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Office 2016 Activation dialog appears every time an Office app starts RRS feed

  • Question

  • The "Let's get started" dialog pops open every time an Office program is started, for every user who logs in, even though it is already activated.

    This is a domain machine with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and Office 2016 Standard volume license version installed, and was successfully activated via a MAK key. How can I keep the wizard from running for all users?

    The machine is a new ThinkPad, that originally had a trial version of Office 2016 on it. I uninstalled that via the Control Panel, as well as uninstalling the Get Office app from the Start menu, before rebooting and installing the volume license edition. A second new ThinkPad, prepared the same way, shows the same symptom. However, on legacy Win10 machines I do not see the issue after installing the same Office 2016 version and activating them.

    Any suggestions as to how I can get rid of the "try-buy-activate" prompt at startup?

    Thanks...

    Sunday, May 29, 2016 3:41 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Based on the description, I understand the dialog pops every time an Office program is started on Windows 10 Pro, but the issue doesn't occur to the legacy Windows 10 machines.

    On these legacy Windows 10 machines, do they have the exactly same version of Windows 10 as the new ThinkPad? The issue could be related to Windows 10 on the new machines, please run “sfc /scannow” from an elevated Command Prompt and reboot your computer afterwards, which helps repair the System files:

    1. Right click on the Start button of Windows and choose: Command Prompt (Admin).
      • If you don’t see this, instead choose: Windows PowerShell (Admin)
    2. Behind the prompt type: sfc /scannow
      (note the space in the command)
    3. Wait until the process completes. This usually doesn’t take longer than 20 minutes with a regular hard disk and takes much shorter when you have a fast SSD drive.
    4. Restart your computer.

    On these new ThinkPad machines, we can also perform a clean boot to determine whether background programs are interfering with Office activation:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    By the way, please also make sure you run the Office applications as administrator, check if the problem will occur then.

    Regards,

    Melon Chen
    TechNet Community Support


    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.
    Monday, May 30, 2016 12:47 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi, Mark:

    Thanks for sharing your ideas as a starting point:

    1. The legacy machines are also running Win10 Pro 64-bit, with all current updates. Same Office 2015 Standard volume license edition was installed and activated from the same network share as the Lenovo tablets. However, they never had the Office Trial Version installed.
    2. Ran sfc /scannnow, no change in Office startup behavior.
    3. Tried clean boot, again no change in Office behavior.
    4. Office shows the same startup problem whether logged in as admin or standard user.

    Monday, May 30, 2016 7:00 PM
  • it sounds like the 'trial' was not completely uninstalled?

    sometimes, the OEM will preload such try-buy stuff, and it can be several components, not just one component.

    check the installed programs list again, or, offscrub may be needed to eradicate all traces of all office eproducts (then reinstall OFFSTD again)


    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Monday, May 30, 2016 9:41 PM
  • The real question is, what Registry key, process, service, file, etc. is calling the "let's get started" wizard, and how can THAT be fixed in an otherwise good installation?

    Even a regular Control Panel uninstall of the trialware seemed insufficient, if I had to guess. I'd rather know what specifically needs correction.

    I did confirm that after again uninstalling the activated Office, again checking for a "Get Office" icon to uninstall, and then running the online Microsoft automated uninstaller at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Uninstall-Office-2016-Office-2013-or-Office-365-from-a-PC-9dd49b83-264a-477a-8fcc-2fdf5dbf61d8?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US that the next re-install of Office seems to run successfully.

    So IF the wizard was a remnant from the trialware, why wouldn't Lenovo's uninstaller remove it properly? I've seen the reports of the same symptoms from Dell machines.

    • Proposed as answer by Dean Major Monday, January 29, 2018 5:11 PM
    Friday, June 3, 2016 12:13 AM
  • The real question is, what Registry key, process, service, file, etc. is calling the "let's get started" wizard, and how can THAT be fixed in an otherwise good installation?

    Even a regular Control Panel uninstall of the trialware seemed insufficient, if I had to guess. I'd rather know what specifically needs correction.

    I did confirm that after again uninstalling the activated Office, again checking for a "Get Office" icon to uninstall, and then running the online Microsoft automated uninstaller at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Uninstall-Office-2016-Office-2013-or-Office-365-from-a-PC-9dd49b83-264a-477a-8fcc-2fdf5dbf61d8?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US that the next re-install of Office seems to run successfully.

