Several Outlook users are reporting that they see the‘Unlicensed Product’error at every startup despite paying a monthly, quarterly or yearly subscription to Office 365 and Office 2016. The issue is not OS exclusive as it’s reported on Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
Since you might be dealing with a common network inconsistency, the best way to get started when troubleshooting for the‘Unlicensed Product’is to run the Activation troubleshooter compatible with Office 365 and Office 2016.
If no viable fix gets recommended, you should do some adjustments and manually remove every element involvingoffice activationvia CMD, Registry Editor, and Credentials Manager and see if that fixes the issue for you.
In case it doesn’t, it’s very likely that you’re dealing with some kind of local corruption issue. If this scenario is applicable, you should attempt to fix your Office installation using the Online Repair procedure.
Method 1: Running the Activation troubleshooter
As it turns out, if the issue is being caused by a fairly common activation glitch, you should be able to fix the issue automatically by running the Windows Activation troubleshooter on the Office suite that is triggering the‘Unlicensed Product’error.
This built-in utility holds a series of generic troubleshooting steps that can be applied automatically in case a familiar scenario is discovered. A lot of users have confirmed that this operation was successful and the instructions below allowed them to fix the problem swiftly.
Here is a step by step guide on running theactivation troubleshooteron the affected Office suite in order to resolve the‘Unlicensed Product’error:
- Visit this link (here) from your default browser in order to download the latest version of the Activation Troubleshooter. This utility will work for Office 365, Office 2019 and Office 2016.
- Once the operation is complete, open the .diagcab file that you just downloaded and click on theAdvancedhyperlink.
- Next, ensure that the box associated withApply repair automaticallyis checked, then clickNextto advanced to the next menu.
- Wait until the utility detects any issues that you’re having with your Office licenses. In case a viable repair scenario was identified, click onApply thisfix and wait for the fix to be applied.
Note:Depending on the nature of the problem, you might need to do some steps manually in order to apply the recommended fix.
- Once the operation is complete, restart your computer and wait for the next startup to complete.
In case the same problem is persisting, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 2: Resetting Office Activation
As it turns out, this‘Unlicensed Product’error is quite common for users that frequently switch devices that use a single license subscription or for companies that frequently add or changeOffice 365 tenants. This problem can also be facilitated by the fact that some organizations decide to roam credentials to simply sign in.
If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by clearing 4 different locations in order to reset the activation and install Office again in a clean state.
The procedure below involves checking the license status through the use of an ‘ospp.vbs:‘ script and then uninstalling the keys corresponding to previous Office programs that might interfere with the validation procedure.
To reset the entire Office activation, follow the instructions below:
- Ensure that Outlook, Word, Excel and every other program belonging to theOfficesuite is completely closed and no associated background process is running.
- PressWindows key + Rto open up aRundialog box. Inside theRuntext box, type‘cmd’and pressCtrl + Shift + Enterto open up an elevated Command Prompt window.
Note:When prompted by theUAC (User Account Control), clickYesto grant admin access.
- Inside the elevated CMD window, type the following command and pressEnterto view theOffice 365license that’s currently being used:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft office\office15>cscript ospp.vbs /dstatus
Note:From the outputted license key that is used, make note of the last 5 characters of the installed product key since you’ll need at the next step
- Next, type the following command and pressEnterto uninstall the Office Product key:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft office\office15>cscript ospp.vbs /unpkey:“Last 5 of installed product key”
Note:Keep in mind that the “Last 5 of installed product key” is simply a placeholder. You will need to replace that part with the last 4 characters of the installed product key (fetched at step 3).
- After running the command key above, you will see a message with the ‘Product Key uninstall successful‘ message. If you see this message, take it as confirmation that the operation was successful and close the elevated CMD prompt.
- Open up anotherRundialog by pressingWindows key + Ragain. Next, type‘regedit’and pressEnterto open up theRegistry Editorutility.
