Office reinstall limits

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How often can you reinstall Microsoft Office?

Steve P asks …

“Love the articles, and I’ve learnt lots from them.

I’ve purchased Office 2010 Home & Student (in the UK) for installation on WinXP SP3, and whilst I know about the time limit between installation & activation, there seems to be no info on time limits between installs. I’m asking because there may be a relatively significant period (weeks, possibly a month) between installs on the machines I want to install O2010 on. ”

The Home and Student bundle for Office 2010 gets you three installations on computers in the same house (except the Product Key Card which has a single install).

Assuming that you have not exceeded the license limit for your purchase, you can activate Office at any time.

If you’ve reached your three license limit then you can install Office again every 90 days as long as you only have Office installed on the allowed number of computers. Microsoft calls this a reassignment in section 19 of the license agreement.

There’s an exception to the 90 day rule for hardware failure. In practice you can activate Office on a replacement computer and, if you can’t activate online, use the phone activation system. Explain to the Microsoft staffer that your computer failed and you need to install on a replacement machine. In that situation, you should get an activation code with little trouble.

You can save yourself some hassle by installing Office but UNchecking the option to activate automatically after installation. This gives you some time to ensure the computer is running reliably before using up one of the automatic Office activations. Only activate Office once you’re sure the computer is running OK or when the time limit is reached for a non-activated Office.

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