    So IF the wizard was a remnant from the trialware, why wouldn't Lenovo's uninstaller remove it properly? I've seen the reports of the same symptoms from Dell machines.

    It's pure supposition on my part, but if the OPK provided by Microsoft to OEMs has a bug, or, the OEM isn't following the correct procedure provided by Microsoft on how to use the OPK, this could happen, maybe by something being left behind in the default user profile or maybe even in HKLM, and, when some chunk of Office common-code launches, it finds the left-behind-bits and that's a trigger for the first-run-wizard, and, that if that regkey has been locked-down by permissions, the wizard can't set the value to = "FirstRunHasAlreadyRun"

    I made that up, but based on other stuff I've seen and logged Microsoft cases for, it happens....


    Don [doesn't work for MSFT, and they're probably glad about that ;]

    Friday, June 3, 2016 8:42 AM
  • Supposition doesn't help...I need documentation (at least from the Easy Fix tool).
    Tuesday, June 7, 2016 12:36 PM
  • Hello,

    On behalf of the Office Team, we apologize for the inconvenience this activation window pop-up message is causing. Our engineering team is aware of this issue and working on a fix. We'll post back once we have a solution.

    In the meantime, ignoring this "Let's get started" activation window won't affect your current installation.

    Thanks,

    Anahita B

    The Office Team

    Friday, June 10, 2016 8:58 PM
  • Hello,

    Thanks again for your patience while we figure out a valid solution for this issue. We have created an article that provides a workaround to remove the activation window message from reappearing: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450.

    Our engineering team is working on fixing this issue moving forward but we hope that the link above will resolve this issue on your machines via this workaround.

    Thanks,

    Anahita B

    The Office Team 


    Anahita Bahrami

    • Proposed as answer by DonPick Thursday, June 16, 2016 8:38 PM
    Thursday, June 16, 2016 7:38 PM
  • Anahita:

    Thanks for your information on a workaround. The only error I see in the KB article is the assertion that the Office VL edition was installed without uninstalling the trial Office. That is not correct, leading me to suspect that the problem is with the trial edition Uninstaller.

    To complete the thread, I unboxed a new Lenovo laptop and followed this procedure:

    1. Configure Windows as the first admin account.
    2. Uninstalled Office trial edition.
    3. Uninstalled the "Get Office" app.
    4. Rebooted.
    5. Verified that the two Registry Keys you referenced still exist.
    6. Installed Office Standard volume license edition.
    7. Started Word to verify the trial version Activation Popup (it does).
    8. Rebooted, started Word again (it still does popup).
    9. Deleted the two registry keys documented by Microsoft.
    10. Started Word again- problem solved with popup gone!

    I hope this information helps you update the KB article, and thanks for the quick fix!

    • Proposed as answer by EdTech Guy Friday, December 30, 2016 12:02 AM
    Friday, June 17, 2016 1:50 PM
  • I just had the same exact problem with a new Dell notebook with Office 365 preinstalled.

    After deleting the 2 OEM registry keys the pop-up no longer appears.

    The line in the KB article is indeed not correct, previous Office was correctly uninstalled, then computer rebooted (and even updated to Windows 10).

    "This issue occurs if an OEM version of Office has been preinstalled on the system by the system manufacturer and has not been removed before you install the Volume License copy of Office 2016."

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:19 AM
  • I also had this same problem with a new Microsoft Surface Book.

    I uninstalled the Trial version of Office. (Didn't launch any office apps).
    Installed the MSDN version of Office 2016 and activated.

    Every time I launch an Office application, it asks for activation. If I close the "Activation Dialog" and check if the application is activated, it shows that Office 2016 Pro is activated.

    The workaround to remove the activation window message from reappearing:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450  worked for me.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016 2:24 PM
  • Hi Anahita,

    any fix for the issue?

    Monday, October 24, 2016 12:00 PM
  • I have also been seeing the same issue. It would be good to get a fix / solution for this.

