Symptoms

Microsoft Office keeps asking to activate a Office 2016 license, even when you have a valid Microsoft 365 license. This problem occurs in some situations where you already have purchased an older version of Microsoft.


Remedy

De-activate the license

  1. Click on start.
  2. Enter CMD
  3. Right-click and run as Administrator.
  4. Enter and run
    cscript.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16\"ospp.vbs /act
  5. Enter and run
    cscript.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Office\Office16\"ospp.vbs /inpkey:THE_KEY
    Replace THE_KEY with the key shown in step 4.


Uninstall all accounts from Windows

Windows links your account to your Microsoft account. This may influence the license on your computer. We cannot confirm if this step is required, however, we have taken this step while debugging. Please make sure that you have a backup.

  1. Click on Start
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Accounts
  4. Click on Access work or school
  5. Log out of all the shown accounts.
  6. Click on Email & Accounts
  7. Log out of all the shown accounts.
  8. Reboot the computer.


Install Microsoft 365

Proceed with installing Microsoft 365 like normal. In our case, the correct license was activated.