How to Move Microsoft Office from One Desktop Computer to Another

How to Move Microsoft Office from One Desktop Computer to Another

Switch Your Programs Between Two Windows or Mac Desktops

You should be able to move a desktop installation of Microsoft Office as many times as you like, but most users do not do so often because it is a bit of a process.

These steps help you remove Office from a Windows or Mac computer for use on a different desktop computer.

Note: As you likely know, different devices use different versions of Office. You therefore cannot move a desktop Windows installation to your Mac, for example.

1.  Install Office on the Second Computer

Install Office on the new computer the same way you did on the first one. 

Tip: If you have purchased a suite in the past year or two you likely have multiple though limited installations available to you, as part of what you purchased. This means you can use Office on that many computers simultaneously without moving installations.

Installation methods vary depending on how you purchased Office. If you need help with understanding your Office version and license, check out step 2 of this resource: How to Fix a Microsoft Office Activation or Installation Error.

2.  Open an Office Program

Microsoft keeps good track of how many times you have installed Office using your purchased activation key. But you should still be able to open an Office program.

You just won’t be able to use it until the switch between your two computers is official and finalized through Microsoft.

When you open Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another program, it will likely say you still need to activate the product.

3.  Start the Activation Wizard

Launch the Activation Wizard  as prompted. If you are not prompted you may need to find this wizard one of these other ways:

Try selecting FileAccountActivate Product.

Select the Microsoft Office Button in the upper left, then select Program Name Options – Resources – Activate.

Select Help – Activate Product.

On your Windows computer, select Start – Programs – Microsoft Office Tools – Activate Product.

Once you launch the Activation Wizard, you should see a Product Activation phone number you can call. This is how you will go about switching your installation to this new computer. 

Problems finding this on a Mac? You may need to refer to the Office for Mac 2011 community.

4.  Call the Product Activation Center Phone Number

To transfer your Office activation to a different computer, you need to make a phone call.

In the Activation Wizard, click I want to activate the software by telephoneNext – Select your country or region.

This should generate a Product Activation Center phone number, which you will call to authorize the switch.

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