Office Activation FAQ



Which version of Office should I use?

In terms of functionality, all of them are exactly the same.  They only differ in terms of licensing and activation.

Duke-Owned Computers: volume-licensed standalone version – This version is not tied to users’ accounts and may be installed and activated on an unlimited number of computers for Duke purposes. The Windows version uses volume license activation, which activates with either a KMS license server (default, recommended) or a product key (MAK – used for offline or off-campus work computers).  The Mac version does not require activation.  

Personal Computers, Student Computers, Mobile Devices, and Working from Home: Office 365 – Through Office 365, all Duke faculty, staff, and students may install and activate Microsoft Office software on up to five computers and mobile devices simultaneously.  The Office 365 license is activated with your Duke netID.

Non-Duke use (Faculty/Staff): Home-use copy – Microsoft has designated a special license program for employees specifically for personal use called the Microsoft Home Use Program. Under this program, Duke faculty & staff may purchase one personal license of Office for $9.95.

 Each Duke faculty or staff member is limited to one purchase of each product.

Graduating Students: Student graduation copy – Students should use Office 365 until shortly before graduation.  Upon leaving Duke, netID-activated software will cease to function, and it will be necessary to purchase a license to continue using it. Students are entitled to a free, perpetual graduation license of Microsoft Office which will allow the installation of Office on one Mac or PC. This license will work perpetually on one computer after a student graduates. Since the student option only allows one installation of one version of Microsoft Office ever. It is recommended that students use Office applications through Office 365 while at Duke (can be used on up to 5 devices) and then access the student option prior to graduating.  

It is recommended that students only access the graduation copy during their final semester since only one download and installation is permitted.  Additionally, the website is netID protected, so you will lose access to be able to get the graduation copy once you graduate.

Should I use the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of Office for Windows?

If users in your organization depend on existing extensions to Office, such as ActiveX controls, third-party add-ins, in-house solutions built on previous versions of Office, or 32-bit versions of programs that interface directly with Office, we recommend that you install 32-bit Office (the default installation) on computers that are running both 32-bit and 64-bit supported Windows operating systems.

If some users in your organization are Excel expert users who work with Excel spreadsheets that are larger than 2 gigabytes (GB), they can install the 64-bit edition of Office. In addition, if you have in-house solution developers, we recommend that those developers have access to the 64-bit edition of Office so that they can test and update your in-house solutions on the 64-bit edition of Office.

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How do I download and activate Microsoft Office through Office 365?

This software may be used online and accessed via mail.duke.edu (upper left-hand corner).

To download and use as standalone applications, see the following KB article: https://knowledge.oit.duke.edu/?p=749

The software is activated with your Duke netID, and you will need to sign in periodically.  If the sign-in screen doesn’t automatically recognize that you are using your Duke account, you’ll need to indicate that you are using a Work/school account.

Office 365 Education for Faculty, Staff, and Students is an Office 365 plan that is available for free to Duke faculty, staff, and students who attend or work at academic institutions that have purchased Office for faculty and staff. This plan allows Duke students and employees to install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access on up to 5 PCs or Macs and Office apps on other mobile devices including Windows tablets and iPads. The plan also includes 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage, managed by the school, and employees and students can edit and collaborate using Office Online, Yammer, and SharePoint sites.

Students can use the plan until they graduate or are no longer enrolled at a qualified school, and faculty/staff may use the plan until they leave Duke. Duke affiliation may be re-verified at any time by Microsoft. At expiration, the Office applications enter a reduced-functionality mode, which means documents can be viewed but it isn’t possible to edit or create new documents. In addition, online services associated with the school email address, for example Office Online and OneDrive for Business, will no longer work. For this reason, prior to graduation, students should download a graduation copy of Microsoft Office, which will allow them to continue to use Microsoft Office on a single Mac or PC at no cost. The graduation license is perpetual and does not expire.

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How do I activate the volume-licensed versions of Office for Windows?