    I am running Office Professional Pro 2016 on Windows 10 -64bit.

    thanks

    Usman

    • Proposed as answer by bola90 Thursday, May 2, 2019 2:54 AM
    Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:52 PM
  • For me, I had to 'Run as Administrator' and enter the Product Key. After that I could run as a regular user and no activation message popped up.
    • Proposed as answer by Ismat Sahar Tuesday, December 20, 2016 2:30 PM
    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:53 PM
  • That worked it for me, after spending 2+ hours on the phone with Microsoft tech support. They couldn't figure it and finally just hung up on me when I was being transferred to the 6th person. 



    Tuesday, November 1, 2016 10:13 PM
  • This is, fix the problem 100%

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450

    • Proposed as answer by Tobin Wood Thursday, December 29, 2016 10:32 PM
    Thursday, December 15, 2016 2:32 AM
  • For me as well,

    I had to 'Run as Administrator' and enter the Product Key. After that I could run as a regular user and no activation message popped up.

    • Proposed as answer by Kim V L Sunday, January 8, 2017 9:52 PM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2016 2:31 PM
  • hello

    we have over 700 users all on Windows 7 64 bit most of the computer have been imaged so no preinstalled office.  Office 2016 Standard volume license version installed via MAK key. we have been working with "Microsoft support" for 4 months 2 Hrs each day.

    about every 3 days they will lose the License and will have to reboot, not all the users getting the License drop. We have tried all the workarounds from "Microsoft support" but with no LUCK.  now we are looking for others that are having this issue?  "Microsoft support" is telling us that no other company is getting this.

    Monday, February 13, 2017 4:36 PM
  • The registry edit worked for me. Thank you!
    Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:41 AM
  • I have exactly same problem. I tried this solution, but I don't have OEM key in the registry.

    In "Common" I have:

    -FileIO

    -FilesPaths

    -InstallRoot

    What else can be done?

    Friday, April 21, 2017 2:34 PM
  • same for me. I don't think mine is OEM version.

    What else can I do? Microsoft.

    Friday, April 28, 2017 7:34 AM
  • Suggestion:

    This is a year-old thread about an issue that was properly resolved almost a year ago, and countless Microsoft updates ago.

    If you are still seeing something like the Activation Message issue, I'd suggest starting a new thread completely describing your hardware configuration and Windows version along with any details about your troubleshooting so far. Folks like to help, but much more information is needed that a one-liner can give.

    Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:07 PM
  • No, BullSh|t. Why didn't Anahita B from The Office Team get back here with the fix if there ever was one?



    Thursday, May 11, 2017 4:31 PM
  • Really helpful thanks 
    Monday, May 22, 2017 1:08 PM
  • Great!!!, after struggling to fix it. Your solution worked like a charm.
    Thursday, June 8, 2017 3:25 AM
  • I had this same issue on my new Surface Book. Deleting the two OEM keys resolved the issue. Thanks!

    OT Developer

    Thursday, June 29, 2017 9:44 PM
  • The same happen to me on an HP Elitedesk, Win 10 pro, Office 2016 , 64 bit. Brand new setup, uninstalled Office 360 trial, rebooted, installed Office 2016, activated it, rebooted and the popup kept coming back event thought it said that it is activated. The https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450 fix worked.
    Wednesday, July 19, 2017 2:10 PM
  • I have just had this same issue well over a year later with a surface book restore image downloaded directly from Microsoft a couple of days ago (the on-disk restore image failed completely). The uninstall of the trialware version I did before installing the PRO version did NOT work properly. The linked registry key deletion succeeded.
    Thursday, July 27, 2017 10:07 AM
  • Hi  Anahita,

    I have encountered this activation windows pop up even after entering product keys and my Microsoft outlook email, I have activated office 2016 on 20 PCs and now its asking again to activate again. Will I loose these product keys that I have used? if I have to download new office 2016 and install then activate?

    Please advise

    Thanks

    pelx2

    Sunday, August 20, 2017 11:44 PM
  • Run Ms Product with Administrator, Then add product keys. 
    If not in administrator user, then the pop up will always come back

    Wednesday, September 6, 2017 6:59 AM
  • I have the reverse problem. I had a volume licence version of Office 2.16. I left the company and had to give it up. I bought a retail license and I am asked at each launch to activate the product. I enter each tile the key of the retail version and all seems ok, but on the account page I do have product activated but also a link "shiw additional licensing information". If I click it on a yellow background I get "activation required", "connect to your corporate network or system administrator', etc. I seems not everything from the old VL version has not totally totally disappeared. I get a page where on a white background it says product activated and then on the (yellow) lower part of the page it says "activation required". I suppose a couple or registry line from the old install are still there. Can someone please help?

