Office 365 Client Licensing and Activation Improvements
Published Jul 22 2019 10:30 AM 34.3K Views

Edit: July 30, Availability dates updated to reflect schedule.


Over the years, we’ve heard feedback from customers and IT Admins about the difficulty in managing Office activation for subscription-based Office clients, such as Office 365 ProPlus. We’re excited to announce upcoming changes to Office that will help simplify activation management and streamline the Office activation experience for users.


In August, we’ll start slowly rolling out these changes to commercial customers on Monthly Channel. The roll-out will continue to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) in January 2020.


For your users, here’s what stays the same:


  • Sign in to activate Office: Users will continue to sign in to activate Office on their devices. When single sign-on is enabled, Office detects the user’s credentials and activates Office automatically.
  • Sign-in limits: Users can sign in to activate Office on five desktops, five tablets, and five mobile devices.


Here are the changes that your users may notice:


  • No more prompts to deactivate: Users can install Office on a new device without being prompted to deactivate Office on another device.
  • Automatic sign out: When a user reaches the sign-in limit, instead of being prompted to deactivate, the user will be automatically signed out of Office on the device where Office has been least recently used. The next time the user starts Office on that device, the user will be prompted to sign in to activate Office.


Here are the changes that you as an admin may notice when managing devices where Office is installed:

  • Improved device reallocation: Previously, users who received reallocated devices could receive an error if the previous user deactivated the device from the portal or if you removed the Office 365 license from the previous user. Going forward, users will not receive the error because the activation and deactivation is user specific.
  • Improved activation reporting: Previously, when one user activated Office on a device and a second user later signed on to that device, the second activation was not displayed in the Admin Center’s Activation Reports. Going forward, both activations will be identified and displayed in the Activation Report.


Keep an eye out for these improvements as we start to slowly roll them out for our commercial customers. No additional action is required on your part.

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Last update:
‎Feb 10 2023 12:28 PM
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