How to reset the office product key

Written by ashli norton
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How to reset the office product key
Resetting your Microsoft Office registration key requires a few modifications to your registry files. (reset image by Dozet from Fotolia.com)

After using Microsoft Office for a period of time with a trial registration key, you may find it necessary to upgrade your copy of Office and reset its product key, also known as the Microsoft Office Serial Number or Microsoft Office CD key. Resetting the product registration key to your copy of Microsoft Office involves un-installing and reinstalling the Microsoft Office software and a few modifications to Windows registry files.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Windows (version XP and up)
  • Microsoft Office (version XP, 2003, 2007)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Close any running Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Access.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Start" button at the bottom-left corner of your computer screen.

  3. 3

    Click "Run".

  4. 4

    Type "regedit" (without quotes) in the field next to "Run," which opens your Registry Editor.

  5. 5

    Identify and select the following "subkey," depending on your version of Windows and of Office.

    32-bit versions:

    2007 Office system

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Registration

    Office 2003

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Registration

    Office XP

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Registration

    64-bit versions:

    2007 Office system

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Registration

    Office 2003

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Registration

    Office XP

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Office\10.0\Registration

  6. 6

    Right-click the 'Registration subkey' to export your registry options.

  7. 7

    Select "Export".

  8. 8

    Choose a location on your computer to save the registration entries you have just backed up.

  9. 9

    Enter a name for the file you want to export in the "File name" box.

  10. 10

    Press "Save."

  11. 11

    Select the Globally Unique Identifiers (GUID) under the Registration subkey that is specific to the Microsoft program installed on your computer.

  12. 12

    Select your Microsoft Office version from the pane located on the right side of the screen.

  13. 13

    Right-click on the 'DigitalProductID' registry entry.

  14. 14

    Click on "Delete".

  15. 15

    Select "Yes" when prompted to confirm.

  16. 16

    Right-click on the "ProductID" registry entry.

  17. 17

    Click on "Delete."

  18. 18

    Select "Yes" when prompted to confirm.

  19. 19

    Close "Registry Editor" by clicking the "X" located in the corner of the window.

  20. 20

    Open any Microsoft Office program, such as Microsoft Word.

  21. 21

    Enter your new Microsoft Office Product Key in the window when prompted.

  22. 22

    Click on the "OK" button.

Tips and warnings

  • Double-click on the backup registry ".reg" file created as your backup to restore the registry settings of the registration subkey. This will allow the original value to be imported back to the registry, safeguarding you from any mistakes made during your changes.
  • Make sure you follow the installation steps carefully, as improper registry changes may cause serious computer issues.
  • Back up your registry file before you make any changes to prevent damage to your system.

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