Microsoft KB Archive/927921

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Frequently asked questions about the Office Activation Wizard and about reduced-functionality mode in 2007 Office programs

Article ID: 927921

Article Last Modified on 10/16/2007


  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007
  • Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007
  • Microsoft Office Standard 2007
  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
  • Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
  • Microsoft Office Basic 2007
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007


This article contains some of the most frequently asked questions about the Microsoft Office Activation Wizard.

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


Q 1: What is product activation?

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

Q2: Who must activate their copy of a 2007 Office 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 validates that the product key has not been used on more personal computers than are permitted by the Microsoft Software License Terms. The product key is required as part of the installation process. 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. Activation by telephone is performed through a Microsoft customer service representative. This process takes several minutes. If you choose 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 and your region.

Note 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 Activation Wizard in two ways:

  • The Office Activation Wizard appears when you start an Office program that has not been activated.
  • Click the Microsoft Office Button, click Program_Name Options, click Resources, and then click Activate.

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 is not unique. It does not 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. If you choose to register the product, the personal contact information that you provide will be securely stored by Microsoft. The information will be protected from disclosure to third parties without your consent.

The Office Activation Wizard can detect and tolerate changes to the configuration of your computer. Minor hardware upgrades do not require reactivation. However, 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. The product activation process is anonymous. No personally identifiable information is collected during product activation.

To view the Microsoft privacy policy, use one of the following methods, as appropriate for your situation.

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

  1. Start the 2007 Office program.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Application Options.
  3. Click Trust Center in the left pane, and then click one of the following:
    • Show the Microsoft Application privacy statement
    • Microsoft Office Online privacy statement

In all other 2007 Office programs

  1. Start the 2007 Office program.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Trust Center.
  3. Click Privacy Options in the left pane, and then click Read our privacy statement.

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, about service releases, and about special offers.

Q8: How do I know if my product has been activated?

A8: The Office Activation Wizard does not run if you 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.

Q9: Does the product stop working if I do not activate it?

A9: No. When the full functionality of the program and the number of program starts are exhausted, the product runs in reduced-functionality mode.

Q10: What is reduced-functionality mode?

A10: In reduced-functionality mode, programs function similarly to viewers. When a program runs in reduced-functionality mode, many commands are unavailable (dimmed). Therefore, you cannot access those functionalities. Some of the limitations of reduced-functionality mode include the following:

  • You cannot create new documents.
  • You can view existing documents. However, you cannot edit them.
  • You can print documents. However, you cannot save them.

No existing Office files are damaged. Additionally, you can easily stop Office from running in reduced-functionality mode. To do this, follow the instructions in the screens that appear.

Q11: How do I update information that pertains to product activation?

A11: To make sure that the information that you provide to Microsoft in the Office Activation Wizard is correct, you can contact Microsoft any time to review and update the information. In some Office products, you can use the Office Activation Wizard to update your information over the Internet or by telephone. If these options are unavailable to you, you can update or change any information that you provided. To do this, send your product ID and a description of the changes that you want made to the following address:

Attn: Microsoft Product Activation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399

Microsoft will update your information to reflect any changes that you want made. You must provide your product ID so that Microsoft can accurately identify your activation record.

Note To find the product ID, click About Program_Name on the Help menu in an Office program. Notice that in Access 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 2007, follow the following steps:

  1. Click Office Button, and then click the Program_Name Options button.
  2. Click the Resources option in the left panel, and then click the About button besides the about Microsoft Office Program_Name 2007 label.

Q12: Why do I receive notifications to activate my product?

A12: If you do not activate an Office product, you receive a reminder to activate your product every time that you start the program.

The reminder helps make sure that you are aware that license activation is required and that you can complete the product activation process before the program enters reduced-functionality mode.

Q13: Is there more than one type of product license?

A13: Yes, the following license types are available:

  • Perpetual
  • Subscription
  • Product Trial Program

Q14: What is a perpetual license?

A14: A perpetual license lets you use the 2007 Office programs as long as you own the product. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

828958 How to activate a license in Office programs

Q15: What is a subscription license?

A15: A subscription license lets you use the 2007 Office programs for a determined time.

Q16: What is a Product Trial Program license?

A16: A Product Trial Program license lets you use the 2007 Office product on a trial basis for one month.

Q17: How many times can I skip activation?

A17: For Product Trial Program license products, the Office programs run in reduced-functionality mode the first time that the programs start. For perpetual license products, you can skip product activation 25 times. If you do not activate the product in the allocated number of program starts, the 2007 Office programs start to run in reduced-functionality mode.

Q18: How many installations can be performed with one license agreement? Can I install the product on my portable computer and on my desktop computer? How many times can I reinstall the product and still be able to activate it?

A18: To obtain the answers to these questions and to other activation policy questions, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information about product activation and for more frequently asked questions about Microsoft product activation, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:

Additional query words: OFF2007 Office2007 Office 2007

Keywords: kbhowto kbexpertisebeginner KB927921