- Inside theRegistry Editor, navigate to the following location and by using the menu on the right or by pasting the location directly into the navigation bar and pressingEnterto get there instantly:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0 or 16.0\Common\Identity\Identities
- with the Identity key selected, right-click every subfolder and click onDeleteto remove it.
- Once everyIdentitykey is deleted, you can safely close the Registry Editor.
- Next, pressWindows key + Rto open up another Run command. Inside the text box, type ‘control.exe /name Microsoft.CredentialManager‘ and pressEnterto open up theCredential Manager.
- Once you’re inside theCredential Manager, selectWindows CredentialsunderManage your Credentials.
- Next, scroll down through the list ofGeneric Credentialsand locate any entry credentials corresponding to Office15 and office 16. As soon as you spot them, click once to expand on them, then click onRemoveto get rid of them.
- Once every credential has been removed from the vault, reboot your computer and activate your Office license from scratch once the next startup sequence is complete.
In case the same issue is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.
Method 3: Repairing the Office Installation
If the method above didn’t help you to fix the issue. you’re likely encountering the‘Unlicensed Product’error due to some type of local corruption originating in the Office installation folder. In most cases, this problem will start occurring after an unexpected machine interruption or after an Antivirus scan ended up quarantining some items belonging to the Office installation.
In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by repairing the Office installation in order to resolve any type of corruption that might be responsible for the‘Unlicensed Product’error.
Follow the instructions below for step by step instructions on repairing the Office installation:
- PressWindows key + Rto open up aRundialog box. Next, type‘appwiz.cpl’inside the text box and pressEnterto open up thePrograms and Featuresmenu.
- Inside the Programs and Features menu, scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the Office installation that you’re having issues with. Once you see it, right-click on the listing associated with Office and chooseChangefrom the newly appeared context menu.
- Inside the repair window, click on theOnline Repairoption from the list of available options and wait for the operation to complete. Keep in mind that you need a stable Internet connection in order to go for this repair strategy.
- After the operation is complete, reboot your machine and see if the‘Unlicensed Product’error is fixed once the next startup is complete.
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By Kevin ArrowsNovember 14, 2021
5 minutes read
Kevin is acertifiedNetwork Engineer
you must either completely uninstall the office program and reinstall it, or you must modify the product key. It is crucial to have Microsoft Office activated before using it on your computer. You won't be able to use any of Microsoft Office's applications if you don't activate it.How to activate unlicensed Microsoft Office 365 for free? ›
- Open one of the Office apps like Word, Excel, etc. on your PC.
- In the pop-up Welcome window, click the Sign in button to enter your Microsoft account credentials to sign in to Office.
- Click File -> Account.
- Click Activate Product.
- Click Use a different account option.
- Method 1: Verify that the affected user is assigned an Office Professional Plus license on the Microsoft Online Portal.
- Method 2: Reactivate Office by using your Microsoft 365 organization ID.
- Method 3: Verify the system clock settings.
- Method 4: Uninstall and reinstall Office 2010.
you must either completely uninstall the office program and reinstall it, or you must modify the product key. It is crucial to have Microsoft Office activated before using it on your computer. You won't be able to use any of Microsoft Office's applications if you don't activate it.What does unlicensed Microsoft mean? ›
office 2019microsoft certified partnerproduct keynot openingupdate officeIf your Office apps are not opening and showing "Unlicensed Product" or "Non-commercial use/ Unlicensed Product" in the title bar, it means your Office products have been disabled.How do I fix unlicensed product in Office 365? ›
Reinstall Office 365 or Office 2016/19 From any of the office products click on the left arrow in the top left of the product, then click on “Office Account” Click on “Manage Account” to login to your Office 365 or Office 2016/19 account Once signed in, navigate to “software” Then click on “Install“.How to use Office 365 without license? ›
- Go to Microsoft365.com.
- Click Sign up for the free version of Office under the "Sign in" button.
- Log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free. ...
- Select the app you want to use and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.