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

BTW  I read the other day that Microsoft might be moving to a "Desktop as a Service" model.  It might be a good time to start getting comfortable with Linux.

We just got off the phone with Terry from Microsoft 365 Technical Support.  According to Terry, Tech Support has not received any information about this pop up.  He said we should only see this pop up when 365 is initially installed/activated.  It is OK to Accept.  My version of the Agreement really didn't say didn't look like the standard Microsoft agreement.  Hope this helps!  (I also had pulled up my other Business 365 programs....all of them had the same pop up.  But once I accepted the Outlook one, none popped up again!)

No, I didn't say it was acceptable. I said that if you read the EULA, I think you will find that it is their legal right. I intensely dislike our current system, which amounts to 'take it or leave it," but I don't want to live in a cave. And I agree that it's even more outrageous for those who purchased Office 2016.


Apparently you didn't read that many of us Office 2016 users are seeing the same "Fine Print..." popup message as the Office 365 users. As you noted, we purchased, and we OWN our copy of msOffice, so there shouldn't be any revisioning the purchase terms two years later.

hi,  I noticed that the popup license agreement text says 'last updated September 2017'.

And, the 'fine print' popup displayed when launching Visio Pro 2016 only references Visio, and not the entire suite of Office apps.


Apparently, similar scenarios have occurred in the past;  this is just one example that showed up in search results with a last edited date in 2018:


And, I only noticed the popup late yesterday.


I'm also being a bit cautious, though that might change shortly, as I use Office daily, and alternatives won't meet my req'ts.


hi,  for some reason my original reply was marked as spam and removed?  

to recap, I noticed that the popup license text says 'last update September 2017';  the popup displayed when launching Visio Pro 2016 only mentions Visio and not the Office suite.

and, a search for similar scenarios found a few similar instances.


Not sure how that's considered spam.  :)

btw, I also mentioned that I use Office daily, and that the alternatives don't meet my requirements....

I will share that as someone else suggested, I successfully used "Restore" to revert to a one week earlier saved configuration - seems to have worked in removing the popup.  I can now open my .docs, .xlsx, .pptx files without issue. 

Would still like to get to the bottom of this and know if it is something Microsoft did or if it is a potential Trojan or Malware issue....  I believe the earliest post was on Sunday July 29... How long before Microsoft provides a meaningful response to this ?

Thanks for the info on LibreOffice. Researched it. Probably going to download and set it up on a test box. We also have a mix of MS Office products, going back to Office 2007. Only the new Office is getting the message and only those that get their MS updates automatically. Thanks again.

It sounds strange that Microsoft support claims that they have not heard of it happening to anyone with Office 2016 since there are several participants on this forum that are in that situation and I spent a long time on chat explaining my particular case.  


Thanks for the tip, Peter.  I may try a system restore when I get a chance, but I'm really not sure.  The affected user seems happy enough using LibreOffice and accessing her email through webmail for now.

I received the "Fine Print" dialog this afternoon as well.  I have an Office 365 Account for home.  But the "Fine Print" dialog appeared on a machine at my work place running Office 2016 (without Office 365).  Our Corporate IT is not aware of any changes to our licensing.  We are somewhat reticent to simply agree to a "Fine Print" dialog without any details on how and why licensing suddenly changed.  This kind of thing is at least unethical.



Great tip on the restore!  About an hour ago the Mrs. called me over in a panic, she didn't know what to make of the popup (she had just downloaded meeting minutes from a friend when it happened) but knew enough not accept anything she hadn't intentionally accessed.  I was a bit concerned because I have a legit copy of Office 2016 Pro and I accepted the EULA a couple years ago.

Anyway, my most recent restore point was and Automatic Restore Point from yesterday about 10 am.  Rather that just restoring it, I checked what would be affected. Only one program/driver would roll back  "Microsoft Office Pro....16.0.10325.20082"!  I suspect we has a smoking gun.


What pisses me off ever further is the amount of info I had to let MS snoop into just to post here.  I am one grumpy old man right now - will post restore results later today.

I am getting a popup in Office 2016 "The fine print

These Microsoft Home and Business 2016 apps are installed:


It blocks me from using the applications without clicking on the permissions...

Since I have a licensed application, this does not seem appropriate...


Even if it is a Microsoft behavior, it seems to open the possibility that my perpetual license for locally installed Office 2016 will be converted into a subscription to applications that I do not want.


I see that others are getting a similar message but it appears that resolutions are not forthcoming...


Please advise...

I'm experiencing the same problem.


Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment!




That does not work.   When you "x" the popup, the application shuts down.

... and just as important -- it is blocking access to the applications, with no evident remedy!

Note that this behavior is occurring in Office 2016

Note -- I am encountering the problem in Office 2016, legitimate copy...

... this does not seem to reflect the behavior when it occurs in Office 2016.

Do we have any Microsoft information about this issue?