Troubleshoot Microsoft Office Product Key issues

If you have just purchased a new copy of Microsoft Office 2010 and you find that you are unable to unlock or activate it using the license key given, then you may want to try out the following troubleshooting steps.

The most common error that occurs when you enter the Microsoft Office product key is:

This is not a valid Office product key. Verify that you have the correct key and retype it.

If you get this error or you are unable to unlock or activate Microsoft Office 2010, first please ensure that you are using the correct type of Office key and then try this:

  • Check the numbers and letters on the product key. Sometimes the number eight (8) can resemble a capitalized B, and a number zero (0) can resemble a capitalized O. Copy the product key from an email message to avoid typing errors.
  • Make sure that you are not using a product key from an older version of Office. These product keys will not work with Office 2010.
  • Do not use a product key that might be attached to the bottom of your laptop, or on the back of your desktop computer. These are usually the Microsoft Windows product keys and will not work with Office 2010.
  • If a Product Key Card was purchased at a retail store and activated at the register, do not use the key that is inside the card to unlock Office 2010. You must logon to the website listed on the card and follow the instructions to obtain the actual product key for the version of Office that you purchased.
  • A product key for an Office 2010 stand-alone product (such as Microsoft Visio Professional 2010) will not be accepted as a product key for an Office 2010 suite. It is important to match the product key to the product for which it is specified.
  • Volume License product keys will not be accepted for a retail Office 2010 product.

If this doesn’t help, you may have to contact Microsoft Support.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.