Can you work offline with the new Office 365 licence system?


The new Office 365 licence system makes you sign-in to Office software from each device.  How can that work if your computer is offline and can’t connect to the Internet?

See Significant improvements in Office 365 Home, Personal and University and Office 365 now counts your sign-ins not installs

Several Office Watch subscribers have asked if they can use Microsoft Office when they’ve headed ‘into the woods’, gone sailing the high seas or just prefer to be offline for some peace a quiet.

There’s an understandable misconception that the new Office 365 licence system (which counts Office sign-in not installs) means Office always has to be online … NOT so.

30 days offline

Once signed-in to Office, the software will be activated with full functionality for 30 days.

After 30 days offline, Office software will stop working fully.  It will drop to a Read Only mode with no editing allowed.

To get Office back to full working order, you’ll need to reconnect to the Internet and sign-in to Office again.  Once that’s done you can go offline again for another 30 days.

30 days should be enough for most

Make sure you’ve signed into Office on each of your devices before you’re about to go offline for a few weeks or a month.  That should give you a full 30 days offline access.

There are a few extreme cases and scenarios that might be a problem.

We’ve asked Microsoft for more detail and hope to expand this article soon.


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