Fix an incorrect 'unlicenced product' Office 2013 message

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Reactivating Office 2013 isn’t as easy as you’d expect.

If you have an Office 2013 subscription, the software might start with an ‘Unlicenced Product’ message across the top and only few functions available.

Office%202013%20Unlicensed%20Product - Fix an incorrect 'unlicenced product' Office 2013 message

Assuming you have a valid Office 365 subscription (the Manage Account button will open a browser window to let you check) then here’s how to force Office to recheck your subscription.

You have to run an obscure script with the right settings from the command line (as administrator). For the smarties among you, go to %ProgramFiles%Microsoft OfficeOffice15 and run this cscript ospp.vbs /act .

Here’s the step-by-step version

1. Close all Office 2013 programs, including Outlook 2013

2. Make sure the machine is connected to the Internet

3. Find the Command Prompt tile or Start menu item, right-click and choose ‘Run as Administrator’. This opens up the Windows Command Processor or ‘DOS box’.

4. Type in CD %ProgramFiles%Microsoft OfficeOffice15 then Enter to switch to the Office 2013 programs folder.

Office%202013%20Unlicensed%20Product%20fix%201 - Fix an incorrect 'unlicenced product' Office 2013 message

The exact folder location depends on whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit installation.

5. Type in cscript ospp.vbs /act then Enter

Wait while the script runs and Office 2013 attempts reactivation. Hopefully you’ll see a result like this with the magic words ‘Product Activation Successful’ among all the text.

Office%202013%20Unlicensed%20Product%20fix%202 - Fix an incorrect 'unlicenced product' Office 2013 message

6. Then start one of the Office 2013 programs. It might show ‘Unlicenced Product’ for a brief moment then work normally again.

You think there’d be a button or simple option to make Office 2013 contact ‘home base’ and confirm the subscription validity – but no. Once Office 2013 becomes ‘unlicensed product’ there’s no obvious way to make it check again.

 

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