    Giles R DeMourot

    Friday, December 8, 2017 6:13 PM
  • Much appreciated.  I just installed Office 2016 for a customer, and got this prompt constantly popping up every single time I opened the product.  After deleting the listed keys, it fixed the problem.  That saved me from having to uninstall and reinstall Office (which probably wouldn't have fixed the problem anyway).

    Might I suggest that the trial versions that come preloaded, be fixed to do a better job of uninstalling themselves.  Either that, or the keys be configured so a new installation is able to remove them properly (without having to run as admin).  Frankly, this is a problem that - while relatively easy to resolve - simply should not exist.
    Thursday, February 15, 2018 4:47 PM
  • Does not work at all. I have installed Office 2013 which I have a license for and the OEM path is not present in the registry.

    Hello,

    Thanks again for your patience while we figure out a valid solution for this issue. We have created an article that provides a workaround to remove the activation window message from reappearing: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450.

    Our engineering team is working on fixing this issue moving forward but we hope that the link above will resolve this issue on your machines via this workaround.

    Thanks,

    Anahita B

    The Office Team 


    Anahita Bahrami


    Sunday, March 11, 2018 10:11 AM
  • https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/odsupport/2015/05/01/how-to-reset-an-office-365-install-to-the-initial-activationinstall-state/

    This helps mine problem.
    I removed all office version and re-installed 365 but when I start some 365 application it gave Activation notification.

    So I follow that link instruction and removed unnecessary product keys.

    • Proposed as answer by snoopz1 Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:37 PM
    Saturday, March 17, 2018 8:26 PM
  • Soon as anyone in Any Post about an issue suggests /sfc scannow you know your on the Wrong path and should Look elsewhere.

    That is NEVER the solution unless you surf Porn all day and corrupted your computer with Adware. 

    Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:09 AM
  • Correct this issue started when my license became invalid as we were switching O365 Accounts, now that I have activated with the new account I have to login with my O365 Credentials each time I launch any of the office Applications.

    Everything described above is not the solution this is 2018

    Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:15 AM
  • in 2018 this is no longer the fix we need another solution
    Thursday, April 5, 2018 4:16 AM
  • Hi Anahita,

    Although the MS registry change fixed the problem, it has been 2 years now and I'm just surprised that we still don't have a proper solution to this.

    We cannot keep on making these changes on every new machine we purchase & build that have the trial version installed by the manufacturer.

    Regards

    Peter

    Monday, April 9, 2018 5:01 AM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    • Edited by UncHellMatt Friday, April 20, 2018 7:10 PM Left something out
    • Proposed as answer by spongy1 Thursday, May 10, 2018 8:20 PM
    Friday, April 20, 2018 7:08 PM
  • No other solutions suggested in this thread worked until the previous one by UncHellMatt. Thus: it IS possible to uninstall the OEM version of Office in such a way as to get rid of the reg keys referenced above (at this point I forget what I did, since I tried so many suggestions I found all over the interwebs), and STILL have the annoying expired license messages every time you open the new version of Office.

    But the

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    fix worked.

    Thanks so much!

    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 5:03 PM
  • This worked perfectly for me.
    Saturday, April 28, 2018 6:15 AM
  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!!!

    This is the only one that did it!!!

    Wednesday, June 13, 2018 11:46 AM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    this worked! Thank you
    Saturday, June 16, 2018 11:11 AM
  • Thanks,it worked for me..

    Friday, July 13, 2018 11:50 AM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"



    You have saved my sanity, after almost of week (40+ hours) of working on this, reinstalling, reformatting hard drives.  Microsoft wanted me to spend $500 for a support engineer to call me back at their convenience. This finally worked... Thank you
    Saturday, August 4, 2018 12:23 AM
  • Anahita,

    That article  seemed to solve that "activation Issue"issue. I have a new HP machine...so it seems it affects all computers based on others have said.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450 

    Friday, August 10, 2018 1:25 AM
  • THIS WORKED!  FINALLY!  Tried the registry key thing, which I don't have those keys.  Tried uninstall, reinstall, etc.  Everything else in here.  Only THIS WORKED!  THANK YOU!
    Friday, August 17, 2018 2:12 PM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    This is the only and ultimate solution I can find from internet.

