How to Deactivate MS Office

By Patrick Warren

Microsoft Office has a feature that requires activation within a certain number of uses or Microsoft Office will stop being fully functional. The software can be activated online or over the phone. While the activation process is simple, Microsoft does not have an easy way to deactivate an installation of Office. This can cause problems when the software needs to be unlicensed on one computer and moved to another. The automatic online activation process may fail because the system believes the software is still installed and licensed on the original computer.

Step 1

Log on to the computer as an administrator.

Step 2

Click on the Windows "Start" button and select "Control Panel." This may be directly in the "Start" menu or may be in the "Settings" sub menu, depending on your version of Windows.

Step 3

Double-click "Programs and Features" if you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Double-click "Add or Remove Programs" if you are running Windows XP or earlier versions of Windows.

Step 4

Highlight "Microsoft Office" in the list of available programs and click "Remove" or "Uninstall." The Microsoft Office name will vary depending on the version of Office installed on the computer.

Step 5

Click "Yes" when asked if you want to begin the uninstall process. This process can take several minutes due to the size of the Office installation.

Step 6

Restart the computer when prompted. This will complete the uninstall process and the deactivation of Office.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft is not notified when you deactivate a copy of Microsoft Office. This can cause problems if you are trying to activate online a new installation of the software. If an error is received, go through the activation process and select "Activate by phone" and follow the steps provided. This process will ask for the number of installed copies of this instance of Office. This will allow the new installation to be activated if the number is equal to or lower than the number of installed copies allowed by the license.