Microsoft Office is an incredibly popular suite of productivity applications designed to enable a wide range of aspects of traditional office work. When you get a new computer, you obviously need to reinstall all of your software, but when it comes to reinstalling Microsoft Office you can save yourself the cost of buying a new licence, by instead transferring your licence from your old computer.
Tip: Transferring your Microsoft Office licence from your old computer will generally require you to deactivate your old installation of Office. This is fine for most users that are planning to simply switch to their new computer, but this may not be suitable if you were also planning to keep using your old computer as well. Some, but not all, Office licences allow you to have multiple concurrently activated installations.
Deactivating Office on your old computer
There are two ways to deactivate an installation of Office, one requires you to have access to the old device, the other doesn’t. If you have access to your old device, you need to first open a Microsoft Office application, then click on “File” in the top-left corner of the window. Next, click on the “Account” tab in the bottom-left corner. In the “Account” tab, click “Sign-out” under “User information” to deactivate the installation of Office.
If you don’t have access to your old device anymore in order to deactivate your old licence, you can still do so via Microsoft’s website. To do so, you first need to sign-in to your Microsoft account here. Next, click on the “Services & subscriptions” tab at the top of the page. Locate your Office subscription, then click “Installs” to see your currently installed and activated licences.
Partway down the “Installs” page is a section titled “Signed in devices”, this is a list of all the devices with an active office licence. Locate the device you want to deactivate, then click the relevant “Sign out” button. This will free up that licence for use on another device.
Activating Office on a new computer
Activating Office is simple, at the end of the installation process, you’ll be asked to log into your Microsoft account. Once you’re signed in, your copy of office will be automatically activated if you have an available licence associated with your account. If you didn’t have an available licence when you installed Office, an alert will show at the top of the Office apps, click “Activate” and then sign-in with your Microsoft account to activate your Office installation.