How do I Activate my Office 2010? Microsoft Office Activation Wizard

How do I Activate my Office 2010? Microsoft Office Activation Wizard

This article contains some of the most frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Office Activation Wizard. This article only pertains to Retail versions of Office 2010 suite or program.


Activation is now required for Office 2010 Volume License suites and programs.

Microsoft Office 2010 and the Microsoft 2007 Office system include an Activation Wizard. To fully use a retail version of an Office 2010 suite or program or a 2007 Office system suite or program, you must activate it. If you don’t activate the product after you install it, the Office 2010 programs and the 2007 Office system programs can be started only in reduced-functionality mode. In reduced-functionality mode, Office 2010 programs and 2007 Office system programs function more like viewers. In other words, you can’t save changes to documents or create new documents. Additional functionality may be reduced. No existing Office 2010 files or 2007 Office system files are damaged when a product runs in reduced-functionality mode.

More Information

Q1: What’s product activation?

A1: Microsoft asks that you activate your product to make sure that your installation is performed with a genuine Microsoft product. Product activation is an anti-piracy technology that is designed to make sure that the product is legitimately licensed. When you activate a product, no personal information is sent to Microsoft.

Q2: Who must activate their retail copy of an Office 2010 suite or program?

A2: Product activation is required for all licenses that are purchased through retail distribution. If you purchased a new computer from a computer manufacturer, you may have to activate the Microsoft software that is installed on the computer. However, some computer manufacturers may activate the Microsoft software in the factory.

Q3: How does product activation work?

A3: Product activation checks that the product key hasn’t been used on more personal computers than are permitted by the Microsoft Software License Terms. You can activate your product either over the Internet or by telephone. If you activate a product by telephone, you provide an installation ID code. In return, you receive a confirmation ID number. A Microsoft customer service representative activates the product by telephone. This process takes several minutes. If you want to activate your product over the Internet, the process is performed automatically. The only information that you must provide is the name of your country/region.


If you are activating the Product Trial Program version, you can activate the product only over the Internet.

Q4: How do I activate my product?

A4: You can access the Office 2010 Activation Wizard in two ways:

  • The Office 2010 Activation Wizard appears when you start an Office program that hasn’t been activated.
  • On the File menu, click Help, and look for the section under the Microsoft Office logo. If “Product is not activated” text appears, click Change.

You can access the 2007 Office system Activation Wizard in two ways:

  • The 2007 Office system Activation Wizard appears when you start an Office program that hasn’t been activated.
  • Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Program_Name Options, click Resources, and then click Activate.

Screenshot to select Word Options in the Office 2007 dialog box.

Screenshot to select the Active option after selecting Resource.

Q5: What happens during product activation?

A5: During product activation, the Office Activation Wizard creates a hardware identification that represents the configuration of your computer at the time of activation. This hardware identification isn’t unique. It doesn’t include any personal information, any information about software or data that may reside on your computer, or any information about the specific make or model of your computer. The hardware identification identifies only the computer. Additionally, the computer identification is used only for activation.

During product activation, you may also provide your personal contact information if you want to register the product with Microsoft.

The Office Activation Wizard can detect and tolerate changes to the configuration of your computer. Minor hardware upgrades don’t require reactivation, but if you make major changes to the computer over time, you may have to reactivate the product.

Q6: How does product activation protect customer privacy?

A6: Microsoft highly values respecting and protecting customers’ private information. If you don’t register the product, none of the information that is collected during product activation will be used to personally identify you.

To view the Microsoft privacy policy, use one of the following methods.

Office 2010 programs

  1. Start the Office 2010 program.
  2. On the File menu, click Help.

    Screenshot to select Options under the Tools for Working with Office heading.

  3. Under the Tools for Working with Office heading, click Options.
  4. In the navigation pane, click Trust Center.

    Screenshot to select Trust Center in the navigation pane of Word Options.

  5. Click the “Show the Microsoft program privacy statement” link.

In Access 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 2007

  1. Start the 2007 Office system program.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Program_Name Options.

    Screenshot to select Word Options in Office 2007.

  3. Click Trust Center in the navigation pane, and then click one of the following:
    • Show the Microsoft Application privacy statement
    • Microsoft Office Online privacy statement

    Screenshot of the Trust Center settings in Office 2007.

All other 2007 Office system programs

  1. Start the 2007 Office system program.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Trust Center.

    Screenshot to select Trust Center on the Tools menu.

  3. Click Privacy Options in the navigation pane, and then click Read our privacy statement.

    Screenshot to select Privacy Options in the navigation pane of the Trust Center.

Q7: Is product activation the same as registration?

A7: No. Product activation differs from product registration. You can voluntarily register your product by providing your name and contact information during product activation. Register the product if you want to receive future communications about product updates, service releases, and special offers.

Q8: How do I know whether my product is activated?

A8: The Office Activation Wizard doesn’t run if you already activated your product. If the product was already activated, you receive the following message when you run the Office Activation Wizard: The product has already been activated.

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