KMS Activation:

KMS is the default method of activation for all Duke users, and should be used whenever possible and/or applicable.  When installing Office while on a Duke network physically or via VPN (instructions are in the below section), activation should occur automatically during installation with no additional steps.  If activation does not occur automatically, see below sections on activating manually via the KMS.

How KMS activation works:

  • Once an installation of Office has completed, it will automatically search for the KMS server. Machines with DNS win.duke.edu, oit.duke.edu, and duke.edu should work with auto discovery. Other departments with third level DNS such as .duke.edu may need to add the entry for these users to be able to use auto discovery. 
  • You can verify automatic activation by opening any Office application other than Outlook (Word, Excel, etc.) and going to File -> Help and then looking on the right column.  If the product is activated, it will say “Product Activated.”  Otherwise, you will need to take additional steps. 
  • The Microsoft Key Management Server activates a client for a period of 180 days. Once an instance of Office is activated, it will attempt to communicate with the same KMS every 7 days to renew it’s activation; resetting its license counter back to 180 days. If the machine is unable to connect to the KMS, it will keep trying to do so silently every 2 hours until it is successful.If the machine hasn’t been able to reestablish communication to the KMS after 180 days, Office will become unlicensed and go into a 30 day grace period, notifying the user of this change. 
  • If Office is not activated against the KMS after the 30 day grace period, it will enter a reduced functionality mode until it is able to connect to it’s KMS or is changed to a MAK license key and activated.
MAK Activation:

If you cannot easily communicate with the KMS, you may use or switch to the Multiple Activation Key (MAK) license. MAK activates systems on a one-time basis, using Microsoft’s hosted activation services. The MAK-based license is best suited for machines that are not regularly connected to a Duke network (locally or with VPN), such as Duke-owned laptops primarily used off-site.

While not highly restricted, we ask that if you connect to any Duke network on a regular basis that you use the KMS method of activation. If you are having difficulty activating via KMS, please try to troubleshoot the error before resorting to the MAK.  We have a limited number of MAK activations available.  You may request a special MAK by e-mailing site@duke.edu.  Requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by OIT.

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How do I connect to VPN to activate Office when not on the Duke network?

The OIT Service Desk has prepared detailed instructions on using VPN (virtual private network) and they can be found here:

VPN Instructions & Overview

Once you are connected to VPN, either install Office if you haven’t done so to activate automatically during installation, or follow the manual activation instructions below.

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How can I verify that my copy of Office is activated?

You can verify automatic activation by opening any Office application other than Outlook (Word, Excel, etc.) and going to File -> Help (Office 2010) or File -> Account (Office 2013) and then looking on the right column.  If the product is activated, it will say “Product Activated.”  Otherwise, you will need to take additional steps to activate manually.

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How can I activate the volume-licensed version of Office 2016 manually? (when automatic activation does not work)

You must be on a Duke network either physically, or via VPN, and you must have administrative rights on your computer.

Windows 8/10, 32-bit | Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office

Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office

  1. Run command-prompt as an administrator by typing Windows Key + X and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).  You can also go the far right of the screen, select search, and then type CMD and search or select command prompt under Windows System. Right-click on command prompt, and then select Run as Administrator.
  2. Select Yes to allow the following program to make changes to your computer.
  3. If you installed Office on your C drive in the default directory, type
    • For Windows 8/10, 32-bit & Windows 8, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office: cd c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office16
    OR 
    • For Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office: cd c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16
    • Press Enter, then type:
    • cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kms-srv-01.oit.duke.edu 
    • Press Enter.  It should say “Successfully applied setting.”
    • Type cscript ospp.vbs /act 
    • Press Enter.  It should say <Product activation successful> after a few lines of text.
    • Exit Microsoft Office and Reopen it

Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 32-bit  |  Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office

Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office

  1. Go to start -> All Programs -> Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator
  2. Select Yes to allow the following program to make changes to your computer.
  3. If you installed Office on your C drive in the default directory, type
    • For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 32-bit & Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office: cd c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office16
    OR
    • For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office: cd c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16
    • Press Enter, then type:
    • cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kms-srv-01.oit.duke.edu 
    • Press Enter.  It should say “Successfully applied setting.”
    • Type cscript ospp.vbs /act 
    • Press Enter.  It should say <Product activation successful> after a few lines of text.
    • Exit Microsoft Office and Reopen it

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How can I activate the volume-licensed version of Office 2013 manually? (when automatic activation does not work)

You must be on a Duke network either physically, or via VPN, and you must have administrative rights on your computer.