    Needless to day , the instruction is very easy to follow.

    Thank you so much, UncHellMatt !


    Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:41 PM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"



    Thank you! You've saved my sanity! Nothing else worked but your solution. I've been tearing my hair out for weeks over this
    Monday, September 24, 2018 8:02 AM
  • This worked for me, thank you
    Friday, September 28, 2018 9:51 PM
  • I believe that MS has finally given us an easy way to fix activation issues.
    This week I had a similar issue. A master MS account was used and the product from the list was MISTAKENLY chosen - instead of "enter a product key instead" - in this case of course the product chosen belongs to another user. We then could not activate it online because it would error with the "used the maximum number of times allowed" message. We clicked around everywhere, in all the Office programs, signing on and off and removing the master MS account, and could not get back to the option allowing us to "enter a product key instead." Just keep seeing the yellow activation warning that it has been activated the maximum number of times. Finally, after taking a coffee break, now AFTER the Office installation was fully complete, when again checking the Home->Account page there appeared a [change license] button!!! Here we could enter the preinstall key we had in hand, and the newly added product then appeared in the MS account where we could note the post-install key for future reference.

    • Edited by OttIT Saturday, September 29, 2018 1:51 PM
    Saturday, September 29, 2018 1:50 PM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"



    Thank you WOW.  Three days with a new computer Calls to MSoft , hours on the phone with 1st level techs that had no clue what they were speaking about. Dropped calls etc...Tried all the above solutions nothing.  1:30 AM East Coast on Day three fighting with this new Lenovo and this worked!.  Thanks again !!!!! 
    Thursday, October 4, 2018 5:33 AM
  • That worked! I was running into this issue after installing visio professional 2016 version through an organisation, so my Word application was using my personal account and the stand alone visio installation used my organisation account, but then both applications did this on startup. Did the run as admin and entered the key again and it's all good now :)
    Monday, October 8, 2018 3:47 PM
  • I had this same issue with a KMS volume licensed version of Office 2016 that I installed on a brand new Lenovo workstation.  Your post caught my eye, because you also said that you had a problem with a Lenovo device.  I mostly deploy Dell devices in my environment, and have never had this issue with over 50 KMS deployments of Office 2016.  This is the very first Lenovo that I am deploying, and the issue occurred even though under File > Account the applications state that Office is already licensed.

    This appears to be due to what Lenovo loads into the registry on their images.  Microsoft support has an article on removing this error message: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/office-repeatedly-prompts-you-to-activate-on-a-new-pc-a9a6b05f-f6ce-4d1f-8d49-eb5007b64ba1

    Basically, delete the following registry entries:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\OEM

    Monday, October 15, 2018 7:41 PM
  • Thanks UncHellMatt for your contribution, which is the only one that's worked for me.  Microsoft barely acknowledges this issue even exists, but I've seen it everywhere I've sold Volume License office.  We paid extra for Enterprise/Volume licenses to avoid having to deal with activation BS but here we are.  After the whole Microsoft Account "OEM" Office license debacle, we decided to get Volume License, but I've wasted hours today just getting two workstations to activate.  Maybe in 2019 they'll hire a Q&A department back, but I'm not holding my breath.

    Monday, October 15, 2018 9:39 PM
  • Great, its work for me on:

    C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16>

    Monday, October 29, 2018 8:16 PM
  • Thank you, UncHellMatt! The OSPP.VBS answer was the solution!
    Monday, November 12, 2018 5:24 AM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    This works just fine for me.
    Tuesday, January 29, 2019 11:29 AM
  • Hi,

    Based on the description, I understand the dialog pops every time an Office program is started on Windows 10 Pro, but the issue doesn't occur to the legacy Windows 10 machines.

    On these legacy Windows 10 machines, do they have the exactly same version of Windows 10 as the new ThinkPad? The issue could be related to Windows 10 on the new machines, please run “sfc /scannow” from an elevated Command Prompt and reboot your computer afterwards, which helps repair the System files:

    1. Right click on the Start button of Windows and choose: Command Prompt (Admin).
      • If you don’t see this, instead choose: Windows PowerShell (Admin)
    2. Behind the prompt type: sfc /scannow
      (note the space in the command)
    3. Wait until the process completes. This usually doesn’t take longer than 20 minutes with a regular hard disk and takes much shorter when you have a fast SSD drive.
    4. Restart your computer.

