Office 365 "The fine print" popup message - is it legitimate?

Occasional Visitor



I have been happily using Office 365 (mostly Word) for many years, and I have never had any problems with any of the products. This morning when I loaded Word I was confronted by a pop-up message called "The fine print" asking me to accept terms of use in order to continue. I have been using Word for several years on this computer and I have never seen anything like this, I just want to confirm that this pop-up message is in fact legitimate and not some form of spyware or adware impersonating Microsoft.


Any assistance would be greatly appreciated,



Here is a screenshot of the pop-up:MSWord-TheFinePrintv2.png

122 Replies
Hi Glenn

I haven't seen that particular prompt before (I am a corporate user of O365) however Microsoft do prompt when important updates are made to Office 365 so this appears on the surface as normal to me.

Have you recently upgraded your office product from an older version like Office 2010 to Office 365?

It's also possible that the auto update has downloaded a new feature update which is where the prompt may be coming from.

Best of luck!


I received the same message when I tried to open excel this morning.  I've had it on my computer for a year and now, out of the blue, this message pops up and prevents me from using excel until I check the terms of use box.

What is up with this Microsoft?  

On a remote session with a client that has Office 365 Business Premium, staring at this window.  First report we've received. Concerned it was a virus now it seems this might be yet another Microsoft Flop by Design??? WTH? They just don't get life in a real world.

I saw this message earlier today after updating to Version 1807 (Build 10325.20082 Click-to-Run) Monthly Channel. Prior to this version/build have never seen this message before after updating Office 365 ProPlus.

The user is concerned that the pop-up may be malware, and you're claiming to be from the Microsoft Help Center, but you're directing the user to a supposed site???  If I was a user concerned about malware, I would not click on the link you provided.  I would want to see a verified / verifiable Microsoft domain name in the link.

Right? Hopefully no one reading this becomes a victim of that scam! 

@Allen @Anna Chu @Dylan Snodgrass @Eric Starker


Sorry for the wide net I've cast, but wasn't sure who could help with actioning the concerning post above by coolingseoblack15 (very suspicious)!


Thanks for keeping us safe.







Thanks Damien for flagging - you can always count on us being responsive to posts like this. To best do this, hover over the 'down arrow' (˅) icon in the top right hand of the suspicious message, and you can flag the content as inappropriate or spam. Our team will be right on it!

Thanks for your super speedy response, @Anna Chu!


I've completely forgotten about that option as I have never had to report anyone before now (most folks are great on MTC as you know).


Hopefully it gets actioned ASAP before someone falls for the scam!




Customer of mine gets same message EVERY time he starts an office application.. even after clicking accept.. it keeps returning .. any news ? 


We have Office 2016, since we're just not interested in participating in the "aas" business model, and also got this pop-up this morning.  Not knowing what it was, one of the doctors in our practice didn't want to agree and just X'ed out of it.  Word then just shut down.  


What kind of corporate practice is this to deny us the use of a program that we purchased?

Looks like they jumped on the scammer - but how about the original problem?  If you don't click on the accept, you cannot use the software - that goes for the entire office suite.  Out of the blue, this thing comes up and Microsoft holds us hostage - we are customers that paid for their product and agreed to terms of service then.  

It is frustrating that the giant (and profitable) tech companies outsource the problems they create to user groups like this and expect them to solve them.  And - we can't go elsewhere, we are held captive.  If I could, I would.  I use these products because I have to, not because I want to.  

C'mon Microsoft!  Fix the problem you created.

Hi Anna,

Please respond, or refer us to who can respond to the original issue in this stream - this microsoft office 2016 "the fine print" popup.  I purchased microsoft office "Home and Student" 2016 several years ago and it has worked fine up to now.  Suddenly today when I open a Word, Excel or PPT - any office doc I am seeing this "the fine print" popup. It doesn't seem like a legitimate thing from Microsoft and I don't want to click the "Accept and start..." button until Microsoft confirms it is for real, or what to do about it...

The answer I just got from Microsoft Commercial Support was to just click accept then it will go away. I don't really have a warm fuzzy feeling about that if I'm honest.

This is happening now to me as well (I'm based in Italy, the writing in the pop-up is in Italian, but still completely non-sense)... I've switched off my laptop in the office 1h ago, and reconnected now from home to finish the document I was working on and ... no way to use Office!

As othe users said already, this has to be fixed immediately, where is Microsoft, what do they wait for to give an explanation considering it is happening since this morning ?????



Thanks for flagging. The post was removed and we've banned this user. 

Has anyone determined the source of "The Fine Print" pop up yet?  I am starting to see it in my user community.  If it is Microsoft it seems heavy-handed, if it isn't Microsoft then are they aware that it is spreading?

This didn't affect any of my computers with Office versions older than 2016.  .

The suspicion of my users affected seems reasonable and their inability to use Office is entirely unreasonable!

This afternoon I was using Office 365(version 16/2016) and one minute it was working but not the next due to the "the fine print popup" people are dealing with. I have not heard from Microsoft and won't accept it until that happens. However, I would like to remind folks that alternatives for accessing your email is through a web browser ( if Outlook has locked you out. Other alternatives such as libreOffice ( are good alternatives for Word/Excel/etc. until Microsoft can address the issue.