May 26, 2013 7:16 AM