Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local Computer

If you are running Microsoft Office but receiving an error message that says Microsoft Office cannot retain or find your license key and hence it is closing automatically, you will see another error message – Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local Computer, Error 5, Access is Denied. This error message appears after opening the Services window on your computer.

Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local Computer

Microsoft Office can’t find your license for this application

Let’s assume that you are working on Microsoft Word or Excel, but it is showing an error message like this:

Microsoft Office can’t find your license for this application. A repair attempt was unsuccessful or was cancelled. Microsoft Office will exit now.

Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local ComputerWindows often search for various Services to run a particular program. For example, if you open Microsoft Word, it will search for a valid license key. If the corresponding service is not running correctly, you will get an error message like the mentioned one.

Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local Computer

If you receive Microsoft Office can’t find your license for this application. A repair attempt was unsuccessful or was canceled. Microsoft Office will exit now error followed by Windows could not start the Software Protection service on Local Computer, Error 5, Access is Denied, see this fix.

As this problem occurs when you try to open the Software Protection service in the Services panel, you should do the following to fix this issue.

Before you begin, you should create a system restore point first, and know that taking ownership of system elements may make your OS a little “less secure”.

1] Take ownership of sppsvc.exe file

Sppsvc.exe is Microsoft Software Protection Platform Service and it is a file that is responsible for this error. By default, this is a TrustedInstaller protected file, and you need to take ownership of this file. For that, open Windows Explorer and navigate to this path:

C:\Windows\System32

Here, C is the system drive. In the System32 folder, you should find the sppsvc.exe application file.

2] Take ownership of the Registry key

You need to take ownership of registry key. To do that, open Registry Editor. For that, press Win + R, type regedit and hit the Enter button. Following that, navigate to this path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

Now, right-click on the SoftwareProtectionPlatform and select Permissions.

From the Group or user names list, select sppsvc. Now, make a tick in the Full Control and Read [Allow] checkboxes.

Click the Apple and OK button respectively to save your change.

Now, check whether your problem has been resolved or not.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, 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.