Ask Paul: How Can I Deactivate Office 2013?

Posted on May 17, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Office with 0 Comments

Ask Paul: How Can I Deactivate Office 2013?

Customers who upgrade to a new PC may understandably want to move their copy of Microsoft Office to the new PC as well. Is this possible? And if so, how do you do it?

Jason R. asks:

I purchased Office 2013 … I recently built a PC, and I would like to deactivate my previous install so I can install Office on my desktop. How exactly am I supposed to do this?


So, there’s no formal way to deactivate Office 2013. But you can in fact uninstall the software and then use it on a different PC, according to Microsoft.

I’d imagine that you will need to do a phone-based activation, but it’s possible that it will simply work with your existing product key automatically. Before uninstalling, be sure you do have that product key. If you don’t, you can use a third party application to find it in the registry.


I’m curious if the policy has changed (again) since Office 2013, especially given Microsoft’s preference that users move to Office 365. And sure enough, Office 365 is generally a better deal, especially for those who wish/need to install Office on multiple devices. With Office 365 Personal or Home, for example, this notion of “deactivation” is simply performed using a web console, and without restrictions or limitations.

But we’re in a transition period now, and I’m sure there are millions of people out there who paid for whatever version of Office and wish to keep using it as they move to new PCs. And I can’t see any reason why they can’t. It’s just a matter of figuring out the Microsoft-approved method(s) for doing so.


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