Skip to content

Home Use Program for Microsoft Office 365 - who can get it and how?

Here’s who can qualify for cheaper Office 365 Home or Personal under the revised Home Use Program and how to get the lower prices.

Employer qualification

Your employer must have a Microsoft Office Volume Licence agreement with Software Assurance Maintenance (SAM).  If Office is widespread in your organization it’s likely they have a volume licence, probably (but not necessarily) with SAM.

Just one of the SA/SAM benefits is the Home Use Program.  In other words, there’s no extra cost to the organization to make the HUP available to its employees.  Despite that, there are still employers who either don’t know about the HUP or could not be bothered to make it available.

We (and Microsoft) sometime talk about ‘companies’ but ‘organizations’ is a better word because volume licencing/SAM is bought by companies, non-profits, governments and even some military.

Employee requirements

Employees must be using Office as part of their job.

In practice it’s impossible for Microsoft to enforce that.  If your employer lets you access the Home Use Program, that’s good enough.

For more on the Home Use Program for Office 365, the tricks and traps see Get cheap Office 365 for employees with the Office Home Use Program

Do I qualify for Home Use Program discounts?

The easiest way to cut through all the official qualification rules is just to try it out.

Go to  and it’ll redirect to the latest HUP pages for your country.

Enter your work email address and see what happens.

How to get Home Use Program discounts

If you’ve heard horror stories about difficulties getting Home Use Program discounts, forget them. The Microsoft part of the fulfillment is quite easy, assuming your employer has done their part and enabled the HUP for staff.

Your work email address is necessary to qualify for the Home Use Program but the discounted plan is linked to your personal Microsoft login.

However, the discounted Office 365 plan is applied to your personal email address/Microsoft account.

  1. Enter a valid work email address at the Microsoft Home Use Program site to get started.
    1. Your organization will give you the HUP web link for your country/region. You can try but, as we type, that site hasn’t been updated for the latest HUP changes
    2. Microsoft will check their systems to establish eligibility of your organization and what you’re entitled to under the HUP.
      • You may be asked for a ‘Program Code’.  This is a code supplied by your company that confirms your eligibility.
    3. If you’re eligible, a verification link is sent to the work email address.
    4. Click the emailed link to complete authentication.
    5. Sign in to your personal Microsoft account (using your personal email address) and link for the 30% Home Use Program savings.
      • You can extend an existing Office 365 plan with a Home Use Program discounted renewal.
      • Office 365 plans will be at the top of the page and hard to miss.  Scroll down to see what alternatives might be available like Visio or Project.
      • Office 2019 is no longer sold with HUP discounts.

About this author

Office Watch is the independent source of Microsoft Office news, tips and help since 1996. Don't miss our famous free newsletter.