Windows 8/10, 32-bit | Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office

Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office

  1. Run command-prompt as an administrator by typing Windows Key + X and selecting Command Prompt (Admin).  You can also go the far right of the screen, select search, and then type CMD and search or select command prompt under Windows System. Right-click on command prompt, and then select Run as Administrator.
  2. Select Yes to allow the following program to make changes to your computer.
  3. If you installed Office on your C drive in the default directory, type
    • For Windows 8/10, 32-bit & Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office: cd c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office15
    OR 
    • For Windows 8/10, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office: cd c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
    • Press Enter, then type:
    • cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kms-srv-01.oit.duke.edu 
    • Press Enter.  It should say “Successfully applied setting.”
    • Type cscript ospp.vbs /act 
    • Press Enter.  It should say <Product activation successful> after a few lines of text.
    • Exit Microsoft Office and Reopen it

Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 32-bit  |  Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office

Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office

  1. Go to start -> All Programs -> Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator
  2. Select Yes to allow the following program to make changes to your computer.
  3. If you installed Office on your C drive in the default directory, type
    • For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 32-bit & Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 64-bit Office: cd c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office15
    OR
    • For Windows 7 or Windows Vista, 64-bit OS w/ 32-bit Office: cd c:\program files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
    • Press Enter, then type:
    • cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kms-srv-01.oit.duke.edu 
    • Press Enter.  It should say “Successfully applied setting.”
    • Type cscript ospp.vbs /act 
    • Press Enter.  It should say <Product activation successful> after a few lines of text.
    • Exit Microsoft Office and Reopen it

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How do I activate Office for Mac?

The volume-licensed version of Office for Mac does not require activation.  There’s no need to worry about getting a key or connecting to a license server.

Office for Mac obtained through Office 365 uses netID authentication for activation, and there is no product key available.

The home use version of Office for Mac uses a product key that is included with your purchase.

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Troubleshooting specific errors when activating manually with the KMS.

Error 0xC004F039

This error may occur if you are attempting to activate using the manual KMS instructions above, and you are not connected to a Duke network either locally or with the VPN client. Please make sure you are connected to a Duke network and try again.

Error 0xC004F06C or Error 0xC004F074

This issue may occur if the system time on the client computer differs from the system time on the KMS host.

Workaround

To work around this issue, change the date and time to the current date and time.  We recommend that you use a Network Time Protocol (NTP) time source or the Active Directory directory service to synchronize the time between computers. Time is coordinated between the KMS host and the client computer in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Error 0x80070005

This error occurs most commonly when the command prompt is not launched as an administrator.  You can do this by selecting Start – All Programs – Accessories – then right clicking Command Prompt and selecting ‘Run as administrator’.  This error also may occur if you do not have the proper privileges on the computer or your network to activate the software. 

These errors can also indicate a permissions error in the registry.  Please visit http://blogs.technet.com/b/odsupport/archive/2010/06/10/when-activating-office-2010-you-receive-the-error-code-0x80070005.aspx for methods to correct this error.  These methods can be very technical, and if you do not feel comfortable performing these operations on your computer, please contact your IT department.

If none of the methods above work for you or are applicable, the following method may work for you: http://blog.giavinhpham.com/computer-tips/cannot-activate-office-2010-error-0x80070005-in-xp/

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If you can’t find the answer to your question below, please contact the OIT Service Desk at (919) 684-2200.