Sharing your Office 365 / Office 2013 subscription

How to share your Office licenses around to the family.

Late last year, told you about then upcoming improvements to Office 365 subscriptions … now we can see how those changes really work.

An Office 365 Home Premium subscription has always come with 5 licenses for Office desktop software (Office for Windows or Mac).

Originally you could only access those installs by login to the purchasers Microsoft account. That wasn’t a great idea because it meant giving your password to another member of the family to let them install Office.

Now the owner/purchaser of Office 365 Home Premium can nominate up to 4 other people (household/family members according to the license) who can install Office desktop software. image from Sharing your Office 365 / Office 2013 subscription at

Click on Add user and enter the email address of the person.

Tip: ask them what email address they have, if any, linked to an existing Microsoft/Hotmail/ account. That’s the most convenient address to use for linking to the subscription because no new account has to be created. The extra 20GB of OneDrive space is added to their existing OneDrive allowance. image from Sharing your Office 365 / Office 2013 subscription at

When you click on ‘Send Invite’ this is what the person receives. image from Sharing your Office 365 / Office 2013 subscription at

The ‘Be Careful’ note at the top of the above image came from! Apparently Microsoft’s own hosting system thinks a legitimate invitation from another Microsoft server is potential fraud. It shows a degree of independence I suppose ….

The invitation email expires after one month. At least we assume it’s one month (4 March) and not longer (3 April). When will Microsoft realize that most of the world doesn’t use mm/dd/yyyy date formatting?

When the invitation is accepted by clicking on the link, the new user is taken to their own My Account page. If there’s no Microsoft account for that email address, they’ll be prompted to make an account first. image from Sharing your Office 365 / Office 2013 subscription at

Each person linked to the Office 365 subscription has access to all remaining/available Office installations. The subscription owner can’t control how many installations each person takes.

Click on Install to get a copy of the latest Office for Windows or Office for Mac.

Office for mobile is also available.

Each person linked to a Home Premium subscription gets an extra 20GB of SkyDrive/OneDrive storage using the same email address/login.

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