    On these new ThinkPad machines, we can also perform a clean boot to determine whether background programs are interfering with Office activation:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    By the way, please also make sure you run the Office applications as administrator, check if the problem will occur then.

    Regards,

    Melon Chen
    TechNet Community Support


    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.
    Thanks for the tip "run as Administrator". It was the solution.

    Serge

    Thursday, January 31, 2019 11:26 AM
  • Thanks 

     It also solved for me using the following answer by dondo-

    The workaround to remove the activation window message from reappearing:  https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450  worked for me.


    Friday, February 1, 2019 2:00 AM
  • HI. This worked for me at least on 3 devices but not all. My devices are mostly WIN10 Pro 64 bits, MS Office 2016 Standard installation with MAK volume licencing.

    Lately, I learnt of using PowerShell commands can achieve the same "silencer" result on the Repeated Activation error.

    Sunday, February 3, 2019 2:28 PM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    This is the only one that worked. Problem was on a brand new Lenovo Yoga laptop. There were 2 licenses & 2 product keys. I never had this problem with a Dell.

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus
    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx


    • Edited by JimWae Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:12 PM
    Wednesday, February 6, 2019 10:11 PM
  • I tried the command and it shows Licensed status - Licensed.

    Still get the same activation prompt.

    Please help


    MJ

    Monday, February 25, 2019 9:17 PM
  • https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/odsupport/2015/05/01/how-to-reset-an-office-365-install-to-the-initial-activationinstall-state/

    This helps mine problem.
    I removed all office version and re-installed 365 but when I start some 365 application it gave Activation notification.

    So I follow that link instruction and removed unnecessary product keys.

    I just signed up this very second so I could say a HUGE THANKS to you!!! This just saved my tail!!! 

    Vince / ZGTS

    • Proposed as answer by ZGTS Tuesday, February 26, 2019 5:40 AM
    Tuesday, February 26, 2019 5:37 AM
  • You are the Man, thank you for posting this !!!!  Worked for me with a 2016 VLC key installing on a surface pro win10 64 bit

    Csscript worked for me when nothing else did

    • Edited by ZeroMcCloud Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:01 PM
    Tuesday, February 26, 2019 10:00 PM
  • I know this is an older post, but I've been having THIS VERY PROBLEM with installing Office 2016, and am reading tons of posts/articles about it STILL being an issue.

    Anyway, just wanted to say your comment cracked me up!!

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:01 PM
  • For me as well,

    I had to 'Run as Administrator' and enter the Product Key. After that I could run as a regular user and no activation message popped up.

    was as simple as that for me too.
    Friday, April 26, 2019 10:21 PM
  • Why should I have to buy a program that wast purchased when I bought my laptop. I paid some where around 200.00 for this program. So why should I have to purchase it again? 

     
    Thursday, August 22, 2019 1:42 PM
  • Thank you Tobin,

    This solved my problem immediately:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3170450

     

    Monday, September 23, 2019 9:06 PM
  • Oddly - even this didn't work for me.

    I've attempted all the fixes listed here, and STILL get that annoying "Let's Get Started" popup...

    Friday, October 25, 2019 4:02 PM
  • I *did* have this problem with a Dell. It's not a brand unique problem. OEMs bundling trial versions of Office is a mistake but is unlikely to stop happening. At the very least Microsoft should make it easier to completely remove these versions. This problem for me persisted two uninstalls/reinstalls - the last of which was performed using Microsoft Office Removal Tool.
    Friday, November 1, 2019 5:56 PM
  • I've been fighting with this same issue and none of the above fixes worked. This did.

    Close all office programs.

    Start command prompt as administrator and run:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /dstatus

    If you see more than one license listed, one which says "LICENSE STATUS:  ---NOTIFICATIONS---", take note of the last five characters of the license key for that one.

    Again from an admin prompt:

    cscript "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS" /unpkey:xxxxx

    Now, don't know if it was needed but I rebooted after doing those steps. Started Office. No activation prompt. Tried on the other computers, same thing. No more problems.

    EDIT: Be sure to verify the path to your Office installations, in case it's "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\OSPP.VBS"


    thank you!!!!
    Monday, January 6, 2020 1:54 PM